Maintaining healthy pastures is a full time task. On our farm, everyone has a job–including the animals. Our meat birds are kept out on pasture where they can roam around, pecking at the bugs and grass. Throughout their short 10 week life, we move their fencing around so that they have access to fresh grass each day. Their job is to fertilize the fields as they go. About two weeks after moving them off of an area, the grass will grow back quite lush and green.
My son raises pigs each summer. We keep part of the meat and he sells the rest of the pork as a way to earn money. He has many repeat customers who claim his pork is the “best pork they have ever tasted”. I think it is because his pigs are happy pigs! They too are put out on pasture where they can do what God intended them to do–root around. Their little noses are like little bulldozers pushing and moving dirt, rocks, stumps, and roots. This summer their job is to root up the large stretch of Japanese Knot Weed that grows along the edge of one of our fields.
Our angora goats not only provide us with mohair to blend with our wool, but they too have another job here on the farm. About 75 years ago, our farm land was mostly open. It has grown over with trees, saplings, brush, and brambles. The goats summer home is placed on the wooded part of our land. Every day, they head out to do their job–eating down all this brush. I am amazed at how well they have cleared areas. Who would have ever guessed that eating wild raspberry canes was desirable? As you can see, we have a wide variety of farmhands, who help maintain our pastures!