Before buying animals to run on your property, it’s important to ask – how many beasts can your lifestyle block support?
It’s a dream many of us share – having a lifestyle block and running animals on it for the freezer. What many of us don’t realise is that careful consideration needs to taken before you can answer the question of how many beasts your lifestyle block can support.
Identifying grazable land on your lifestyle block
Before you buy any animals, you must determine how much grazable land your lifestyle block has. This means identifying which areas aren’t suitable for animals to graze on, such as your house and garden area, orchards, bush areas, wetlands, and ponds. You also need to take the type of terrain into account – very steep land may not be suitable for heavy beasts, but may be better suited to smaller animals such as sheep, goats or pigs.
If you have a 5 acre lifestyle block, once you’ve eliminated unsuitable grazing areas, you may only have 3 acres which are suitable for grazing animals.
Understock rather than overstock
When considering how many beasts your lifestyle block can support, a good rule of thumb is – understock rather than overstock. This is essential, particularly if you’ve just bought a lifestyle block and are impatient to fill your paddocks with animals. It’s important not to just rush on in, stocking up your property with more stock than it can realistically hold.
As a general guide line, you can run cattle at a rate of 1.8 acres per adult beast. Please keep in mind that you will need more land if the animal is a breeding animal, as they require more food.
Pasture management for ultimate stocking rates on a lifestyle block
Understocking your lifestyle block is also wise in terms of good pasture management. Basically, well- managed pasture = happy, healthy animals. Overstocking is the quickest way to damaging the health of your pasture, thus threatening the health of your beasts.
If your pasture is overstocked then you face pugging in winter, which damages grass root-structure, preventing it from growing back successfully when the weather improves. Conversely, if the weather is very dry in summer, too many beasts will also damage the grass, inhibiting its ability to grow back when rain returns.
It all comes down to proper planning and pasture management. Do those things well and you will be rewarded with a freezer full of delicious home-kill meet for years to come!
If your dream is to own a lifestyle block, then contact the friendly team at goodGround Real Estate. We know about “stocking rates”, amongst other things and we’d love to help your dream come true!
We found a very informative web-page you may wish to visit for more information about cattle.