Win a copy of Bioshelter Market Garden this week in the Market Garden forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • James Freyr
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Dan Boone
  • Carla Burke
  • Kate Downham

Feeding my cows trees

 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hmm. That's a good call though it's never mentioned like cherry is, the wilted leaves do contain prunasin. Again, it's not a matter of overdoing it, just don't give them wilted leaves.

If you use a good mineral supplement, you should have to worry about the odd branch that might fall into their paddock.
 
Posts: 213
Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So is it coppicing/pollading if I'm cutting the branches in summer for animal food? I thought that traditionally these techniques were done in the winter for wood specifically when the tree is dormant. I think I'm actually doing more harm to the tree by cutting when all the energy is in the limbs. Am I wrong?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Your supposed to pollard/coppice when "rainfall exceeds evaporation" aka the wet season. I've been doing it all summer and it's been fine but we've had a good amount of rain & I've seen lots new growth.

edit - it's not pollarding if you're just cutting the branches.
 
Kevin MacBearach
Posts: 213
Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pollarding is just cutting new growth, right?

Well here in Oregon we usually get enough rain, except for a couple weeks in late summer.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kevin MacBearach wrote:Pollarding is just cutting new growth, right?



Pollarding is to cut a tree trunk at about head level. Although, according to wikipedia, Pollardingcan refer to the upper branches too. When you harvest the new growth, that's just pruning apparently.

Here's an Oak I pollarded this spring:

And what it looked like a few months later:

I did cut/prune a bit of that tender new growth for the cows (you're not supposed to give them too much oak leaves due to tannins, I think).
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was feeding my cows some Beech & Willow today in a paddock near Miss Piggy and she got all excited so I fed her some too. We have given pigs branches before but she really showed a preference for the Willow - she even ate the soft branches with the leaves, though she eventually ate the Beech too. Maybe she had a headache?
 
Kevin MacBearach
Posts: 213
Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just realized I have a couple more trees here that might, or might not be good for cows - Tulip tree and Chestnut tree. Has anyone used these for supplementing their cow's diet?
 
Posts: 22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Polarding is cutting the top of a tree out above brows height so the livestock cant help themselves ,Animals are fenced out of copiced woodland so they dont destroy your " crop " of Withies .
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
142
hugelkultur duck forest garden trees books chicken woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pollarding is actually the technique of pruning a tree back to almost the same point every 2-6 years usually dependent on the vigor of the tree. To do a proper pollard that will last as long as possible you must always make sure not to cut into the old wood (the wood from before you made the first pollarding cut) when you do your subsequent pruning, only cut the new growth back to the branch-bark-ridge. Doing this will result in a "fist" forming at the spot where you cut back to every few years. Pruning to one trunk is a single stem pollard and pruning to multiple branches is a multi-stemmed pollard. Cutting to the ground every few years is a different technique called coppicing.

When you see an old pollarded tree that has a large dead strip running down from one of the fists it's usually because somebody cut into the fist where the older wood is that is less likely to be able to heal itself. When done properly the tree can live for many many years - there are lots of examples of trees over 300 years old and a few that have made it past the venerable 1000 yr mark.
 
Posts: 49
Location: pleasant garden, nc (zone 7A)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ive been doing something very similar with just goats and sheep. since i am trying to avoid all engines i have been putting all the branches and such on contour. anything to larger to carry i cut up into firewood size or if its pine i roll it to the contour.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Drew, what species have you been feeding to the sheep/goats?
 
drew grim
Posts: 49
Location: pleasant garden, nc (zone 7A)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been doing everything. Oak, poplar, beech, hickory. We live in nc peidmont zone 7b.

I just found put that they love redbud pods though. Im thinking of collecting those for winter.

My goal is to replant my forest with trees that can feed the animals. Black locusts, wild plumb, crab apple, persimmon, mulberry, elderberry. I just ordered last year from the forest service a bunch of those.

My thoughts are to create a Savannah with natives and then do multi species grazing in it.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And the real question, how have you been feeding it to them? I've tried all sorts of different ways & I'm still not sure which way I prefer.

Go light on the Oak leaves, especially if any of the animals are lactating.
 
drew grim
Posts: 49
Location: pleasant garden, nc (zone 7A)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I cut them down and leave them. I am using electric netting. So just fence them around it. Let them eat everything then move them to the next area. Then clean up the mess without all the "helpers".

The brush goes to the nearesr brush contour line. My thought is to plant vines on the piles and let them self mulch. It will take years.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The bad thing about a brush pile like that is that it's a good place for shrubs/trees you don't want. On my property that'd be species like Japanese Barberry, Honeysuckle, and Multiflora Rose. On the flip side you could use a brush pile to protect shrubs/trees you do want.
 
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
21
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to point something out here. I don't want to be a spoil sport, but I do think it is important to note. A few of the photos I saw showing cows eating trees was cool, but I couldn't help but see that the pasture wasn't healthy...overgrazed.

Now if your pastures are overgrazed, what did you expect when you dropped a tree? Of course the cattle and sheep will come running. Keep in mind, overgrazing is a function of time, not stocking rate. There is a principle called the second bite principle. When a grazing animal trims the grass plant a couple things happen. First is a release of exudates (mostly sugars) and some fine root hairs into the soil. The microbiology of the soil uses that for food, and also obtains minerals and other nutrients from the base material of the soil (clay sand silt loess etc...) That happens within hours. Then the plant uses it's other reserves to start new shoots. Those new shoots are tasty to a cow, but it is very important NOT to let them take that second (or third or forth) bite. If left alone the grass plant will use the freed up nutrients caused by micro-organism mineralization in the rhizosphere. At the same time, the manure and trampled vegetation on top of the soil begins its process of decay with different bacteria and fungus releasing its nutrients as well. That eventually will give the grass plant a double dose of the nutrients and fertilisation it needs. It uses the stored energy in sugars plus this double dose of nutrition to grow back very lush and very nutrient rich all very quickly. (and tasty to the cow) But it isn't until much later in its growth that it has time to set back more sugar reserves (from photosynthesis). So if livestock eats that before the reserves are replenished, degradation of the grassland starts. Less reserves of sugars to feed bacteria and fungus in the rhizosphere means less bacteria unlocking nutrients from the base material (clay sand silt loess) which leads to less nutrient dense grasses that grow slower, and the result is overgrazing AND cows that are craving the more nutrient dense tree leaves and bark.

The solution? Properly use cell grazing so that the paddocks are not over grazed. (no second bites until the pasture has recovered its reserves) Time on a particular paddock needs to be a day or less ideally. Certainly by no means should a grazer be present 3-5 days later. Bring them back when the grass reaches the boot stage or later. You can still feed them some trees from time to time. Every animal like a little variety. But there is no need to make a habit of it unless you just want. Instead you can use the chop and drop method to keep the forest biome functioning better. Seeing as how the forest biome functions a bit differently than the grassland biome and needs those leaves and branches in ITS litter.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Scott Strough wrote:I would like to point something out here. I don't want to be a spoil sport, but I do think it is important to note. A few of the photos I saw showing cows eating trees was cool, but I couldn't help but see that the pasture wasn't healthy...overgrazed.
...
The solution? Properly use cell grazing so that the paddocks are not over grazed.



It's not that simple. The "pasture" was made when we had some logging done. Unfortunately the logger pushed all the topsoil off to "help us out." The topsoil was kind of thin before that.

The land is very ledgy & we are off grid. I've never gotten the cows or sheep to respect electric fencing.

Although I'm working towards finishing a few more paddocks to get a rotation happening, it's slow going. The land is heavily forested and perhaps as important, it wants to be forested. so my solution is to let it be forested with trees of my choosing. That means opening up the canopy and planting the appropriate trees.

I recently had 6 ewes escape and after 18 days of living in the woods they looked fantastic so I know the woods can support them & probably the cows too if I can get enough land fenced in.
 
Scott Strough
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is very likely. Your soil, based on where you are located, is most likely Inceptisol, and probably the subgroup Anthrepts. (inceptisol degraded by human activity like logging and/or farming) The thing is, even "virgin" Inceptisols tend to have a rather thin A horizon, although some have a relatively thick O horizon.

Pasture can create a magnificent deep fertile soil called a mollisol very quickly. But you would need to use a permaculture technique called cell grazing to accomplish this. (or just as good and maybe even better, Holistic managed planned grazing)

You can think of HMPG as permaculture for grasslands and savannas. In fact they are closely related. It was Alan Savory who developed the concept which was then introduced to Australia in an earlier form called either time controlled grazing or cell grazing, and then picked up by Bill Mollison and others and made part of permaculture. Comparing the effects of continuous and time-controlled grazing systems on soil characteristics in Southeast Queensland

The advantage to creating a Mollisol is that the SOC is deeper without tillage and much faster because grassland converts its solar energy to creating soil instead of tree trunks. This will release from the parent material (sand clay silt rock etc..) more nutrients faster, and hold them in the SOC, either living biology and/or adsorbed by the humus. A tree planted in that would grow MUCH faster and be far more healthy than a tree planted in an Anthrepts. So no need to consider it as anything but a lower successional phase (but a helpful phase) in your area.

Now as far as behavior goes. It certainly can be tough to start. But over time livestock in a cell grazing scheme become very docile. They practically move themselves daily to each new paddock...simply waiting each day for you to open the gate. But try to keep the livestock in an overgrazed paddock with single strand electric wire? Near impossible.

Good luck and well wishes from Oklahoma.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Scott Strough wrote:You can think of HMPG as permaculture for grasslands and savannas.



I don't have grassland or savanna, just a southeastern facing mountain in Vermont with lots of ledgy outcrops & 95% tree cover. It may be that pigs are a better animal for my situation, & I am experimenting with them. At least I can cell graze pigs because they will respect the electric fencing. BTW, I did go to a workshop Ian Mitchell-Innes held in Vermont. It was great, just not something I can implement in my current circumstances/landscape.

In the meantime the livestock keep surprising me. I cut some low hanging Black Locust and threw it over the fence to the sheep who basically ignored it but they did nibble at some Witch Hazel I threw in there too, just for kicks. I didn't think they would go near it with a 10 foot pole. The cows then got jealous so I had to feed them branches too.
 
Scott Strough
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cj Verde wrote:

Scott Strough wrote:You can think of HMPG as permaculture for grasslands and savannas.



I don't have grassland or savanna, just a southeastern facing mountain in Vermont with lots of ledgy outcrops & 95% tree cover. It may be that pigs are a better animal for my situation, & I am experimenting with them. At least I can cell graze pigs because they will respect the electric fencing. BTW, I did go to a workshop Ian Mitchell-Innes held in Vermont. It was great, just not something I can implement in my current circumstances/landscape.

In the meantime the livestock keep surprising me. I cut some low hanging Black Locust and threw it over the fence to the sheep who basically ignored it but they did nibble at some Witch Hazel I threw in there too, just for kicks. I didn't think they would go near it with a 10 foot pole. The cows then got jealous so I had to feed them branches too.



Yes pigs turkeys and chickens, even believe it or not domestic rabbits, could very well be a good choice and can be cell grazed with some adjustments. But please understand, I am talking about what soil you could potentially build using permaculture, not the soil currently there. I am well aware that Inceptisol is a forest soil, not a grassland soil. Forests don't have the ability to create a mollisol far as I know. But forests as well as anything else will grow well in a mollic soil if you were to artificially create it using permaculture. Just a thought. Either way, it is obvious that the land is overgrazed. So figuring out how to rest the land in your pastures would need to be done. Somehow you need to figure out how to keep the animals off it until it reaches the boot stage. If that means putting them into the forest until the grass is ready, or feeding them trees...great.
 
Posts: 5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi there.not sure where the idea of maple being toxic came from. Have been cutting sugar maple aapli mg s and hanging them in the barn rafters to dry for winter feed supplement for years. Cows and goats love them.
Lots of minerals and trace elements.
The comments on rotational grazing and move stocking are right on. It is incredibly hard to implement if you don't have the right infrastructure though. I would suggest pigs in rotation with chickens. Then follow with cows and sheep 1 to 2 years later. Meanwhile leave the cows in the woods.
My cows like the pig pastures best.
Protect the trees you want and let them have at it with the rest. Feed hay year round to supplement and be fore you k ow it you have awesome soil and pasture. Then put the pigs in and see what happens.
I am in central VT and am restoring abused pasture with pigs chickens and cows.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

niko horster wrote:Hi there.not sure where the idea of maple being toxic came from.
...
I am in central VT and am restoring abused pasture with pigs chickens and cows.



Howdy! I hope you'll start a project thread to describe your set up in more detail.

Briefly, it is only wilted maple (& cherry) that is toxic. Perhaps not an issue if the livestock have a good mineral supplement. The science involved is posted higher up in the thread.

 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a reminder on the poisoning issue. Maples have a similar issue.

Cj Verde wrote:

"The leaves of the wild cherry trees, especially wilted ones, can kill livestock by depriving them of oxygen," said Hobbs. "Wild cherry trees leaves and twigs contain prunasin, a cyanide that when ingested, can be fatal."

The poison becomes harmful when the leaves are exposed to stress that causes them to wilt. The wilting breaks down the prunasin and releases the cyanide.

Cattle and horses are the main victims of poisoning by wild cherry trees. Symptoms include gasping, weakness, excitement, dilated pupils, spasms, convulsions, coma and respiratory failure.


That's from a site that recommends getting rid of the wild cherry with herbicides.

But...
This is from Brett Chedzoy, a silvopasture expert:

We've yet to experience toxicity issues with any of our animals (including the horses) from eating tree fodder (including red maple and cherry), but that doesn't mean there isn't a significant risk and EVERYONE should ease into this one. Some of the things that we do to minimize the risks are:

1. keep animals +/- continously exposed to sources of browse so that their curiosity of something novel doesn't compel them to gorge
2. make sure there's plenty of other stuff to eat (like forages) - not just a couple of maple tops inside a small electronet paddock. Livestock are often able to dilute or neutralize toxins if they have a diverse diet of other plants and plant compounds.
3. A balanced mineral mix seems to help (and plenty of fresh water). A local cattleman here had prussic acid (wilted cherry) poisoning issues here a couple of falls ago. Vet finally determined it was linked to selenium deficiency (the cows were only receiving white salt blocks)
4. Stressed animals are usually going to be more susceptible than healthy ones
5. I haven't found any information comparing the nutritional quality of tree leaves over the course of the growing season, but suspect they maintain a fairly high level of crude protein until they start to change color in the fall

 
pollinator
Posts: 320
Location: New Zealand
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I feed willow and poplar to our cows each Autumn. It's very useful if we have a drought, but even I we don't it gives them a beneficial dose of tannins to keep internal parasites low. Another plant I feed a little is tagasaste. It's a drought tolerant legume but the cattle prefer the willow and poplar. I cut and carry it because, at this stage, we don't have the trees in paddocks, but I would like to plant a lot more in areas where I can just chop and drop from pollarded trees. Most of the poplars are being grown as timber trees so what the cttle are eating is the prunings and autumn is when the tree needs pruning which fits nicely with when the cattle often need the extra feed.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sue Rine wrote:I feed willow and poplar to our cows each Autumn. It's very useful if we have a drought, but even I we don't it gives them a beneficial dose of tannins to keep internal parasites low.



I have not heard that about Willow & Poplar - mainly Oak & Conifers. The Conifers may have a different anti-parasite element other than tannins though.
 
Posts: 11
Location: Northern Nevada zone 5b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cj Verde wrote:So my cows seem to be as picky and fineky about food as the rest of my family:-(

The other day I cut the new tops of a staghorn summac which they have happily eaten in the past. In a weird role reversal, the calves were happy to eat it but the older ones were not, particularly the bull who refused it entirely. I cut them down a few small beech trees and let them into that paddock and they did a great job of striping the leaves off.

The next day I let them back into the first paddock and what do you think they did? They dug right into that staghorn summac in the feeder, particularly Frank(futer) the bull!



Maybe since it wilted, something in it changed, like some other plants are more thoroughly enjoyed after wilting... can't think right now on what they are called but perhaps that is why?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pretty sure they've eaten them fresh before & the sheep definitely like them fresh.

They also want what they can't have. I threw some witch hazel in to my sheep who surprised me by nibbling a bit. The cows started mooing " hey, where's my witch hazel?" Not something they'd normally eat.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Getting towards the end of the tree season - except for conifers which I do like to give them occasionally during the winter for fresh greens and anti-parasite properties. They ditched their hay for this popular.
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 320
Location: New Zealand
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are those Galloways you have there? We have belted Galloways, mostly black and a few red.
Really interesting to see the range of trees you're feeding to them.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mini Belted Galloways. 3 year old male is about 800 lbs. They are better at eating browse than most cows so that probably helps.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been noticing that the coppiced trees hang on to their leaves longer & stay greener longer than un-coppiced ones. Look at how green this willow is compared to the yellow leaves of the trees right next to it:


The same is true for this pollarded oak.

About 2/3s of the leaves have turned but look at the Oak behind it - the leaves are way past turned, they've dried up and most have fallen.

I wonder if the pollarded trees will leaf out earlier in the spring? Stay tuned.
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 320
Location: New Zealand
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's an interesting observation. Trees that naturally lose their leaves later tend to leaf later, eg Lemon verbena can hold it's leaves until late winter but then it doesn't leaf again until late spring...right about when I think it might have died! But it will be interesting to know what these trees do.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It seems like there are three ways to feed tree fodder to livestock.
1. Cut and carry.
2. Cut and let them pick of the leaves and leave the mess for you to clean up.
3. Don't cut and let them browse.
I pollarded a bunch of Oaks last year and they look great. Here's a before & after pic (about 3 days):
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A year into my pollarding experiments have yielding mixed results. For sure trees getting adequate sunlight do better. I have no idea why the tree on the left is doing so much better than the tree on the right. Maybe over time the results will equal out as the one on the right is starting to leaf out. I think this is a hickory but I have a tough time distinguishing them from Ash. My original thought was to use these pollards as living fence posts.

 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About 2 weeks ago I went to a tree fodder seminar in Maine. It was pretty good and spurred me on towards tried to make some sheaves and dry them. Here's a pic of a rack of Red Maple sheaves drying. The sheaves were covered with Witch Hazel and Fir boughs.

We made the rack during the workshop.

Here's another pic of Shana Hanson tying up a sheaf. She used a young branch to tie it.
Leaf-hay-rack-with-fir-roof-favorite-pic..JPG
Leaf hay rack
Leaf hay rack
Shana-firming-down-sheaves-onto-stickery-ends-of-the-lower-layer..JPG
firming down sheaves
firming down sheaves
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made a rack last week and tried a few different species: Ash, Poplar, Elm, Beech.

Everything looked great but a week later it was clear that I needed to choose a shadier spot and I should have put the stem sides facing south. I'm not sure how usable these will be.
IMG_1494.JPG
I made a rack last week and tried a few different species: Ash, Poplar, Elm, Beech
I made a rack last week and tried a few different species: Ash, Poplar, Elm, Beech
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also put some sheaves in with the hay and they are drying better. I made a 2nd rack deeper in the woods and I'm storing Striped Maple there. Looks good so far.
IMG_1506.JPG
I made a 2nd rack deeper in the woods
I made a 2nd rack deeper in the woods
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Did a 2 part interview with Nick Ferguson of Homegrown Liberty on this very topic.

http://www.homegrownliberty.com/e0031-fodder-trees-carolyn-sloane-part-1/
 
Posts: 15
Location: Spacecoast Florida
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anyone tried this in the subtropics/tropics? I have coastal willows and mulberry which have been mentioned, silver maple, long leaf / slash pine, crape myrtle, short scrubby privets and firebush, banana, papaya, bamboo, and lots of nitrogen fixing leguminous trees.
I'm guessing a good rule is "if people can eat it, most likely animals can too"? Firebush is edible and has edible berries and several hibiscus varieties are also.
In a related thought, could the willows, bamboo and maybe even rose bushes make good living fences? Someone mentioned using pollarded trees as fence posts. Could something like willow be grown close enough so they are the fence? Then you could just go along and cut off the tops and drop them to one side or the other of the living fence?
As I don't have and have never worked with cows...Will cows eat fruit?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mulberry is used in the tropics. The pic is of Mulberry on contour, cut and carried to goats. They get 3 cuttings / year.

Plenty of living fence threads on permies. Willow is a good choice.

Cows, like all farm animals love apples. Acorns too tho you have to limit them. I'm not sure what other fruits they eat but if they eat apples, they probably eat lots of others.
Mulberry-for-goats.png
[Thumbnail for Mulberry-for-goats.png]
 
They gave me pumpkin ice cream. It was not pumpkin pie ice cream. Wiping my tongue on this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!