Sheep and Cattle:
Paddock and pasture mixes are not limited to those with equine animals, at Phoenix Amenity Supplies Ltd, we offer a range of seed mixes to match the areas that are required.
Paddock mixes can also be an excellent combination for those with a sheep and cattle enterprise. According to Farming Connect (February 2013)
“Grazed grass is the cheapest feed for ruminant livestock and when well managed can supply more than 90% of the energy requirements for sheep and beef cattle and 70% for dairy cows. Good grazing management is based on keeping the ryegrass plant leafy and actively growing whilst matching grass supply to livestock needs.”
Over grazing is often a problem when farmers choose not to rotate the grazing areas that are available for the livestock. Compared to Equine grazing pastures, it is preferred to include sweet grasses such as top rated tetraploid rye grasses in grazing paddocks for Beef and Dairy Cattle to create exceptional levels of high sugar content, this can then encourage lactation in dairy cattle. Phoenix’s Dedicated Grazer Grass Seed Mixture which is NEW for 2015 has a high tetraploid content to allow for greater grazing quality and the encouragement of clover.
A good pasture mix for beef cattle often includes clover, this is because it is high in protein and are ideal for animal performance, and it also requires less fertiliser. Another benefit of clover for cattle and sheep is that it is more palatable and easily digestible.
Small leaved White clover is great for persistent close grazing animals such as sheep, whereas the larger variety is more suitable for cattle as it struggles to cope with close, constant grazing.
Pony and Paddock:
A good Pony and Paddock Mix would provide a dense, hard wearing sward which will provide the paddock with many years of grazing, as well as being suitable for hay / silage production.
These mixes often include creeping red fescue which would help to minimise damage to the paddock.
To create a natural meadow suitable for horses, it is important to avoid certain species of grass and wildflowers that can cause health issues. Two of the most common issues with grazing paddocks for horses are Laminitis and digestive complications.
Laminitis symptoms include stiffness or lameness causing the horse to stand back on its heels. The horse is often reluctant to move due to the hoof becoming very sensitive.
Causes of Laminitis: caused by poor digestion from eating rich grass, which has often been fertilised, this can be very dangerous, especially for overweight horses / ponies. Some species of grass, such as clover, are more dangerous than others due to the high level of sugars they contain called “fructans”. These high levels of sugars are not able to be broken down and digested properly in the digestive system, this then results in the food producing toxins and acids which then eventually “leak” into the rest of the body, working its way down to the feet. When these blood vessels in the hooves are damaged from the excess acid, the blood flowing down to the sensitive laminae is reduced and they become swollen and become very painful and uncomfortable for the horse.
When the laminae is affected, it cannot do its job properly at stabilising the pedal bone, and it is this that causes the pain. It is rare that the grass that the horses have been eating is not the cause of the laminitis.
How to Avoid Laminitis: It is important to check the mixes that you are applying to your ponies paddocks to ensure that there are a good natural herb mix – see our Mixed Herbs – to reduce the risk of laminitis.
Phoenix Amenity Natural Meadow and Laminitics Grass Seed mix has the perfect combination of specific herbs which aim to reduce this risk, it does not create bulk, but it does provide the vital vitamins and minerals in a natural form for the animals. We do not include any tetraploid Rye Grass varieties in this mix because it can be detrimental to equine species digestive systems due to the sugar content.
If you need any more information then we have created a series of help pages and guides.
Alternatively, you can contact us here.