Monday, March 30, 2020

Going Feral: Regenerative Agriculture

An animal that will eat anything can live anywhere. An animal whose survival often depends on the bonds that it has with other herd members can become the perfect herd member for humans. As we are using our micro grant from the Livestock Conservancy to convert a large pasture of formerly brush, a bit of fescue, and a lot of pine and sweet gum into multiple paddocks for rotational grazing our strains of formerly feral heritage livestock are doing their part.

Spring time weeds are delicacies for our Hog Island sheep. They love tender weeds as much as they love grass.

Our Scottish Highland cattle are not formerly feral but they bring many of the same attributes of feral livestock to the table. My bull, Seven Leagues, is enjoying fresh pine needles as the snow falls in this picture. This morning I moved the cattle into a fresh paddock and they immediately began taking the weeds down to the ground.

Our Spanish goats, particularly our San Clemente Island goats, are voracious brush busters, live outside 24/7 and have no problem delivering babies.

Ossabaw Island hogs are not to be confused with feral hogs that wreak havoc across the South. They likely trace back to early Spanish settlement of the southeast. This heritage line of gourmet pork producers are slow growers who love to graze and browse. They can bring privet thickets completely under control in short order .

Our herd of  Colonial Spanish horses, includes Corollas, Shacklefords, Marsh Tackeys, Choctaws, and high percentage Grand Canyons. Many of our horses were born wild. The result is a horse that has strong hooves, extraordinary endurance, and a deep need to bond with other herd members. They are the perfect family horses.

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