What Do Pineywoods Cattle Eat?
Pineywoods Cattle have a bio-diverse diet, it is one of the reasons why we chose to raise them. Ozark Akerz is a mix of pastures and forests and the combination of grasses, trees, and shrubs is the perfect combination for them. In fact we stopped rotational grazing, allowing them to eat what they want, when they want (food and medicine), just like their ancestors did.
What do the Pineywoods Cattle herd eat at Ozark Akerz Regenerative Farm? The answer is, all sorts, from Brambles to Walnut. We'll share what we've seen them eat, how they sometimes eat similar to Giraffes, and how our bull Rocky competes with farmer Sue to see who can pull the tastiest kudzu vine out of the trees for the cows. We'll also reveal how their appetite helps us meet some of our regenerative farming goals.
An Introduction To Endangered Heritage Breed Farm Animals
Heritage breed farm animals are an integral part of regenerative farming at Ozark Akerz, contributing to ecological and economic health each day. Heritage breeds are old-time/traditional farm animals that had a prominent role on farms of our ancestors. All the heritage breeds at Ozark Akerz have at least two jobs, from weeding to predator defense to controlling tick populations.
Heritage breeds have fallen out of favor with focus turning to industrialized farming, these historically important and resilient breeds are now endangered with extinction. This includes
The Art (And Luck) Of Taking a Farm Animal Selfie
Sometimes the story behind the photo makes it a bit more special for me. This is especially true for the selfies I attempt to get with our farm animals. The selfie above of Sue and I with our neighbors camel Sandy was to be the first of many. Being affectionate, it was actually fairly easy to get a selfie with Sandy, but that's not the case for all farm animals.
Some of the animals at Ozark Akerz, like the Cotton Patch Geese, are particularly easy to get close to. The goslings were only a few days old when we brought them to Ozark Akerz and they have firmly bonded with us as their parents. On the other hand, the Pineywoods Cattle are much more varied. Some will allow us to scratch them (a perfect opportunity for a selfie when they approach us), others want us to stay at arms length and will swing their horns to warn us not to get too close. And yet Dave, the Pineywoods that loves a scratch more than the entire herd put together, has proven the hardest to get a selfie with.
The selfie challenge with Dave is that he's pushy. He will push us around and headbutt us with that big head of his to let us know he’s ready for a scratch. Once the scratching commences, his pushiness stops, but as soon as we stop scratching the pushing starts again. If we try to walk off, he’ll follow us around; more pushing and headbutting. He's not aggressive, but it's hard to concentrate on taking a photo when you're trying to keep from being inadvertently trodden on by an overly friendly 1000 lb animal!
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