That got me thinking about the possibilty of planting apples in a cow field so they get some extra food.
I then read that eating apples can cause bloat in Cows and kill them.
Does anyone have experience here, because I have blind faith in Bill, but I dont want dead cows in the future.
But it seems like goats might be an easier option than planting an apple for the cows-- if you use an electric net fencing around the brambles they'll happily eat them down. I just had my goats around some blackberries for a week or two in the snow which they ate exclusively. The indication they were finished was when they jumped out from the fence and followed me back home. About 95% of the blackberries were eaten and the goats had fresh winter feed!
Peter Fishlock wrote:That got me thinking about the possibilty of planting apples in a cow field so they get some extra food.
You've got that backwards, mate. You want to let cows into an orchard (at the appropriate time). In fact, this seems to have been SOP in GB way back when, but they were standard sized apple trees.
My plan is to plant a few apple trees (and chestnut, mulberry, honey locust) just outside my paddocks so the apples can fall in for the cows/pigs/sheep to eat but the trees can grow undisturbed.
Here's a few to get started.
The black walnut largely outperformed the honey locust, however honey locust also provides mast and fodder itself. My guess as to why the walnut allowed more productive pasture below was root competition and possibly a latter leaf-out time?
Peter Fishlock wrote:Hi, I was watching t PDC done by Bill Mollison, and he was talking about planting a apple tree amongst blackberries or brambles then letting the cows in to eat the apples they trample to un wanted thorny bushes to death.
I've mentioned this in other threads, but my cows demolished the blackberries without being bribed with apples. It's got to be a breed that likes to forage. Mine are Belted Galloways.
I'm thinking of planting some apple trees on one of the pasture hillsides to help against erosion and provide a bit of a wind break (plus some tasty cider for me too!). Letting cows eat up any fallen apples will help reduce some apple diseases & pests too. I think my plan is going to be to set up a perimeter of portable electric fence with a solar charger around the young trees until they're established.
I've heard of people making a ring out of a cattle panel to put around a tree, but I would think the cows would end up knocking that around too if it wasn't electrified (especially if you have a bull... they seem to like to play soccer with anything they can). Or, you could plant them in the corners of your pasture, and protect them with a temporary fence across the corner until they're big enough. Although, that wouldn't let you plant a lot a trees.
On a side note: cherry trees aren't so good for pastures, because the leaves can be toxic to cattle (especially after a frost).
I started by doing the same size circles in a circle surrounding a circle, then I made the inner circle smaller as its role was purely to move the animals from one paddock to another. then when I started to connect the circles something really funny happened, the pattern resembled a flower!!! this was not my intention to start with.
I was happy with this as Bill says things work better if it represents a pattern that occurs naturally somewhere or other.
So to talk you through.
My goal is to field as many animal as I can on the given land, my modal is based on a 4 acre plot but you can expand or make it smaller to fit.
there are 6 paddocks each with there own shelter probably much like sepps modal. In each paddock there is a raised chicken arc so the chickens can be safe at night, this is so the chickens can scratch through the animal poo, removing parasites such as intestinal worms, lungworm and other stuff. So each paddock will have its own ground bird population. each paddock is surrounded by a live barrier, ash trees can be grown coppiced and when the coppice grows, they can be layed to create a live barrier/ fodder, so the barrier is the food also, other plants other than ash can be used as to make sure the animals have a varied diet.
Each paddock is to be planted with over 20 different species of grass, this is so the animals can stay outside All year round without chewing up the ground. see fordhall farm part of video a farm for the future.
put simply most farms now use 4 different types of grass, whereas if you have alot more species the grass grows at different rates and has different root strengths and depths, and grows better, this mixed with clover and other wild plants that suits your animals dietry needs.
Additionally to this each paddock twins up as an orchard, the orchard should have as many different type of fruit tree as possible or any you know that would suit the animal, apples, maybe pear nuts etc. these trees will flourish from the poos of the cattle and chickens. The animals will eat the windfall and you ca eat the harvest, windfall from paddocks that doesnt currently have animals in can be made into cider or fed to the animals.
as you see the outside of the flower pattern there is a circle which on the drawing I have put as willow coppice as have design this to go as part of an eco comminity that has fuel needs, but these too could be forage or fodder for the animals, the whole idea of this is to be able to complete feed these animals all year round.there are triangle shaped inbetween the paddock and the outside which could be used as rotational pig area or just areas to grow stuff.
I havent put it in the diagram but I would also introduce a 2 swale /dam system that goes through 3 paddocks then another 3 paddock below. the dams would be outside of the design but they back flow into the swales at the desired height of the designer, the top swale dam would then over flow into the lower swale, dame system providing water all year for the animals harvested purely from the land and then push it out hyper fertilized to other growing systems.
Using this principle I would start small regarding animal population and build up!! you can then monitor and decide if your size system can handle more animals. I would imagine that each paddock size and how many naimals in each paddock would determine how long you live them in there for. At most I would have 3 paddocks with animals in at anyone time then rotate given 3 at rest aswell. because the barrier if food and the windfall is food, it will mean they wont eat the grass quite as fast or even half as fast.
I have not put this to practice but will do one day.
All opinions and criticisms welcome
I havent read the Introduction to permaculture by bill yet, I just watched most of the PDC, the problem I have, is my brain is a manic one, and I have to take information in really fast or I lose it and my concentration with it, when Bill does a lesson quite oftenly he will go off on a tangent and tell a story, and ALL of the stories are normally really educational and funny, but for some reason it disrupts my train of thought and some times sends me to sleep because He has a really warm voice and its like being read a bed time story, and because I watch the pdc last thing at night eek. On Geoff Lawtons lesson I bing awake because the info comes in just right. Saying that I wouldnt have them stories moved because they are just gold and I know once I have done a PDC that I will look through that to old bill just for the stories.
back to cows and apples, essentially you could still use the principles and the feeding in any field, planting ash and other things they eat for the barrier, fruit and nuts in the field and Lots and Lots of different grasses and ground plants they like. I wonder if the beef would taste better?
its funny in nature i think when you come across these things.
thanks for sharing that with us, I cant imagine seeing a bear let alone a drunk bear!!
But this happens only when the frost comes early, and still a lot of apples under the trees. Such happens about once every five years.
Wild life is a major attraction for tourists to our sites. While apples are a major attraction for wildlife. It is also important to consider when planting apple trees... Because all neighboring raccoons, deer and bears will move under your apple trees... The deer are tearing electric fence and then go into the wilderness with your cattle ... Raccoons will know that you have chickens and will collect eggs before you ... And from the bears there are a lot problems ... My advice is not to plant apple trees close to sensitive sites.
probably not a huge risk, but something to think about.
I'm also going to say acidosis not drunk, with regard to animals eating too many apples. They appear drunk, and slow and uncoordinated, maybe even unable to stand. The best cure is 1/2cup baking soda dissolved in water, administered orally, for a cow. I nearly had two cows die from this when they got out and went awol. I got advice from a vet, an am glad I did.
Cows are just an animal that can eat themselves to death. They can get bloat from clover or alfalfa, or a few other plants. It's my opinion that you actually need to be very aware of what, and how much they are eating, at all times.