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Good winter cover crop for goats?

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Goats' started by Mini-M Ranch, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Aug 1, 2009
    Mini-M Ranch

    Mini-M Ranch Overrun with beasties

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    We are looking for a great winter cover crop that we can allow the goats to eat AND that will bloom in early spriing for our bees.

    So far, everything that is supposed to be GREAT for bees (ie Canola oilseed, aramanth, etc) are no-nos for goats.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Aug 11, 2009
    Griffin's Ark

    Griffin's Ark Ridin' The Range

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    You just had to put the bees in the mix. You could try mixing your own cover with winter wheat, Rye, Fescue and some clover. The clover though is not what you want your goats to eat a lot of.

    We don't have bees, so I mix wheat, rye and fescue.

    Chris
  3. Sep 15, 2009
    Marta

    Marta Chillin' with the herd

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    wow thanks for that, I came on here to ask the very same question...Ill sow along with the sweetcorn for the green stuff as well...that should be an interesting mix....wheat sweetcorn and oats or barley then dig it over in the spring...will that work?
  4. Sep 15, 2009
    cmjust0

    cmjust0 Loving the herd life

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    Why not clover? In looking at the nutritional values on it, it seems very similar to alfalfa...high calcium, high protein, low phosphorus.. I love nothing more than finding good bales of cheap "grass" hay that end up being about half red clover, half timothy or orchardgrass or some other grass.. It's like hitting the lottery around here.. :gig

    Matter of fact, my hay guy has 5'x6' round bales of "grass" hay that are just as I described -- about 50/50 clover and grass -- for a mere $25 a bale.. I'm thinking that instead of stacking bale after bale of expensive squares in the loft, I'll be buying maybe three of those and actually putting them in the barn, free choice, for this winter's hay..

    :D

    Unless, that is, there's some reason I shouldn't be feeding so much clover..? I know white clover is toxic, but red clover is used to 'dilute' fescue around here because of fescue toxicosis..
  5. Sep 15, 2009
    Marta

    Marta Chillin' with the herd

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  6. Sep 15, 2009
    cmjust0

    cmjust0 Loving the herd life

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    Umm... I think somebody over at Cornell has been smoking some poisonous plants.. :lol:

    Check this out ...it's linked off the clover page.

    If Alfalfa's poisonous, I'll eat my shorts.
  7. Sep 15, 2009
    Mini-M Ranch

    Mini-M Ranch Overrun with beasties

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    yeah, I keep reading that alfalfa is SO dangerous and alfalfa hay will cause increased aggression and bloat, etc. Guess my goats didn't read about that either! lol
  8. Sep 15, 2009
    cmjust0

    cmjust0 Loving the herd life

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    Increased aggression, maybe.. They tend to beat the hell out of each other to get at alfalfa hay, whereas with grass hay...meh...not so much.

    :lol:

    I suppose, then, it could be said that apple tree prunings, pumpkins, watermelons, and sunflower stalks cause increased aggression, too! :p
  9. Sep 16, 2009
    Marta

    Marta Chillin' with the herd

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  10. Sep 16, 2009
    ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Overrun with beasties

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    hey i'm glad i found this too -

    what about buckwheat for goats???

    i'm planting winter rye and buckwheat mostly for the soil but the buckwheat is a great hit for the bees.

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