Rotational Grazing from Space

Many times, we do something because we know it’s the right thing to do, even though we don’t get a lot of immediate positive feedback.

Today, I was looking to see if I could see a satellite picture of our greenhouses. When I saw the picture of our farm, I quickly forgot about the greenhouses.

I saw the fire ring I set up for cooking down maple syrup. The fence row that is now cleared was not cleared in the picture. I noticed that the chickens were in their winter quarters. The picture is from February or March of this year. If I dug through emails and my calendar, I could probably pin it down to a particular week, or maybe even a specific day. (Of course, the exact date doesn’t matter.)

Among other things, I noticed that the paths our chickens took through the pasture last summer were still very visible.  They’re green!  The entire pasture greens up later in the spring (it’s all very green now), but these images show how our mobile chickens fertilize as they go.  The layers have a less continuous track since they wander around much more. You can see that I plowed up a new vegetable plot on the north half of the area fertilized by the broilers.

Besides being useful for recordkeeping, we now know where to start this year’s chickens.  The north half of the pasture is ready for their attention!

One thought on “Rotational Grazing from Space

  1. Cindy Salo says:

    This is fascinating! Thanks for pointing this out. I’ll be looking at other farms to see if their “chicken tracks” are also visible.

    Looks as though the image Google Earth in currently using was taken Feb. 26, 2012 (bottom left corner). I only just noticed that I can click the year to the right of the image date (“1998” in your case), to see older images. A slider bar pops up in the top left corner that lets me move among image dates. There seem to be 10 image dates for your farm. Oh dear, this discovery is sure to be a big time waster…

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