I would love to get more information on what you all are doing.
A bit of history: we are located in the wet tropical forest, at about 300m. We get between 4000-6000mm of rain/year. The topography is very steep and rugged; it is fairly quintessential tropical mountain terrain. We have had goats for about 5 years, primarily managing them through a cut and carry fodder system. This system is OK, and improving, especially as we find new sources of fodder and increase our stock of plants. Originally we hoped to incorporate the goats into a grazing system around orchards of Jack fruit, Nispero, Biriba, etc. In hindsight, our planning and timing of tree plantings was not well done, and looking ahead it is hard for us to envision a system of grazing goats where they do not destroy any perennial plantings. Our land does not have traditional pasture, it wants to be forest if you will.
I could list off a dozen plus questions for you, management practices, primary feed, biggest challenges, etc. Perhaps you could describe how you have incorporated the goats into your site?
Thanks in advance,
Co-Director and Farm Manager
Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica
How is your goat system getting along? I ask because we have about 25 goats here in Hawai'i and we're thinking about new ways of managing them. Right now half of the herd is out browsing on old sugar cane land that is now covered with ferns, shrubs, and "trash trees". They used to be mostly on pasture but using this marginal land seems like a good way of taking the pressure off the pastures and also maybe reducing the goats' parasite load (because they're mostly eating quite far from the ground. What's your experience been like?
Sorry - been meaning to read the Bullseye document and then compose an informed reply to you hopefully commenting on how useful it is. But so far I've just got as far as printing it out and thinking "this looks helpful"
It's a shame your goat system didn't work out (they're great animals, as I'm sure you know), but clearly you're wise to phase out the system if it wasn't right for the property. All the best!
The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron