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Tagasaste

 
Posts: 86
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
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I believe otherwise known as Canary Island Tree Lucerne.
Has anyone used this plant for chicken forage?
I'm on black peat clay in south eastern Australia, Mediterranean climate, hot dry summers,frosts are rare.
 
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I presume you mean the seeds. I imagine they would be good feed, they are shiny so presumably high in oil. Frosts don't seem to hurt them at all, at least not the ones I have seen, maybe they are naturalised though. Such a good plant for N fixing, wood and shade, as well as early flowering for bees. I have seen them absolutely covered in seed pods, and it didn't take me long to get enough to half full an ice cream container with seed, with still way more pods on the bush. I just wouldn't get too optimistic about feeding many chickens this way, aka start small. They grow fast, mine are over 6 feet tall in 18 months, still no seeds though, maybe next spring they will flower. Wattles have a similar seed, but a lot smaller, from a much bigger tree. I'd prefer tagasate over wattle if seeds are the goal because the yield per tree seems to be bigger. I took a few seeds out to my chickens, (they are never very hungry) and one came up and pecked at a seed, then spat it out, it did this a few times, then decided to eat a few. So they are edible for chickens, apparently.
 
Mark Chadwick
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Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
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Thanks Andy, seeds are only part of it. As the leaf is high in protein I am interested in if chickens will eat them too.
Perhaps fed through a chipper to shred them?
I understand that in poor soils in Western Australia they are well regarded as drought fodder for sheep. In my soil I expect to have to plant in mounds. With the clay cracking in summer here the deep rooting may mean no need for supplementary watering. Rapid growth and regrowth is an additional benefit, coppicing for feed and mulch.
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Tagasaste is a popular plant with NZ permies.
Basically repeating what Andy said:
It really doesn't like 'wet feet', coming from a dry, sandy environment.
If the drainage is good, it's a really tough plant.
I've only seen people chop and drop it for chickens, cattle and sheep-they eat it straight off the cut branches.
Other bonuses: really fast growing nitrogen-fixer
Coppices and can be used for firewood
Over here it flowers in late winter, providing bee fodder when there's not much else around.
 
Mark Chadwick
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Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
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Well I am going to try it planted on a mound. If it works I'll get back to you..... in a year or two😁
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Mark Chadwick wrote:If it works I'll get back to you..... in a year or two😁

Great! I think of it as being a very 'Australasian' permie plant-
I basically don't hear of Americans growing it...
but I've never come across anyone growing autumn olive Elaeagnus multiflora round here.
I don't think it's climate; more likely that many of the nitrogen-fixing pioneer plants can be a problem in their adopted environments.
gift
 
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