I've been toying with the idea of planting Australian peas for forage and hay in one of my pastures. Has anyone tried this? Fast growing, nitrogen fixing and nutritious,let them browse it or cut it for hay. What else do you folks plant to improve pasture that can double as forage for goats?
I looked at australian pea but read it's on invasive species lists for some states and decided against it.
From what I'm reading the best forage plants are willow, poplar, and mulberry, for fast rate of growth, good nutritional value and hardiness. But you can plant what you like that grows well in your area. I'm thinking of planting a hedgerow of hazelnuts with some thronless honeylocust and some other trees mixed in just outside of the fence so the goats can prune them without killing them. Also, we're going to try growing apple trees from seed to put around in the pasture. You can get very good apples that way, and any that aren't good can just be animal feed. We started stratifying apple seeds this year but a freak windstorm dumped the lot so all were lost.
Having lived for most of the last 24 years in Australia, I am curious as to what it is you term "Australian pea" - never heard of it. Googled it, and various Australian plants came up.
I have been considering the apples in the fields for fodder, and I am hoping the part shade may also stop the grass browning off so much in summer. Having had birds strip an apple tree in a few days, however, I am a lot more partial to pears now. the birds are not touching them till the fall on the ground and ripen. I have also recently found that one of my goats loves plums - carefully chews all the flesh of the seed, then spits the seed out. These are the yellow wild plums - they will also strip the tree bare of leaves if they can get at it.
Other options that I am considering are:
-Tagasaste (Tree Lurcerne)
- Growing grape vines, kiwifruit, and berry vines along my fences, and planting hedges of blueberries, gooseberries, currents etc. - leaves for the goats and fruit for the chooks. All of these can be grown easily from cuttings.
- Carob trees - the may eat the pods.
- Feijoas (pineapple guava) - my goats would not eat the fruit, but you could maybe train them into it. (Mine won't eat pumpkin or carrots etc either - they were raised in high country open pastures)
I am planting deer browse mix in various areas for the goats. This is for winter fodder in very south Texas, where we rarely have freezes. Frost, yes.
In Missouri, the goats LOVE Autumn Olive.
Don't forget that some pit fruits are toxic to goats in the wilted state. Green is fine, dry is fine, wilted is deadly.
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
posted 7 years ago
AUSTRIAN WINTER PEAS Pisum sativum subsp. arvense
Closely related to the garden pea. On fertile soils Austrian winter pea vines will reach a length of 5 feet or more. Provides a superior soil building crop and produces good growth through colder months. Annual that improves soil when turned under in spring. Austrian peas grow through the winter months when growing conditions are often unfavorable for other crops.
Location: zone 6b
posted 7 years ago
My bad! I was thinking of Siberian pea - completely different plant! Those are invasive in parts of the US.
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