Dairy Cows Head to Pasture for the First Time on Providence Farm

Last fall we began sharing Jonathan and Maryann Connor's transition from a full time tie-stall barn operation to pasture-based dairying. The first two articles covered the goals and decision-making process behind their change, and how they designed and built new laneways, fencing and watering systems. Here's how the first spring turn out went. Now, Jonathan told me that if we just wrote about how perfect it all went, it would make for a boring article and you would probably be suspicious. So for the sake of keeping it interesting (and keeping it real) we are going to give you a sense of what the first half of his grazing season has been like. May 8th The pasture is ready. Jonathan and Maryann are now faced with turning 90 large Holstein cows loose from their tie-stalls. The cows will have to navigate crossing the gutter, keeping their footing down the long alleyway and getting out the door. To minimize chaos, Jonathan and Maryann decided to start small. They turned out 27 cows initially, keeping the rest in. They incrementally turned out more cows over the course of the next week, until the entire herd was going out to graze. Cows graze during the day only, going out after morning milking at approximately 9:00 am and coming in around 3:30 pm for the evening shift. Jonathan uses a single strand polywire with fiberglass posts to give the cows a n

All the grazing management tips you need

Choose one of our subscription options to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

3 thoughts on “Dairy Cows Head to Pasture for the First Time on Providence Farm

  1. Thanks for the follow up. Just yesterday I re-read the original two stories and wondered the latest status. Perfect timing! Thanks again

    1. So glad that worked out! And Cheryl’s going to follow up with the Connors after the grazing season to hear their take on the first season of grazing.

Comments are closed.

Translate »