Miya Tabor wrote:My husband and I are preparing to get goats and I have been reading up on this as well. I am curious as to whether I need to be worried about bloat? I've read a good amount of material saying to feed hay before they head out to pasture, is this because these goats are only getting grass, and not as a primary food source? Are their bodies just used to hay?
Yes. Unless they are already huge. Anything you plant in reach, they will pick at, even if they don't particularly like it, until it's gone unless there are parts of it they can't reach. If it's already a big, mature tree, it might be ok since they may not strip the bark and they can't reach all the leaves. Mine have never met any fruit tree (I have lots of volunteers in my woods) that they didn't love, bark and all. My neighbor's goats girdled their mature fruit trees, even though they were wrapped in wire and those are well-fed goats.
Anybody know if goats destroy pine? oak? pecan? or fast growing firewood trees?
Yes. Not on purpose, the little boogers.
Has anyone fed goats hops?
Yes, again, not on purpose.
Anyone feed their goats amaranth?
My county fair has a goat exhibit every year where they take one of those pre-built wooden sheds (with asphalt shingles) and build ramps or steps up to each of the eves. The goats climb up the steps/ramp, onto the roof, and down the other side. Their steps are made of small boulders on one side, and a wooden ramp on the other, but you could use any number of other material. (Do keep in mind how you might want to clean the whole system, as you can be sure they will poo on it.) You could even include a rough section to help wear down their hooves so you don't have to trim as often. The goats seem to really enjoy it, and so do the people watching.
Renate Haeckler wrote:They do the opposite of what you want, imho. Ours started out as bottle babies and they rarely forage much - stay in the corral waiting for us to come out again. And I know others who have the same problem - the goats stay closest to the humans and don't go in their nice big pasture with all the food. If you are too much of a "herd leader" they'll not go anywhere without you - unless, of course, you DON'T want them to.
kadence blevins wrote:
have you heard of moringa trees?
i am just getting into them (waiting on my seeds to start) but they seem like they will work super good for small steads. fast growing, super nutritious, easy to grow, droughtproof. only problem with it is its a more warm weather tree but i'm in ohio and gonna try it and see how it does. maybe work on growing a bunch that do ok up north here.
though, again you wouldnt want these planted in the goat area or else they wont last long. so grow and feed them cuttings.
not sure your location. if you are interested i can dig up the links and things for you.