Yes, there have been significant changes at the Birdwell & Clark Ranch since the website was launched.
First, the drought of 2011 forced Emry to combine the three herds mentioned in the original website text into one big herd. He did so because we were running out of grass and the pastures needed as much rest as possible. This resulted in one herd of 3,300 head. Emry moved this herd as many as 3 - 4 times a day depending on the size and condition of the paddock. Those first days were full of excitement, intense concentration, and pure joy watcing the herd adjust to the new routine. We were able to hold out until August '11 when the last of the cattle were sold and shipped due to the dry, dry conditions.
Late fall and early winter rains provided the opportunity to start restocking and for the range conditions to improve dramatically. The benefits on range conditions resulting from the long period of rest were evident. Based on this experience, Emry decided to run just one herd again this year. Currently, the herd is comprised of almost 5,200 steers. Cattle move 3 - 4 times a day in an orderly, expectant manner. It is a sight to behold!
This grazing plan provides a minimum of 60 days rest for each paddock. The rest and animal impact dynamically show beneficial results on the forage and overall range condition. Recent rains have, of course, extended the first shipping dates to mid July.