Shade and Water for Rotational Grazing

One of our blogger friends/fellow aspiring farmer left some great questions in a comment on our Of Guineas and Guard Dogs post. You can see the questions in the comment section, but here's the gist of it:

I was kind of astounded by the idea of using a poultry tractor for shade for larger grazing animals. One issue we've had with the fence is that since it's SO hot and humid here and since the majority of our pasture is just that- pasture- with no trees, the sheep get very overheated if we leave them in all day. We've taken to letting them sleep in there if it's not going to storm and graze until about noon. Then we bring them in the barnyard for a siesta. Later on we put them back out.

How tall is your tractor (note: tractor is short for chicken tractor, or guinea mobile in this instance)?Do you think one needs to be a minimal height to provide shade?

Also, do you have any creative ideas for transporting water to the far parts of the pasture? Right now we're still experimenting with how much they'll eat in how little time, so we've kept them close to the house. But in the future they won't be within reasonable walking distance to carry gallons and gallons of water by hand.

Shade for the Goats on Pasture

Firstly, I think that bringing the animals in and out of the barn if you don't have an option for shade is a great idea. The animals need shade. There's A LOT of farmers around here that disagree and do not always provide shade for the animals. I don't fall in that camp. 

Guineas enjoying the new veranda

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Putting Our Water Through the Wringer

Image couresy of The Virtual Dime Museum:

We spent some time detailing the importance of water and, more specifically, rainfall in our determination of where to farm. Access to an adequate and clean water supply was also critical. What we haven’t talked about is just what it takes for us to get our water clean. We are on a well with no access to public water. Upon opening the kitchen faucet on our first visit we were nearly floored by the smell the sulfur in the water. For anyone that’s smelled sulfur water you’ll never forget it. Imagine a strong odor of rotten eggs and the shock of a dutch oven

After some testing was done last November we learned that the water is highly ferric (lots of iron) and moderately sulfuric. In addition, there’s high levels of many other minerals (magnesium, etc) and the grains of hardness is off the charts at 18-22 grains.
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