Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pasture Rehabilitation Progress

It has been a few weeks since I let the llamas out on their old pasture.  So far I'm pretty happy with how the rehabilitation of the pasture has been going.  With a few small exceptions, most of the new grass that I seeded has begun to grow, and I'm slowly working on getting rid of the weeds (mostly burdock).

Pasture in mid-spring, before grazing.

A little bit later in the spring, after I mowed but still before being grazed.

And as you can see, the llamas are VERY happy about being out in their pasture!

T, Duque, and Kara out grazing.

The added bonus is that their dry lot area is starting to recover.  I still have a lot of straw to remove, but it has been raining cats and dogs this week!

Grass is growing back in the dry lot!

The pasture after a few weeks of grazing and some more mowing.

The llamas aren't great about eating weeds in general, but I've discovered that they love these berry bushes!  I'm not quite sure what kind of berries they are, probably rasp/black berries.  I chopped down all the old stalks last year, but of course they came back.  Within days the llamas had eaten every single leaf off the new plants.  I don't hold out much hope that the plants will survive, and that's just fine with me!  Unfortunately they won't eat burdock, so I'll have to continue to mow and pull those by hand.

Stripped berry plants!

Unfortunately it looks like the llamas are going to have to go back in their dry lot next week.  They're not grazing the pasture very evenly, and the areas closest to the barn are getting too short for comfort.  I can't afford to let any of those grass plants die!  I'll probably return to letting the llamas graze in their portable pen (either in or around the garden fence), and give them some freshly mown grass in addition to their hay.  They won't be happy, but they'll survive!  Hopefully it will start to dry out so we can get back to working on their new pasture!

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