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Is there a "breaking point" in the number of animals and land needed?

Is there such a thing as too many animals put in an area to try to revitalize it? How large of an area is needed to keep the animals moving? If you keep a large number of animals in a space, there will eventually be a reversal, causing what we all think we know about livestock and farmland. So what's the correlation between number of animals and amount of land needed so that it is benificial, not detrimental?

Fasinacting research!

  • Apr 6 2013: Richard is right. There is a system to control the numbers. Too many will indeed be damaging. If you are interested, suggest you look up Bruce Ward was Australia's version of Allan Savory, having been coached by Allan. He was an outstanding teacher. Sadly, Bruce passed away last year. His son David has very generously made his notes and video's available on a website as a legacy to his amazing dad..
  • Apr 4 2013: I think that is part of his system, he uses some sort of decision management approach to find the right number of animals for the right length of time to use on the land. There is some reference to this in the comment about sigmoid in the brief Q&A at the end of the talk.
  • Mar 28 2013: Australian settlers bought sheep and cattle. They cleared all the trees and planted English grasses for their animals. Before long Australia was turning into desert, top soil blown away and fields turning to widening gully erosion. My uncle was one of the first farmers to bring the Asian Brahman cattle here which did much better in heat and eating native grasses.

    Nowadays farmers are replanting trees and more native Australian grasses. The cloven shape hoof is very destructive on soils so needs to roam frequently and far ranging to let grasses and soil recover.

    In Alice Springs middle of Australian desert an Indigenous group grows lettuce and tomatoes under shadecloth hydroponically. Also selling/growing well are NATIVE 'bush tomato' kakadu plum, lemon aspen all taking less water and developed bananas and mangoes to grow in our climate with permaculture.

    Australias blue green algae, bank erosion, no water flowing into the third state of one of our largest rivers was due to too many farmers. Costing a lot of money now to buy back the water rights.

    Is the answer less cattle and more of the above ? I hear it takes a lot more water to grow cattle than fruit/vegetables.

    As a pensioner I cannot afford meat very often maybe once or twice a fortnight or none, have lost weight and feel much better now am almost a vegetarian.
  • Mar 26 2013: Of course there can be too much. He did not realize the symbiotic relationship between livestock and their grazing land. We are trying to get the best results through rapid rotation. Graze what can be eaten quickly and get the livestock off. That requires good fences and adult human supervision.