Anna Morong

+ Follow
since Nov 22, 2017
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
1
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
5
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Anna Morong

My goat fencing solution is four foot of electric with a strand every foot. I use t posts and insulators, but I’ve also used bamboo garden stakes with the insulators meant for the fiberglass poles (at $2.50 for six poles, it’s the cheapest way to put up fencing). As far as I’m concerned, goats have 24/7 to figure out how to get out- if it doesn’t hurt to experiment, they will find a way out. However, some goats are just fence breakers, and the only cure is to never pay more for a goat than they are worth in your freezer. I’ve got a goat who can absolutely jump some of my fences, but she is good and I just never let her in that paddock unless I can vaguely supervise, and she never jumps out unless I’m feeding another goat on the other side. She’s worth keeping. I’ve had other goats which would run straight through electric because they wanted out and I either sold them quick or are them. The biggest thing is to never, ever buy a goat that is hard to catch or wary. Loose goats suck, but having to tackle half-wild loose goats is the worst. I’ve never tried to keep a buck away from the does with electric- they’ll break through my barn, I doubt a shock would phase them in the slightest.
I would be VERY careful mob grazing horses. There are a lot of plants which can hurt horses, and they don’t seem to have the common sense that most livestock has about what to avoid. Add some actual hunger and be prepared for trouble.
10 months ago
The main barrier to production is protein, followed by energy. Most commercial goat feeds are only about 14-16% protein. Which is less protein than many forage plants. True grain (not soybean enriched feed), only runs about 10% protein. Something is very weird when goats eating 14% alfalfa hay and 15% dairy ration and eating a relatively mineral-poor (compared to the variety of nutrient dense plants forage has to offer) diet give more milk than goats eating high-protein, high-nutrition forage. I’m trying to figure out what could cause this phenomenon and I have a few theories.

1) Foraging does spend too much time moving around burning calories. I’ve noticed my does on the sacrifice lot with alfalfa spend a lot more time sitting around than in the summer when they are always out at the edges of the field eating non-stop.
2) Modern goats have been bred to having less rumen room, and therefore need concentrated and dried food and can’t intake adequate calories for high milk production from “wet food” and/ or, growing up on grain, they stop eating when they feel full, even if they are just full of water and haven’t eaten enough dry matter.
3) (related to 2) Protein is less of a limiting factor for quantity than we’ve come to believe. I’ve heard lots of homesteaders foraging their goats who get decent production simply feeding oats (8% protein, wheat 12%, or barley 9%). Perhaps goats get plenty of protein from forage and simply need some calories in a concentrated form to really kick start production. Perhaps protein plays more of a role in quality than quantity, and that is why foraged goats produce better milk and why the breeds moth high butterfat milk like Nubians seem to tolerate foraging better.
4) Calcium is a limiting factor, and that’s why goats produce well on alfalfa.

This whole thing has me wanting to experiment and see what role protein really plays in feed for a forage goat, and whether one could forage a dairy goat for their “hay” requirement on high-protein forages, then supplement with easy to grow and store things like winter squash and fodder beets for calories. Because it just doesn’t add up for me that confined goats eating a much narrower selection of lower-nutrient plants can produce better than goats browsing their natural foods.
10 months ago
My goats get the loose Purina Goat Mineral, and occasionally sample the ducks oyster shell. They have over an acre of rough pasture with tons of weeds and berries. They just got a copper Bolus about a month ago. My other goats I’ve been trying to slim down a bit (they were morbidly obese when I bought them), but this goat won’t gain. What sort of nutritional deficiencies should I look for, and is it worth getting a blood test when I send her blood for the Johnnes test? I am in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve heard the soil here can be mineral low. I’m starting to wonder if maybe she was doing great when her diet was mostly blackberries, but now that they’ve  eaten them down and are getting alfalfa until new spring growth that maybe the hay doesn’t have enough of something. Because they all hate it. It’s top-notch third cutting alfalfa and they’d rather eat grass (which my goats never do).
10 months ago
I’m working on this. I would start by saying it is absolutely possible- I have an Ober doe who last year produced a gallon a day on blackberries with some alfalfa pellets to keep her occupied on the stand. I’m working on a plot to get all my goats onto homegrown food. I’m planting trees and shrubs for them to eat, I want bamboo but my land lord doesn’t (sigh), and I have invasive blackberries. There are tons of “weeds” with a protein content equal to or greater than alfalfa. Until my shrubs and trees are established, my planting my land with sweet clover, chicory (where they can’t access it all the time so they can’t flavor the milk), comfrey, and biserrula. In the fall I’m planting on planting a deer plot brassica mix (Im is the Pacific Northwest so winter forage is an option). I’m filling my garden with BOSS and carrots and radishes and winter squash to provide winter calories. My summer species are all selected for deep taproots to survive the summer drought (the blackberries have deep enough roots to thrive all summer, but all the grass dies back). It works out well for me, because tall plants tend to have deeper roots, and goats will refuse to eat short plants. Which I encourage because it is a sensible evolutionary strategy for an animal that suffers from the barber pole worm. In short, I think a forage dairy goat scheme is not only possible, but probably healthier for the goats than trying to make them eat hay when they aren’t grass-eaters by nature. However, it will take input and work. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a young forest you don’t mind them destroying. I looked into deer mixes for seed ideas, then just deleting all the low growing species and added a few weird ones I want to try
10 months ago
I have a great dairy doe. But she is skinny and doesn’t like to eat. She is not a bone-bag, just skinnier than she should be (yes, I know dairy goats run bony, but she’s a bit too bony). She produces wonderfully, giving 3/4 gallon a day on just about any food. She has free access at all times to a nice alfalfa hay, although my goats prefer the blackberries, trees, and weeds. She gets as much grain at each milking as she will eat, but she generally eats while I milk her and follows me if I walk away. If I leave her in the stand while I take care of the other goats, she just bleats and won’t eat. I recently started sprouted fodder, and she seems even less into that than pre-packaged goat food. Even BOSS isn’t enough to really motivate her to eat. I’m having her tested for Johnnes and just wormed her. But given the amount of food she eats vs her production, I think the problem is a lack of appetite rather than disease. She eats so little I don’t know how she could be producing with a high parasite load or health problems. She had lice, which I treated, but since getting rid of them she seems less hungry, instead of gaining weight. She is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with lots of energy. I just don’t know what to do. Last year she produced great on blackberries and alfalfa pellets, and this year her production is great for what she eats, I just want her to have some fat reserves in case of stress, etc. Does anyone have ideas on coaxing a picky goat to eat more?
10 months ago
Update: due to difficulties with landlord, we won’t be able to take anyone on right now (sorry). Hopefully we’ll be able to bug our own place soon
I just bought eight ducks- three Silver Appleyard hens and a Silver Appleyard drake and four young female Golden 300s. They are free range in the day, locked in a coop at night. They share about 1.5 acres of pasture with four goats. Its kind of scruby pasture- the outside is ringed with blackberries and the inside is kind of overgrown. I'm in SW Washington, so they will get a decent amount of forage year round except for maybe a month or two . I have grand plans to plant fodder for them next summer, but right now I'm feeding them duck and geese ration from the local coop. They get some whey and wizened carrots/ apples/ etc with their food. They all seem to be good active foragers. So how much pellet food should I give them a day? Right now I'm giving them about 6 cups- about 5oz. per duck per day. I'm going off the recommendations I found on the internet of 4-6 oz a day per duck, but that estimate seemed to be coming from people with a more confined space. My Silver Appleyards are already a bit on the chunky side, and I don't want to overfeed them.
1 year ago
We are just a couple who moved here last year. We need another adult around to build community with, share in the work, and hang out. We have goats and rabbits and ducks and possibly geese and chickens very soon. We have an abysmal failure of a garden (better luck next year, right?) We butcher our own meat, work on our cars, and try to live frugally and build up for a tribal homeland someday. Our goal of the year is growing our own fodder and getting in shape. To be clear: we are weird. We like heavy metal and are politically unaligned. We love Nietzsche and Vine Deloria as philosophers. Our religion is animism with inputs from tradition European religions. We just basically need another cool person around to share in cooking and taking care of things. There’s not a ton of room here, but we have an extra bedroom and room for another persons pet projects. Located in SW Washington, commuting distance to Portland