Last Sunday with the air and temperatures turning we turned out the hogs. Our three sows (who were outside all winter) were taken to a new, greening pasture. Hog Heaven if you ask them. They love grass. And digging. We have a sacrifice pasture that they mull over and dig up until the corn fields are finished for them to work. In this pasture they will farrow and raise their piglets.
We also put out the laying flock on Monday and Tuesday. We have two sets of layers so I moved them in two houses on two days, but into the same field. They have taken to grass as I figured they would. It is mowed right off. Most people would underestimate the diet of a chicken. Most think they are grain eaters, but they are far from it. Once on pasture our hens eat about 40% less grain than in the winter coop. They are in a field of wheat we had planted for a cover crop last year. We will pull them off of it when we seed it down in the very near future. It is fun to see the transition of their eggs. They have already, in 5 days, begun to turn that bright orange that a range-fed yolk will carry.
I turned the cows out yesterday. I had hoped to hold off another week, but could not do it. Needless to say they hit the pasture with their heads down and never looked back to the barn.
It is nice to know that everyone is outside enjoying the fresh air and grass. Now comes the work, though. The daily rotations of pasture for the animals. It is important that they are moved throughout our pasture to keep the grasses growing healthy and the animals happy!