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This is a discussion on pasture within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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    01-19-2007, 06:38 AM

Good morning. I need a bit of help. Here. I recently (last year) bough roughly 5 acres that I ave 3 horses on. For the last few months i've been feeding the hay (due to the lack of graxing of course). Btw, i'm in s.c. Do I need to fertilize the pastures come early spring or can I just reseed......i hoping on just the latter...reseed.
Thanks in advance to any help.
P.s. The pastures are fescue.
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    01-19-2007, 11:07 AM
Malf. Not knowing where you are makes this answer kind of general but unless you are in a low area with a lot of sub irragation 3 horses on 5 acres is just a little bit much. Espacially in the summer unless you have the means to irragate. You can over seed the pasture but you will have to take the animals off of it untill the grass gets established. Make sure if you do seed you do not use an anual unless you plan on re seeding every spring. You mentioned fertilizeing. Again you will have to take your animals off untill the the fertilizer is washed in compleatly. Some fertilizers especially the nitrates are deadly to stock. Good luck. Lonnie
    01-21-2007, 10:18 AM
You can also cut the pasture in half. Put them on one have for a month or so and then put them on the other. This was each half gets a break and never completely eaten down. If I am not mistaken the general rule of thumb is one acre per horse - so I think you should be fine. I have roughly 2.5 acres that I am going to fence for my two. It will be cut in half so I can monitor how low they eat it. If I see that they need more area then I will open both sides up to them.

The other thing is if you cut it in two to keep them off one side of the pasture, if you see that they are eating it down too far, stick a bale of hay in each side for them to have as well.

Just my opinion - hope it helps.

    01-21-2007, 10:49 AM
Samantha you are right on animals per. Ac. But this is why I asked whitch part of the country they were in. We measure the animal per ac. By a cow calf ratio. In places like the NW. On the west side of the mountains it is 1 ac. Per cow calf pair. Down here on the Sonoran desert it figures at about 100 ac. Per cow calf pair. They figure this is the area needed to grow enough forage to sustain the mamma and let her raise a healthy calf.

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