The health and productivity of livestock are literally under their feet: the plants that they eat, and the soils that sustain those forages.
The vitality of soils and plants depend, in turn, on what is returned from the animals in manure. Graze off too much of the plant cover, and the forages will thin out and become less desirable, and the soil will begin to erode.
Practices to maintain healthy soils and forages:
- Leave enough forage ungrazed.
- Give each pasture long rest periods between grazing.
- Arrange fences and watering to encourage even grazing in every pasture.
- Feed hay in pastures.
- Hay is fertilizer as well as feed.