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Grazing and Pasture

Equine Permaculture: Amazing Dung Beetles

April 2017

This month, we celebrate dung beetles! For horse owners, dung beetles mean mean less cleaning paddocks and poo shovelling, and great soil development, without cost or effort - all things that align with the permaculture principles.  Dung beetles also benefit your horse’s health by helping control fly and parasitic worm populations. While this is great news for all horse and cattle owners, these tiny workers need the right conditions to establish and thrive.

Forage Feeding Recommendations: Part 1, Type

April 2017

While many horse owners are aware pasture and conserved forages should be the basis of horse diets (even in performance horses), there are different aspects to consider when deciding what type of conserved forage you should feed your horses and how much you should provide - quality vs. quantity.  Over the next three issues of Horses and People, we will bring you the latest advances and recommendations for feeding conserved forage highlighted in a recent review of the scientific findings in equine nutrition. 

Pasture Management For Horses with Metabolic Disorders brought to you by HyGain Feeds

March 2017

Research has shown pasture-induced laminitis occurs at times of rapid grass growth. The accumulation of certain non-structural carbohydrates (NSC’s), including fructans, starches and sugars in pasture forage during the Spring, early Summer and Autumn, particularly after rainfall, precipitate this laminitis.  Therefore, we must carefully manage pasture turnout and forage intake in horses and ponies that are at risk for developing laminitis or are currently affected by this condition. 

Pasture Bites: March 2017

March 2017

Although officially Autumn, March really is the tail end of Summer in Australia. Change is in the air. Days are getting shorter and temperatures beginning to drop. In Summer-rainfall areas the rain is coming to an end, while in Winter-rainfall areas, the end of the dry approaches. 

Your Horse's Health is in the Soil, brought to you by Plant of Health

February 2017

We all want the best for our horses and, ultimately, our horses’ long-term health is generally determined by what they eat and how active they are.  In this article, Des Warnock, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Batphone Australia, a company that provides products and education about improving plant and soil health sustainably, reminds us we need to start from the ground up - literally!  How healthy is your pasture? 

Pasture Bites: February 2017

February 2017

February already! If you haven’t made some New Year’s resolutions about how you are going to manage your pasture in 2017, now’s as good a time as any.   Remember, you are aiming to: Create a good place for horses and people, Provide safe, nutritious horse pasture, and Minimise environmental impacts. By: Matching pasture growth and grazing pressure, Maintaining groundcover, and Maintaining pasture species diversity. Making it easy

Pasture Bites: December 2016

December 2016

Summer means heat. In southern Australia, it also generally means drought or at least dry times. But in other areas, summer rains - often in the form of storms - predominate.  In southern Australia in particular, pastures are often dominated by Winter active annuals species and these senesce - die - at this time of year. If your pasture doesn’t contain Summer active species, the plants that are present now are pretty much the pasture ration from now until next Autumn, when the Winter annuals germinate.

Pasture Bites: November 2016

December 2016

It has been a wet Spring across much of Australia - much too wet in some places! Ground that isn’t waterlogged should be growing well in the warm weather. Warm, wet Springs mean there are three things to focus on – rotational grazing to make the most of pasture, watching grass intake in fat ponies and other good doers, and maintaining good worm control, because worms also love warm and moist conditions. Do you need more fertiliser?  Rapidly growing grass needs nutrients to grow. How do you know if there is still nutrient available to your pasture? 

Pasture Bites: October 2016

October 2016

With warm, moist conditions prevailing over much of the country, pasture growth continues apace. Keep monitoring your pasture growth and your horses’ welfare. The aim is healthy pastures and healthy horses.  Keep an eye on pasture height and coverage. Your aim is to keep pastures 10-15cm high and at least 70% groundcover, although for most areas it should be higher (above 90%) at this time of year.

Pasture Bites: September 2016

October 2016

Spring can feel a bit like a lesson in being careful what you ask for - all those months wanting to see fresh, green grass in the paddock and, suddenly, your fat little pony is knee deep in it, and you are lying awake at night worrying about laminitis and founder. Pasture management in Spring is often an exercise in managing access.


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