June 3, 2013

Are Poisonous Plants A Bigger Problem for Weed-Eating Livestock?

William “Willie” Gibson, a board member of the Vermont Grass Farmers Association, and a dairy and livestock farm advisor for the Northeast Organic Farming Association wrote me a question in response to an article about teaching cows to weeds: “This surely is fascinating, Kathy.  One question that popped into my head when reading your theory […]

May 27, 2013

Is Teaching Cows to Eat Weeds a Beneficial Weed Control Technique?

One of the common questions I get from folks who hear me talk about training livestock to eat weeds is whether or not it is a good way to control weeds.  For the answer, I’ll share what was in my head when I started trying to figure out the process for teaching animals to try […]

May 20, 2013

Vermont Goat Collaborative “Meats” New American Needs

This collaboration between goat dairy farms, recently arrived refugees, and a coalition of supporters is a win-win example of how to provide fresh local meat for immigrant communities, build bridges between old and new Americans, and improve land stewardship.

May 13, 2013

Adjusting Assumptions When Training Livestock to Eat Weeds

Sometimes our trainees are doing just what they’re supposed to.  It’s our assumptions that make us think things aren’t going quite right.  I’m reminded of this every year when I get calls form farmers and ranchers who are in the process of teaching their cattle or sheep to eat a new food.  Everyone, including me, […]

April 30, 2013

Is It Time To Let The Cows Out?

It’s the time of year when we’re all chomping at the bit to head out to green pasture.  We can see the grass coming up, we’re tired of feeding hay and our stock is tired of eating it.  We know that hitting our pastures too soon could come back to bite us later and might […]

April 16, 2013

Reading A Cow’s Mind As It Learns

If you watch your trainees closely, you’ll be able to guess what they’re learning and how you might change what you do to help them out.

April 16, 2013

Small Ruminants for Small Farms

Sandra Miller of Painted Hand Farm says of raising meat goats “It’s a very satisfying lifestyle and that’s why I do it.”

April 9, 2013

How To Teach Livestock to Eat Weeds

You can turn your weeds into alfalfa quality forage by spending about 8 hours over 10 days training your livestock to eat them. Here are the basics on how it works.

March 19, 2013

To Graze With Horses Is To Think Out of the Box

Some people say that if you want to build a putting green, put a horse on pasture. Their dietary needs, the way they graze, and the space an owner has available for horses all influence how we manage them.

March 19, 2013

Palatability Redefined

One of the most important things for a grazier to know is how animals choose what to eat. Discoveries over the last three decades mean that it might be easier to feed your livestock than you thought!

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