Small Acreage Livestock



The Watson Farm

The Watson Farm is an historic property owned by Historic New England and operated by farm managers, Don and Heather Minto.

The farm is located in Jamestown, RI and is a resource for pasture management and grass-based livestock production. The Mintos graze cattle and sheep.


Visit the Historic New England website for more information about the farm's revival of a heritage breed of cattle.

Pasture Management: cattle and sheep


Don Minto discusses portable electric fencing which is important for creating multiple pasture paddocks that can be grazed at the proper heights and then rested for regrowth while the cattle graze another paddock.

There are various forms of portable fence posts - usually constructed out of plastic or fiberglass that can string electric polywire as shown above. In some varieties, insulators are separate and others have a built-in area to place and secure the wire.

Don Minto demonstrates a reel of electric polywire and how to fence a new paddock.





This pasture paddock was recently grazed and is now being rested to allow for regrowth.





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Heather Minto uses portable electranet fencing to provide multiple paddocks and rotational grazing for sheep. Sheep are being moved to a new strip of grass. The fence that is being removed will be used to start a new strip ahead of the existing one. Back fencing is also used to prevent the sheep from re-grazing recent strips.

A battery powered fence charger is being used to power the electric fence.

For more information about pasture managment

Pastures, Fencing, and Watering on Small Acreages: Protecting Our Drinking Water, Families & Animals, Fact Sheet 3 of our small acreage livestock series

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service - Warwick, RI (401) 828-1300

Additional Resources on Pasture Management

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