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Animals eat sugar cane, pawpaw?  RSS feed

 
Katie Jarvis
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We have a wet area on our property that we want to plant sugar cane and pawpaw in. Does anyone know if animals will eat these? We will have skall pigs, small goats, horse, and donkey back there. We will be rotating the animals, and we will let the plants get eastablished first, but we are wonderinng if animals really love these and will demolish them? Especially the sugar cane, I'm thinking the animals might learn how sweet it is...
 
Lila Stevens
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Yes, they will probably eat those things. Whether they eat enough to damage or destroy them will depend on what else they have to eat in there. I have goats. They eat their favorite things first, then their next favorite, etc. Because my goats have so much good stuff to eat, there are many things they never touch. But I have friends who keep their goats in more austere conditions, with less good stuff to eat. Those goats demolish the same things that mine won't touch, because they are desperate. Mine will eat sugar cane leaves and papaya leaves (if that is the pawpaw you are referring to) but I don't know where those things rate on their list of favorite foods. But in any case, I would never put anything in with goats that I want to get a yield off of, even if it's something they don't love, because you just never know.
 
Richard Kastanie
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
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All browsing animals, wild and domestic, that I know of avoid pawpaw foliage. They may take a bite but won't come back for more. Pawpaw foliage is only palatable to a few insects than can handle the toxin. Trampling is another matter, however, if the tree is small and the animal large.
 
Richard Kastanie
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
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I just realized from Lisa's comment that we may be talking about different plants when we speak of pawpaw. I'm referring to Asimina Triloba, not Papaya.
 
Katie Jarvis
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Awesome, thanks for the rely! I thought that this was true but was hoping for some confirmation. And yes, I mean pawpaw, not papaya. Thanks!
 
John Stannum
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Location: NSW Australia
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My sheep eat any fruit or veg I eat.
I have not tried them on sugar cane.
 
Lila Stevens
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I didn't know Asimina Triloba grew in the same climate as sugar cane, so I assumed you were Australian and referring to papaya
 
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Here's what goes on here in my area of Hawaii.....

Pigs. Will chew in the canes. Will eat the young shoots, thus eventually killing the plant. But cane is not their preferred food here. They will go for it when they run out of preferred forage. My penned pigs seem to enjoy chewing on chunks of cane, sort of like us chewing on chewing gum when our mouths want to keep busy. Not a serious diet, but rather, something to do. The feral pigs visit the cane in my area but don't do lots of damage. They will dig up around some of the roots, looking for worms and beetles. They'll eat some shoots, but then they move on. There's plenty of other better foods in the area for them.

Goats. My own goats love cane leaves, the younger the better. And they will chew the stalks from the top down until they get to the tough thick parts. Thus they top the canes. They also will eat the young shoots, thus eventually killing the plant over time. Cane isn't a primary diet food for them. They will browse the pasture and then go visit the cane for a bit of a nibble, then back to the main pasture again.

Horses. Donkey. Cow. Avid cane eaters. Will destroy the plants over time. In my experience, cows are the hardest on sugar cane. But my horse was a major destroyer of cane. She loved the stuff.
 
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