News & Advice

Paddock management decisions for R1 grazing calves

Jul 30, 2019 | Dry stock, Grazing youngstock

Ashley O’Driscoll, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Ngaruawahia

Grazing R1s might be the furthest thing from your mind right now. They don’t come on until December, so who’s thinking about them?

You should be thinking about them soon. As we go into spring, you will start thinking about a grazing plan for your own stock, your grazing stock, and paddocks that you will cut for supplement or plant with crop.

On some sheep/beef farms, the best grass (flattest paddocks) is kept for grazing the delicate R1s. This is generally a good idea. But remember to keep in mind that every consecutive year you graze these paddocks with calves (or calved cows), you will increase the worm burden. If it is possible, it is preferred not to graze R1 calves on the same paddocks every year. On farms where this is not an option, cross-grazing these paddocks with either mature ewes or cattle (2 years of age or older) is the next best option. Alternatively, cutting these paddocks for silage/hay in the spring can also be quite beneficial, as regrowth in these paddocks is often high quality (as long as the supplement is cut early enough to allow for sufficient regrowth).

If you have any questions about the best decisions for both your grazing R1s and the sustainability of your farm, contact your local Anexa veterinarian.

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