How can grazing heal land?

There are people that promote looking at land management as more of a whole system.  In particular I am interested in how grazing animals can help the land.  See

However the challenge for me is how to apply this on just a few acres.  I have read about Dexter Cattle, which is a smaller breed and thought of getting one.  But even if I could create 3 acres of good pasture, I don’t think it would be enough to feed it for the winter so I would have to buy feed.

I’ve also considered a pig or a couple of goats.  Goats would be ideal because they eat such a variety of plants, however fencing costs would be higher.  It is jokingly said that if a fence can’t hold water it wont hold a goat.  I understand that the problem can be reduced by moving the goats frequently to a new area.

Pigs tend to dig around which could be a good thing, creating areas for water to seep into the ground.  The conventional wisdom is that pigs don’t eat grass, but there are those that have tried raising pigs in a pasture that contest this claim.  Plus a piglet would be cheaper to buy than a Dexter calf.

I don’t think I will be able to put animals on this land until spring of 2012, so I have time to read up on things before I make a decision.

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