Current as of 2020-11-20 21:04:12 +0000
Our paddock layout provides the following features:
- retain rainwater
- slow water filtration
- protected area for forage crops
- habitat for lots of additional life
- wallows for the pigs who are unable to sweat
The water features are not meant to provide clean drinking water to the animals. For that we provide waterers along the animal paths.
If the paddock is large enough to hold a pond and on flatt terrain the following layout can be used.
The pond does not need to hold water through the summer drought. It’s main purpose is to catch rainwater during spring and retain it for as much time as possible. Some of it will evaporate but some will also find a way into the surrounding soil.
In A02 we saw that effect. Based on that observation we can now create it deliberately.
As there is a source of water we can plant something useful on the berm and the area around it. Each time we plant and harvest (or let the animals harvest) some plant residues will be left in the soil and thus we build up humus. That humus will then store more and more water and thus prepare the area for the summer draught.
On slope of the berm - the side facing away from the water inside the pond - we plant shrubs and trees to stabilize the berm and provide shade for the crops we want to plant in the future.
When we have pigs in the paddock we need to keep water in the pond. Pigs cannot sweat and need something to cool down.
We can take the water from the main irrigation pipe and maintain a reasonable water level for the pigs.
On sloped terrain we cannot use ponds but instead we can use a wide swale that runs along the contour of the terrain.
Similar as with a pond we can plant on the berm and below it.
We use physical fencing and electric fencing depending on purpose and situation.
Electric fencing is mostly a psychological deterrent. Animals learn that it can hurt and won’t touch it anymore. However, they need to be trained to it which means they have to experience the shock to understand what the wire means.
Physical fencing has to be strong enough to withstand the pushing or lifting forces an animal can use to destroy the fence. To an animal a fence is simply a strange sort of brush and some animals are used to push it aside. Pigs do it - as that’s their purpose in the forest - and steers also like to open up a path for the herd.
Building fences can take up a lot of time and it can also be expensive. Because of that we start with larger areas and use electric fencing. When there is time we make the areas smaller and continue with electric fence only. Over time we replace purely electric fencing with physical fencing that has electric fencing incorporated.
Electric fences can create a huge risk when riding a horse.
We can use remotely controlled fence chargers so that we can the fence off when entering an area on horseback.
Fence for main paths and the outside of a paddock
Flexible electric fencing is used to keep the animals out of the crop areas. Depending on animals present in the paddock that fence must be:
- for cows and horses:
- 3 strands at 45 cm, 80 cm, 125 cm
- for pigs:
- 2 strands at 20 cm, 45 cm
If you have a comment or a question, you may write to firstname.lastname@example.org