Sunday, November 18, 2012

what's under a cow pie?

On our farm, we move those cows all the time. Small paddocks get mowed by the entire herd in just a day, and then onto the next small paddock they go.

Standard procedure is to give livestock a medication that prevents flies from hanging around, biting them, doing what flies do. We don't give this to our cows, as it kills the flies, is also a form of poison that goes through the cows system. The fly larva in the cow pies don't survive either. Fly larva? Favorite food for a chicken, and a source of protein!

A couple other things happen when we don't poison the cows/flies. Every evening we can see the birds, the native fly catchers, swoop in and eat the flies. The birds walk around the cows, stand on them, fly around them and *poof all the flies are eaten. We are feed ing the native birds too!

And while earthworms are not native to this country, they do good work displacing soil and opening up air and water ways further into the ground, in this way our soil grows, has better fertility and holds more water with each rainfall.

Native dung beetles are here too, rolling each baby up in a ball of cow poop, burying it 6 or so inches into the ground. Taking nutrients deep to where the root systems need it.

It is not yet known all that is in even a teaspoon of soil, but I'm betting it is not good to poison it,

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