Spring is here! If you have horses, cows, or other livestock, your four-legged friends are most likely raring to get back to grazing. Proper pasture management is very important, especially at this time of year. A local Wichita, KS vet offers some spring pasture-management tips below.
Don’t Rush It
It may be tempting to let your horses and cows have at it as soon as it warms up, but a bit of restraint is a good thing. Wait until the grass has grown in and the ground has dried up enough to be pretty solid. You may want to temporarily set aside one area and stock it with hay and mineral blocks, and use that while your main pasture grows in.
Feed Your Pasture
A lime or fertilizer application can help ensure that your grasses grow in well. This can also help to decrease weeds and increase the growth of quality grass. You may need to have a soil sample taken to determine what, if anything, your land needs.
Take It Slow
We know, your horses and cattle love that first sweet grass, but ease them into it. That early spring grass often has a high moisture content. It’s also very nutritious, enough to where you want to transition slowly from hay.
If you have any animals that have founded, are obese, and/or have high blood insulin, don’t let them go too crazy. Control their turnout time carefully. You don’t want them taking in too much sugar. Ask your vet for more information.
Rotating fields was the old-time way of protecting pastures and avoiding overgrazing. This may be something to consider.
It’s not uncommon for winter to take a few hits on fences or land. High-traffic areas often incur the most damage. Make any repairs now, and start the season off on the right hoof.
If you need to reseed any areas, do it now, so the new grass has a chance to grow in a bit before it gets eaten. Of course, what you seed is going to depend on what sort of pasture you have, and what it needs. For instance, overseeding legumes may help reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizers you need.
Please feel free to contact us, your local Wichita, KS animal clinic, with questions about horse or livestock care. We’re here for you!