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Soil comparison before and after goats....

 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
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So we've had our goats for one and a half years now, and I had a soil sample that I did in the pasture.... When I came in the other day I had mud on my boot so I dried it to compare. I am going to get a like sized example after seeing this smaller test.

So, one and a half years, three angoras on a 50 x 50 ft area, I grow and cut hay off pasture for them, all hand harvest hand dried and baled. We also stopped mowing in there, this is a camp that has been mowed like a lawn (super short) for 60 yrs.

Oh and base soil is Canfield silt loam...
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Thekla McDaniels
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Posts: 1530
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Chadwick Holmes wrote:, one and a half years, three angoras on a 50 x 50 ft area, I grow and cut hay off pasture for them, all hand harvest hand dried and baled. We also stopped mowing in there,

I wonder how the plant cover is doing in that 50 x 50 area. Have they trampled it to nothing, or are there plants and a flourishing soil food web beneath?

I have just finished my second year of goat grazing/browsing. I am trying pasture development, and moving the goats around. I did hav eto leave them in an enclosure for too long this fall. I am waiting to see if next spring the alfalfa comes back. I hope so.

In 2013 I had Peter Donovan of the soil carbon coalition come test my soil, a base line test. I hope he is coming this way in 2016, because I am very excited about getting the increased soil organic carbon documented.
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
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There are two spots that are about 5'x5' that are bare dirt one where they stand to watch me in the shop, the other right outside their barn door. I have a big bench and stones and logs that they climb on, the climbable things help with the trampling of the soil. There are about 25 different grasses and weeds that I have in there now, added a few last year, hope to add more this year. They are not in a permaculture system as of yet, as I am living on the campground that I serve as ranger on, so our hands are tied as to how much we can do.


Goats are climbers by nature, so if you provide enough big stones and logs so that there are two more places than goats they will play on that and not trample your pasture. Use their natural tendencies to your advantage!
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