At Circle W Ranch our desire is to improve the land and the habitat. In an effort to meet this goal, we practice regenerative ranching methods. One key component to this style of ranching/farming is the implementation of a rotational grazing format. Allan Savory was/is one of the foremost figures in bringing this style of grazing to the US.
At CWR, our cattle are rotated more frequently in smaller pastures, replicating what great herds of animals do in the wild. This has proven to be greatly beneficial both to the land and the animals.
Diversity For Grazers
When our cattle graze smaller pastures in large numbers, it naturally creates a competitive environment. Consequently, the cattle forage on many plants they would otherwise avoid. Our cattle receive a balanced diet under this format of grazing.
Rotational grazing also increases and stimulates the variety of forage in a pasture. As the cattle forage on every plant in the pasture, the perennials increase in number and the annuals become fewer over time. Annual weeds are naturally eliminated, and nutritional diversity for grazers is increased.
Rebuilding the soil
Another benefit of our rotational grazing format, is that our herds are actually helping to rebuild the soil! When our cattle work through smaller portions of pasture, they are also knocking down and trampling on some of the feed. This plays an important role in the health of the land. As the trampled feed breaks down, it becomes organic matter. This organic matter helps to cover any open areas where there aren't plants, lessening the spread of weeds. Organic matter also holds moisture when we get precipitation, and helps protect the soil from the hot sun. Over time, broken down organic matter helps to increase soil depth. We've actually seen areas that had no soil (only rock) be healed and grow lush grasses and clovers!
Breaking the Cycle of Parasites
Rotational grazing also plays a big part in the breaking of the cycle of parasites. When our cattle are moved from a pasture, not to return for at least a month, it helps break the 21 day cycle of parasites. This drastically reduces the parasite issues in animals. For example, we produce approximately 3% of the beef butchered by our local abattoir. But because we use rotational grazing practices, it is not uncommon to annually produce 33% of the healthy livers that come from the butcher. No need for harsh chemicals...just one of the many benefits of regenerative ranching!