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browse vs. Graze for goats

 
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I just plant things and then they die in the summer heat because i am not there often enough and i plant more and in the end i get quite a few living plants and have forgotten all my losses. but there have been lots of losses.
  Having a drip irrigation system really helped with the plants i have planted.
   If you chose mediterenean plants for mediterenean climate they should survive without water. Isn't the Californian meditereanean plant, ceanothus? Heidi Gidlmeisters book on a mediterenean garden without much watering is, apart from being about mulching, about choosing plants that grow naturally in the climate of the place you live in  and so plants that don't need watering, that are adapted to the climate and even suffer if watered. They are often fairly dormant in summer according to this writer though you do have to water them at first for the first two years or untill they look well. My mad husband and he is just fairly mad, it is mad to help the strong and leave the weak, loves helping the strongest plants so you get something really big and healthy with a drip and something new and very young at the mercy of the drought or a upturned bottle of water with two holes in the lid pressed into the ground that i leave for them, though i am not very sure if this system works, it seems to work sometimes. Soon my new and delicate plants will each have piles of stones next to them as well as a bottle as i experimente with Sepp Holsters pile of stones, poor man drip system. How big is his pile of stones? How does that work in a dry climate?  
     One thing that really dries the air is a drop in temperature that condenses the humidity in the air turning it to dew leaving the air dry, and deserts have sharp drops of temperautures at night. i bet the cactuses drink dew.  
     Still mad as he is, it was my husband that put in the irrigation by drips so lots of plants have survived thanks him.  Magic irrigacion systems that go on at the hour you have set them at remind me of Shakespeares play, The Tempest, featuring the magician who controles the weather on the island he ives in. Men love  irrigation systems, control freaks that they are, just think, i buy the plants but my husband can decide which live or die by not putting a drip on those he does not like.
    I have spent the week trying to learn to put in extensions myself, not sucessfully but i am a but less ignorant about the ins and outs of it than i was. When i don't know how to do something i just procrastinate, put it off , i am so frightend it won't work, of failing and messing things up, I think this is real for all people but maybe stronger in me because my mother used to shout at me for not catching on to school work quicker than i did. She thought i was dreaming so getting cross was justified but if you have children remember studying should be slow and careful not quick and don't shout at your children if they stop an dthink when you are teaching them things, you will get very unconfidente studiers if you do. Studying is not always slow but new things that you study can be really slow and people who understand them can't uderstand the dificulties the new student faces. As i procrastinate with new jobs, i know i have to give it a really long time if I am to learn it. If i get the trick i will be able to work hard at it in future but at first i will not be able to work hadly at all my doudts will freeze me.  when i have learnt how to add new drips I will have more control, the plants i want to live wont die.
     The other thing that really changed the luck of the trees i brought was my operating on their roots, often the roots have wound round and round the outside of the earth just inside the plastic pots  forming a basket of roots that i have read imprisions the roots themselves, and  that kills the plants in a year or two and certainly my breaking through this prision, ripping off roots and later learning to unravel it changed the luck of the trees i have bought.
 
pollinator
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various varieties of willow can produce in excess of 6 tons an acre of browse, plus an understory crop 
 
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numbers! excellent, thank you! it is hard to make a comparison with so few numbers to go by that gives me something to add to the figures.
 
Emil Spoerri
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also, willow is a good early bee forage

basswood is a good food, good for keeping goats from getting sick and a great bee forage, basswood and other poplars are good browse producers
I would also consider alder, eleagnus and siberian bush pea, which are all nitrogen fixers and stimulate the growth of surounding plants and can be grown in nearly any soil conditions.

it seems to me that the best hay/browse crop possible for goats would be hemp
 
rose macaskie
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asmileintheneswack whatever a neswack is somethign between neck and wack? Does not hemp produce arsenic. Is that alright for live stock ?
  i add to the list of the sweet tasting leaves, elm I know they are the sweet tasting ones i have tried them they are at the same time recomended by my spainish book on spanish trees as good for live stock and in spring as used as salads.  Elm, can be kept as bushes, it is used for hedges or was in england. and is kept for the live stock or was as bushes here nowdays it does not grow in many places as it keeps getting kille dby grfiosis.
     Mulberry is another sweet leaved tree i hav eread in three or more places now is used of r live stock and is good for soils it is an accumulator and accelerator.  i have also read of this tree used for live stock in a chinese article. there are lots of articles in the internet of moulberry used as forage in the internet.
      Lime trees i have only found a reference to them being given to the live stock in a farm for the future video that is the subject of a forum here .
  these can be pollarded  I had to pollard decorative limes in January at my boarding school. It was cold work and suprisingly slow, the trees weren't big but cutting all the new shoots that had grown out of their short stumpy pollarded branches each year, took ages, there were so many of them. We had to do three trees each. There must have been three hundred trees there. i think the school was about a hundred girls big. or small. Maybe the trees beolng to an old traditon that has more to do with forage than decoration if we knew it it was an old house and if you look it up you can even fidn a foto of the limes. it is Hengrave Hall in suffolk. agri rose macaskie.
 
Emil Spoerri
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a smile is the new ak47

i have read about hemp being fed en mass by swiss dairy farmers and law men were calling for a ban for fear of THC contamination in the meat...

not sure but i doubt that it is possible to get an effect from it haha!

edit- not dairy farmers, beef farmers
 
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Leah Sattler wrote:
Goats are naturally browsers. They prefer leafy vegetation over grass..but...I have personally seen how quickly they can devastate large areas of browse that will not recover, and seen in comparison how they can repeatedly graze down pasture and it will fully recover quickly. In making my future plans I am torn between the effeciency of grass forage over the health benefits for the goats of browse. Can I really develop a herd (genetically) that can tolerate the higher parasite load inevitable in a grazing situation? (which is far more sustainable) Would it be worth it to utilize much more acreage to maintain a sustainable browse situation? what are your thoughts on this?

Of all the goat breeds I have only read of the Angora being put to more grazing than browsing... even up to 80%. They are very useful in clearing grasses to prevent fire.

I read too ... in our Farmer's Weekly.... of a local guy who loaned his goats out to a neighbour  .... who owned a caravan park and needed his grass kept clipped and neat. The goats were placed in a moveable electric enclosure and left to do the "mowing"..... piece by piece. Looked really neat! The owner had free feed and the neighbour had free mowing.

The mohair they produce is great too!

Chelle
 
rose macaskie
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i new a  poor family in a village in England their father had epilepsy and apart form having rabbits in the garen and vegetables they had a goat to help them get by. You can tether a goat to graze from a peg in the ground in bits of waste land or in peoples prperty and they will give you milk and an occasional baby goat. If there are so many people out of work goats coudl help them.
    The bit of hedge that is like an animal lying down and a bit brown ish it must be a otono foto, that goes nowhere is for browse i think. It is sloe, i have seen gaots eating it the hedges that go nowhere like this are called sebes, the verb  cebar is the verb for fattening that makes me wonder cebar is pronounced with a soft c the two words sound the same.. there are slow bushes all round a pen for the billy goats and they have been eaten you can tell from their twisted growth it is only a guess that they are tolerated because they serve as browse but it seems to make sense that sloes serve for this purpose if they have so much round the goat pen and hedges like this one in the feilds. Rose.
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rose macaskie wrote:
asmileintheneswack whatever a neswack is somethign between neck and wack? Does not hemp produce arsenic. Is that alright for live stock ?



I'm not sure if hemp accumulates arsenic or not, but if the land has no arsenic in it, the hemp won't have any, either.

If the land has tiny traces of arsenic in it, and hemp accumulates it, the forage can be grown, tested, and disposed of until the land is depleted of arsenic and the forage is OK.

Arsenic can definitely be tricky. It snuck up on aid workers trying to help Bangladesh (NYT article).
 
rose macaskie
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this is a pole of sticks that has accumulaated by the pen for billy goats on the left of my garden. THe leaf i saw being carried to them was quercus pyrenaica a leaf the wirter on spainish trees juan Oria de la rueda mentions as being used for goats.
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rose macaskie
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these are the leafs of the quercus pyrenaica. It is a tree that produces a lot of shoot from its roots when it is cut.
  Juan Oría also talks of it beign used to feed pigs coked with potatoes.
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Emil Spoerri
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looks like goat food to me!

kind of on a similar grain, is white viper root or white snake root the plant that makes milk poison?

if so, i am lucky indeed to be alive! cause the place i was living was rank with it!
 
rose macaskie
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I don't know about viper root or snake root. the magician who wanted to do for krishna disguised himself as a wet nurse and breast fed Krishna with his poisnouse breast milk which turned baby Krishna blue . Baby Krishna perceived the wicked intent of the magician and drank and  drank till he killed the magician. It was Krishnas uncle who wanted him dead, he had heard that a baby of his sisters would take the throne from him. bThat is why krishna is sometimes painted as a person with blue skin.

I have a picture of a full grown querucs pyrenaica. so you can appreciate how it is if it is not coppiced. the bushes behind it are cistus in flower which is the mediterenean equivilent of the ceanothus of california, california is meant to have a mediterenean climate. a hardy chapparal flowering bush. There are also other oaks coming up among the cystus. This is on the road to Valverde leaving Almiruete behind  in the  province of guadalajar Spian.
     Giving the place names can give publicity to the place but it also means that people who look up these places may find this and it means that the pictures can be chequed out.  rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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  Leah Sattler. I forgot to say that i like what leah sattler said aobut gosts that they eeeeeeeeat down the grass and that it recovers. Some people say that goats are bad because they pull up grass roots so doing for them I have wondered if they only do that if there is nothing else to eat and so peop`le who want to evaluate how bad goats are for pastures should evaluate if th eproblems is that there is to heavy a load of domestica naimals or if as I believe to be the case the shepherds overgraze on purpose not moving on, changing th epath they lead the goats or sheep an dgoats on  till they have made sure to make sure there is not much vegetation left to control when the dry season comes.
 
rose macaskie
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    I suggested earlier on in these forums that you could use lime leaves for browse when i had  not actually read i¡that you couod eny were i was just getting over excitied as i had found on trying lime leaves that they tasted the same as elm and so decided they most probably were used as forage i had not when i mentioned them above had more evidence of them beign used this way. i also hoped the trees that were pollarded in the historical garden of my school ofetn big odl houses ares chools because private people don't want to pay the heating bills on such big houses. I hoped their pollarded limes were evidence of an old fasioned use of these trees for browse.
  I changed the piece I wrote earlier mentioning limes and mulberry and elm leaves, so that it was clear i had only one reference for their use after chequing out on them and finding out i did not have references for them being used as fodder except a very recent one.

      Not all trees used for browse are given as being used as such in Juan Oría de la Ruedas book on Spainish trees and their uses, when writting about,some trees he does not mention them being used in this way though other writers do.

      Asmileisthenewak mentions  using alder as browse I have extra information on them, Juan Oría de la Rueda does mention these leaves being used as browse, as forage of medium quality in Spain but he say they are bitter and the live stock don't like them much. Maybe thats why they are medium quality.
 
     
 
rose macaskie
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      I have another foto that deals with the use of the oak quercus pyrenaica the oak of the photos just above, this one of  a coppiced wood of these oaks in the mountains of Gredos in Avila that i post here so you can see how you get to a situation in which the roots are sending up lots of shoots that are good for browse, how the treeshave been cut down regularly have not been allowed to grow big.
    I think this wood is thinned averyyear taking out the trunks that have got big enough to use as fire wood the logs being oak, which burns well, are small here and also are small as they are used for small stoves as well as open fires, about nine cenitmeters across.
  this type of oak is called marcescente, its leaves go brown in winter but often don't fall off the tree till spring. you can see some leaves in this photograph. agri rose macaskie
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I am going to be getting several Mini-LaManchas this spring and have no experience with livestock.  I want several dairy goats to provide some raw milk for our family.  I have exactly between 1/3 and 1/2 acre of fenced off pasture that has planted orchard grass.  It is in a rectangle at the back of our one-acre lot.   

There are 3 willow trees spaced evenly across the back of this pasture.  I am thinking I should actually plant some shrubs and such around and in between them in this pasture for the goats to eat so they are eating more than orchard grass.  I am going to divide the pasture into paddocks for rotational grazing but am not sure how big each paddock should be.  Occasionally we will have more than 2 goats when they have given birth, but I plan on selling the babies as I only want to keep 2 goats. 

I want them to keep the orchard grass eaten down (along with weeds mixed in with it), before switching paddocks, but don't want them to overgraze on the shrubs and plants.  Has anyone actually planted shrubs and browse in their pasture? 
 
Emil Spoerri
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your best bet is probably to plant shrubs on the outside of the fence in such a way that it can grow in so that the goats can reach it, without destroying the plant
every once in a while, give them cuttings from these plants

if you want the plant to survive, it must be taller than the goats can reach before you get them!... or figure some way to protect the bulk of the plant from being eaten until it reaches that point

if i were you, with limited space, i would plant along the edges things that are easy to plant...

sunchoke greens will be great food for them later in the season when the grass is thirsty and there might not be much left and the roots will help keep you and your goats through the winter
mullberry, poplar and willow all can be planted with cuttings, simply cut off a branch before it leaves out, and plant it a a good 18 inches, or farther if it is a large piece and water it good.

also keep in mind, some plants leaf out earlier in the spring than others, for instance willow, and that can be very helpful, when you are spending money on hay
 
                                  
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I planted millet or hybrid sudangrass for the sheep and goats to graze.  The sudangrass did not go dormant in the heat of the summer and produced lots of feed if it got a little rain.  Both millet and sudangrass will keep growing until a hard freeze.  Main thing is don't let stock graze until it's at least 18 inches tall.  Lower part of the plant can be toxic to animals.  Builds up prussic acid.  Don't remember if that is the correct name or not.
 
rose macaskie
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  good shepherd, glad to here that sudan grass does not go dormant in the heat. I have just read that in the thar desert, that they have deep rooted grasses that survive the drought, so i wanted to know which grasses these were.
  I started reading about the thar desert because I saw a documentarty about how they feed wild cranes there, the hindu religion is a great one on kindness to animals, many Hindues dont eat the meat of any animal, and so they often do a lot to protect them and in the Tthar desert this takes the form of a lot of feed for wild cranes. Susprisingly maybe there alturism in buying food food for these  birds is repaid in a worldy sense,  the manure of the cranes helps the desert to produce in the wet season. THtat is what i remeber them saying in the documentary i heard of that introduced me to this subject much as i have looked up the thar desert since and read about how the cranes are feed i have not read about how this helps the deserrt to be fertile when the rains come again.  A young man who took a bullet for a deer a few ayears ago in tha tpart of india that is how seriouse they are about kindness to animals.

New At This,
re reading this i have wondered what i was saying in th e paragraph i have now marked in blue.  I think it is about is how to protect the plamts while they get big enough to feed the live stock, If you plant them on the other side of the fence the goats can't do for them but might eat the branches that poke through the fence. The shepherds in Spain stop the live stock from doing for the trees by calling them off after they have eaten a few leaves. Oaks are protected by being formed, pruned, so that their main branches come off the tree at a certain height above the  heads of even cattle 2,8 metres. I  have written about all this in the section on growing oaks that  I started in the woodland care section. In this Spainish system the goats  cant eat the leaves of the tree for themselves the leaf is cut off the trees and taken to them, the leaves are pruned off the trees for them. When the tree is young it is allowed to bush out the outside part protecting the trunk a bit, though i dont know what would happen if the goats roamed free.
        [size=10pt][font=Verdana]I agree with asmileisthenewak that you should plant browse shrubs outside the fence or let them grow high enough for tenderer shoots and leaves to be out of the reach of goats. Here in Spain the shepherds spend the day with the sheep and call them on after they have browsed a bit so you could consider that the only trees that are destroyed are those the shepherds don't want. The shepherds also protect young trees they want with rebar and wire and sticks[/font][/size].
        Carrying browse to live stock is traditional, you do see people in the mediterranean and in Arab coutries, for example, walking around with bundles of twigs on their backs. People say these are for fire wood but here they are for the livestock, though as the live stock  eat the tender shoots and leaves leaving the harder parts of the sticks they are in the end for the brazier so the truth is they are for the live stock and the fire.
        Where the live stock eat the leaves of trees this does not cause desertification when there is a suitable tradition that mandates who many trees you should have and acre and how much branch leaf you should be able to cut from the trees, one old Spanish mandate says, what you can break of with your hand, you may not use saws for exmaple or axes to cut of branch to carry to the live stock.Juan oria de la rueda y salguero, "guia de Arboles y Arbustos de Catilla y Leon.
  Willows
       Traditionally willows, both as browse and for baskets, were cut down to the ground so willow wands would grow from the roots of the trees which wands are taken to the live stock or used  for basket work, so coppiced though they are never allowed to grow a good trunk, only wands. 
        I have also seen a pollarded snap willow. The wands have been cut from a stump like head this means the tree can be kept in the middle of the field unless the goats eat the bark they wont hurt the thick trunk of the tree and you can cut browse for them.
       Some  trees like the evergreen oak are green in winter and can be usefull when there is a shortage of grass in this season though here it is mostly for cows that the evergreen oak twigs are cut, look at my section on foresting oaks in the woodland care section of these forums .

      The "la mancha" sheep give a lot of milk their udders are enormouse. rose macaskie.
 
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I've got my girls on a ski hill, so the foresty bits are mature.
The girls will go out and eat the best things available, be it graze or browse.  In general they'll spend some time eating both. If they've grown up watching their parents graze/browse they will seek out plants that have the nutrients that they need at the time.
In a perfect world we'd only introduce goats into areas with a large variety of mature browse plants, but in real life we tend to start keeping goats, and THEN start thinking about improving browse plants...
Paul definitely has a point with worms and rotational grazing. Very very good idea (for plant preservation too).
Personally I'm singing in the Pat Coleby choir on worms, copper sulphate ad-lib.
 
Emil Spoerri
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Rob Alexander wrote:

Personally I'm singing in the Pat Coleby choir on worms, copper sulphate ad-lib.



I am trying this too, don't forget the dolomite antidote to prevent liver toxicity.
 
Rob Alexander
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EmileSpecies wrote:
I am trying this too, don't forget the dolomite antidote to prevent liver toxicity.



Amen.
I've got tupperware containers in a really simple box on the outside of a fence so the goats can stick their heads through and get their, deep breath.. Salt, Seaweed meal, Dolomite, Sulfur, Dairy salt lick with selenium, and Copper Sulfate. (also some Bicarb soda in spring to help prevent bloat, and apple vinegar before kidding to help with circulation.)
 
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