In the final days of October, the ewes moved to new ground. For about 25 days, they grazed on volunteer soybeans and stubble and a grown up waterway. As those resources began running out,I exposed them to the cover I planted October 4th. Each day, they take on a strip 10 to 25 feet deep and ~350 feet across.
The cover consists mostly of wheat and cereal rye, with the remainder hairy vetch, safflower, plantain, winter lentils, rape, turnips, and one other I cannot recall at the moment. I estimate there are 1 to 10 ears of corn on the ground each day, which is not much per ewe (but they don’t share!)
Though I should have inter-seeded into the standing corn crop in August, thus boosting the yield of the forage, the results are acceptable and promising. Ground cover is too thin and plants to little, but the sheep are performing very well. Most have gained weight since arriving.
There is no back fence, in order allow access to the adjacent soybean stubble, and shelter (rarely needed).
I feed up to 4 lbs of hay/ewe in extreme cold and/or snow.
29 head are paced to finish the remainder of 13 acres on January 29th. A longer growth period would have added another month or more (or allowed more animals).
Interesting details on the animals dietary needs. I enjoy getting the updated information.
I have a lot to gain in the way of nutritional expertise, but animal performance tends to speak for itself. I’m glad the posts are reaching you.