The Wahl Family’s Mobile Flock – Part 2 of Managing for Healthier, More Productive Animals and a Better Bottom Line

This is the second in a series about the grazing management changes the Wahl family has made and how it has improved soil health and increased animal productivity dramatically. (See the first here.) It's drawn from an article by Robert Hathorne with photos by Tracy Robillard, both of the Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service. I've added the videos they made and suggestions for how you can translate the principles the Wahl's are using to your own operation. *************** A Mobile Flock The Wahl Family has been raising sheep, cattle and timber on the Oregon coast since their forebears from Scotland arrived in 1874. Last week's article started with their realization that led to two major changes to their operation: Sheep don’t want more acres to graze, they want better food and more diversity on the acres they’ve got. The realization led to two major changes in the operation: 1. providing a diverse diet, and 2. keeping the flock on the move. Last week's article looked at the Wahls' pasture diversity and the impact it had on their flock. But diverse forage is only part of the equation. The Wahls have about 4,000 mouths to feed, and that means if the sheep are going to eat, they’ve got to keep moving. Typical sheep operations will move sheep from one paddock or section of a pasture to another every 3 to seven days. This allows grass to grow back between grazing periods. Overgrazing results when sheep aren’t moved often enough or at all. This leads to

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