ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Four Reasons Multi-species Grazing is Better

Updated on September 28, 2019
kevin.howell profile image

Kevin is a third-generation livestock farmer with a passion for sustainable farm management, holistic practices, and multiple enterprises.

Parasite Control

Livestock parasite infestations can reap dramatic effects on your profits and sanity. They effect weight gain and overall health of the animal sometimes resulting in death. Mult-species grazing in a rotational system can eliminate parasitic problems and even eliminate the need to use wormers and other means yielding your farm or homestead more profitable. An even greater advantage to grazing multiple species is that most livestock do not share the same parasite. This one advantage will gain the livestock producer time and money. There no longer will be a need to gather up the animals and medicate them. The added time and money can be better served on management of other problems.

Better Pasture

Multi-species grazing increases pasture diversity perhaps better than any other grazing system. All livestock species prefer to eat different things. Cattle graze, sheep graze and browse some, while goats browse mostly and graze some. For example, consider a simple system of managing cattle and goats on pasture. In this example let’s say cattle get first dibs on the pasture and eat the grass and legumes. The goats follow, cleaning up the pasture of invasive species like iron weed, giving the grass and easier recovery for the next time it is grazed. In a pasture where cattle are solely used, these invasive plants compete with the preferred vegetation making it less efficient. By adding goats the grazer is given another management tool and can significantly increase profits. Livestock species numbers can be fluctuated when needed to increase diversity of other plant species.

Manure Dispersal

As a young man, and still to this day my favorite job on the farm was spreading manure. I knew it was a job that paid dividends. Today I have a greater understanding as to why this is the case. Simply put, manure is a great fertilizer, but on a microscopic level it is an unbelievable one. Tiny microbes in the soil harness this energy putting it where the roots can have access. In addition, worms and dung beetles process and bury this waste to be used by the soil microbes and plants. In a multi species grazing system you have more animals distributing manure on the land further enriching the soil. It’s a win/win for all. The microbes love It and the population of them can explode. The plants benefit from it causing the animals to have a more diverse and abundant diet. The livestock producer is the last to benefit by the profit increase each year.

More Bang for your Buck

A single animal grazing system has very little opportunity to increase profits unless land is added. By grazing multiple species one can raise the profit margin by increasing the total number of animals grazed. Otherwise, you are limited and must resort to feedlots, more fertilize, and additional feed sources such as hay and grain, None of these additional cost are felt when adding another species. Its exactly like you gain a whole other farm. You gain another enterprise to sell each year for the same cost, and can actually see an increase in the stocking density of the initial species due to the added soil health and increased plant diversity. I don’t know about you but I’ll take free pasture any day of the week.

Multi species grazing is a wonderful way to increase profit, management capabilities, animal health, and soil health and diversity. With the exception of the banker, feed store and pharmaceutical companies, it really is a win/win for all. Give it a try; you’ll be glad you did.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)