Livestock and Organic Farming
Herbal pasture grass means healthy livestock and increased profits.
farmers who have livestock put them out on monoculture grass pastures
and supplement their feed. We often end up with them having health
problems, often diet-related, worm issues and the like.
But with herbal
pasture grass you have medicinal plants and some of the best pastures
that will give your livestock a daily boost and will also help to keep
the internal parasites and worms down as well. The following are ideal
for planting if you are an organic farmer wanting to provide the best
possible pasture grass for your livestock.
Perennial rye grass, cocks foot, timothy grass and meadow fescue make
up most of the
mix, followed by tall
clovers, bull birdsfoot trefoil,
burnet forage herb,
yarrow forage herb,
sheep’s parsley forage herb and rib grass forage herb.
When you raise livestock your main expenses are in fertilizer, feed and
vet bills. By planting a good herbal ley as pasture grass you manage to
eradicate the need for fertilizer as the plants themselves put back
goodness into the soil in the form of nitrogen as many of the above are
nitrogen fixing plants.
also provide feed for most of the year round, and the high quality of
pasture given to your livestock will improve their health, including
the propensity to get worms, as long as you manage the herbal ley just
as you would other pasture grass with rotational use.
Pasture Grass for Organically Farmed Livestock
you even stock your property with livestock you will need to think
about fencing and the type of grass you want to plant for the type of
cattle or livestock you are raising. You will also need to think of
your climate and which grasses will do well in your area.
Timothy Grass for
grass is indigenous to the United States and does really well in most
soils, except for those that are very wet, or too dry and sandy. It
does best on rich clay and clay loam soils.
Timothy grass is a
perennial that is easy to grow, is hardy once established,
will easily produce 1 1/2 - 2 tons of hay, per acre, in a single
You can either sow your Timothy grass seed in late August, early
September or in the spring.
an acre of good fine soil you can use 12 quarts of seed per acre.
However, if you have a very stiff clay soil you will need to
plant 24 quarts of seed per acre.
Smooth Stalked Meadow
is another pasture grass that makes excellent hay and is well liked by
any livestock that you may have in these pastures. There are
2 types of meadow grass:
1) The Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass
2) The Rough Stalked Meadow Grass
this is an indigenous grass that grows about everywhere in the United
States and is particularly good on rich, fertile soils. Both types are
perennials that sets seeds in June and will self-seed readily during
Although the rough stalked meadow grass looks
identical to the smooth, it is distinguised by its rough stalk to the
touch. This pasture grass like a soil that is wet, therefore a heavy
clay soil is ideal.
Fescue Pasture Grass
is an excellent pasture grass that is highly nutritious, especially
when cut during flower, more so than any other pasture grass whether
cut during flowering or in seed.
There are several types of fescue grass, each of which is as good as
Cock's Foot Pasture
Cock' s Foot grass,
also known as orchard grass is an excellent pasture grass where there
is a lot of shade. By cutting each time, before it is ripe, you will be
able to get 3-4 cuts per season.
Sew 20-30 pounds of seed per
acre. It is a fairly hardy grass, found across the United States from
south to north and so will grow in any climate.
Rye Grass for Pasture
is a tonic for
livestock. It is excellent for making sure that your livestock don’t
become fat and overweight. This is because it is high in nutrients but
low on carbohydrates. Any livestock that does get
particularly in the winter, will result in difficult births.
Tall Oat Grass for
Tall oat grass is an early grass that
also makes good hay. It prefers loamy or clay soils and can grow to a
height of 4-5 feet on good soils.
So what Medical Properties does Herbal Pasture Grass have?
addition to any of the above pasture grass types we should also think
about interseeding it with beneficial herbal plants in order to treat
your sheep medicinally for the prevention and treatment of livestock
ailments. Such a pasture grass is higly beneficial for both the
livestock and the farmer and doesn't involve any more work than seeding
the orginal pasture.
So, what herbal plants should be included to create a pasture grass
that your ancestors used on their livestock?
Parsley is very valuable as a medicinal plant. It is from the parsley family which
is hardy and easy to grow.
highly mineral-rich, high in iron and Vitamin C and extremely good for
kidney and bladder complaints.
Sheeps Parsley is a plant that should be widely
planted if your livestock have breeding problems as it is helpful with
female reproductive disorders.
The Clovers for Pastures
The clovers and not grasses, but rather legumes. After
maturity the roots rot, putting
goodness back into the soil and it is also a very good nitrogen fixing
plant. Such is the value of this that any following crop
additional nitrogen, nor will any crops need additional nitrogen for
several years when planted in areas where clover has grown. Sweet clover
improves poor soil
as it develops a good rooting system with a thick tap root that opens
up the subsoil, letting in the air, and helping earthworm and other
aerobic bacterial activity.
It is loved by livestock and is a tonic
plant and a blood-cleansing
herb. However, if you put your livestock in a field of
just clover they
will develop bloat. When you mix clover in a meadow ley with other
plants that are bloat-safe
as sainfoin, vetch, birdsfoot trefoil, and perennial grasses.
Sheep's Burnet, often called Salad
Burnet as people eat it too, is another fodder herb and an
excellent addition to your pasture grass. Both sheep and cattle love
this herb and it is excellent for preventing
It is a fast establishing perennial for summer feed and it also
withstands cold winters and performs well in dry, low fertility
Chicory is sought
out by livestock
and is quickly
recognized by its lovely blue-mauve flowers. It is a good plant if you
live in areas where you don’t get a lot of rain as it has a deep tap
root that seeks out moisture far below the soil line.
Sheep and cattle
love it, and it is good
for milk production. If sheep get enough
chicory they fatten up a lot quicker and it is also a great herb for
helping with liver issues and jaundice.
This plant has a high
nutritive value (high metabolisable energy),
highly digestible, and is high in minerals such as calcium, sulfur,
potassium, sodium, boron and zinc and gives high stock performance and
appears to be unpalatable to rabbits and hares.
Chicory grows well in summer and on dairy farms supplies a continuous
summer feed and due to the protein content will maintain milk
production and milk protein content.
There are some
disadvantages of chicory
and therefore there should be a good balance of other herbs in your
herbal pasture grass. As chicory can grow rapidly stock can be poisoned
by nitrate/nitrite and there have been instances of bloat. Milk taint is
problem and if grazing pure crops then graze for only 2 hours after the
morning milking (only if the crop is safe from nitrate). Lambs are also
prone to pulpy kidney.
means ‘healthy hay’
– is an almost
forgotten traditional fodder legume that used to be widely grown
throughout Europe before the use of commercial fertilizers, and fed
particularly to working horses.
The feed has a very high voluntary intake by cattle,
sheep and horses
and is believed to contain unique nutritional properties that help with
keeping parasites in check. Being a legume it puts back nutrients back
into the soil and performs well under drought.
Bull Birdsfoot Trefoil
Bull Birdsfoot Trefoil
that tolerates poor drainage almost as well as
alsike clover, and is also tolerant of lower pH levels than most
legumes. It tolerates grazing pressure well, but should be occasionally
reseeded to maintain a stand indefinitely. Again, as a legume it is a
nitrogen fixing plant, and is a favorite with butterflies and good bee
This plant contains condensed tannins, which prevent bloat in
and also protect forage proteins from degradation to ammonia gas in the
rumen so there is better amino acid digestion and greater growth rates
for ruminants if you add this to your pasture grass.
This plant is very acceptable to all livestock types and deer
especially so. It also makes excellent quality hay.
particularly good to add
in pasture grass for
sheep and deer who love this herb. It is a great tonic
it is not good for cattle.
Also make sure that you have identified this
herb if you are collecting it from the wild so that you don’t mistake
it for its cousin, hemlock, which is toxic and very similar in
particular pasture grass is not how nature seeds empty fields. Do not
see these plants as weeds that you need to get rid of. Know the value
of the plants that already exist, and then add the above to your
pastures to enrich your soil.
Bring back nature to your fields and replant it with pasture grass as
nature intended with
medicinal herbs and plants that will not only keep the worms at bay,
but will also give your livestock better health and increase their
weight without those dreaded hormones.
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Horses I would like to see more information on herbal pastures for horses as we seem to be getting more cases of laminitis supposedly caused by fresh grass with …
Buying Herbal Pasture Grass Seeds Not rated yet Is there already a product on the market that is an ideal presentation of the above information? If not, maybe you should look at developing one:)
Buying herbal ley pasture mixes Not rated yet Thank you for answering my comment on organic seeds and I went through your website and couldn't find anything of herbal ley pasture mixes could you help …
where to buy organic seeds Not rated yet Where can I buy these seeds organic and untreated?
Andre, you can buy organic seeds through our website from the following link: …