Rotational Grazing Gadgets
Have you ever wondered what kind of rotational grazing gadgets a group of over 17,000 graziers would recommend? We answered that question for you! Take a look, links to many items included!
From the over 100 responses, 11% claimed their most useful grazing tool was a reliable water source. Ensuring livestock have an adequate water supply in every paddock is often a key starting point when planning a grazing rotation. This is important for keeping cattle healthy and able to continue grazing. Some specific examples mentioned were the Tomcat MFG portable water tanks and Solar Pump Solutions water pumps.
Specific fence posts were mentioned in 15% of responses. The preferred type of posts was different from grazier to grazier. One option graziers raved about was the Gallagher Tumble Wheels that provide quick moving of fence sections without having to pull posts. Another common post mentioned, and a favorite of PCS’s Karl and Kyle Dallefeld, is the O'Briens Treadaline Step-In Post for easy post placement. A few responses also mentioned the Gallagher Smart Fence system, which can be seen in action in this video.
ATVs and UTVs made up 11% of the graziers responses. Many of these set-ups contain an organized storage system of posts, reels, and tools needed to move paddocks. A great example can be seen here in our video showing a PCS customer in Decorah, IA moving livestock to a new paddock while grazing stockpiled summer annuals.
Good Cows and a Good Dog
One gadget we were not expecting was “Good Cows,” however 6% of graziers gave us this! They mentioned that well-practiced livestock that were accustomed to timely moves to greener pastures allowed easy moves when rotating paddocks. Along with good cows, good dogs were mentioned as useful grazing “gadgets” and made up 9% of responses. These dogs can aid in movement of livestock, but can also serve as protection for young or small livestock when they are on pasture.
Grazing Management Tools
The lowest percentage response was grazing management tools, including grazing charts and pasture sticks, at 6%, but we feel these tools are very important especially when beginning your practice of rotational grazing. One grazier mentioned using a grazing chart which can be downloaded here. These charts are useful in planning ahead for where your livestock will be rotating to and keeping good records where you may have rotated too fast or too slow. Another grazing tool that we recommend is a pasture stick. In our Beginning Rotational Grazing post, you can read how to best utilize this tool when planning how long livestock should be in a specific paddock.
Batt-Latch automatic gate release timer was recommended by 6% of respondents. This is a useful tool for moves that occur more than once a day.
Electric Fence Tools
Gadgets that make electric fence management simpler made up the largest percentage of responses at 23%, but there are many different items in this category. Specifics mentioned included fence testing and fault finding tools as well as these Zammr handles for gate latching. Many products mentioned allowed remote monitoring of fence lines to make sure they are active to keep livestock where they are intended to be.
Geared reels can make reeling up fences much quicker and made up 9% of grazier responses. This tool helps with time efficiency and makes rotational grazing an easier process. One caution is to not use a geared reel when using a drill to pull in the fence as seen in the grazing video mentioned about.
The final type of response we received as a useful grazing gadget is stockmanship. From handling cattle with respect to low stress moving tactics, practicing good stockmanship is important to 6% of graziers in this example. There are low stress stock handling classes that can allow rotational graziers to learn the safest and most efficient ways to handle livestock when moving them from paddock to paddock.
What is your favorite rotational grazing gadget?
*PCS is not affiliated with any companies linked in this post*
August 7, 2020 - 10:18 AMAbsolutely, please do!
August 5, 2020 - 4:11 PMMy name is Geoff Pickering, I'm the Director of Marketing at Gallagher - this is a great article and research results. Would you mind if we share with full attribute to Prairie Creek Seed.