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BAMBOO!

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Cattle (Feed & Forages)' started by Wolf-Kim, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. Jul 18, 2009
    Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' with the herd

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    About a year ago my mother purchase an old farmhouse and 10 acres of land. Her original plan was to board horses, but that tends to be more trouble than it's worth. She also planned on running a small plant nursery, but she's so busy remodeling the house, the land has gone fallow.

    Unfortunately about 4 acres of the land is just a FOREST of bamboo.

    Soooo, I got permission today to run a couple of cattle for meat, probably steer, on both the back pasture and the bamboo. All togother it's probably 6 acres, 3-4 acres bamboo/forest and 2-3 of fallow farm field that's overgrown with weeds and such.

    Will 2-4 head of cattle clear this land out, more/less? We hope to thin the herd to two after the pasture/forest is maneagle. What do you think? This bamboo is some nasty stuff, edible to animals, but some of it is 10-40ft tall and you have to squeeze through it. I figure if it appear the cows are having trouble knocking it down, I could always cut it down and let the animals keep it down. Bamboo is an evergreen grass and grows like it's a freak of nature. LOL I'll have to get some pictures tomorrow! It really is a sight to see. It's not an ugly plant, but highly invasive and takes up so much space, that can't be used for anything else but bamboo. :/

    Will cattle run peacefully with goats and pigs? My husband and I would love to pasture raise a couple of hogs for the freezer, and hubby has always enjoyed having goats when he can. The goat idea is iffy, because we always fear for dogs and can't have a LGD at the moment(also I don't see the cattle and a Great Pyrenese really getting along. LOL. It would most likely end poorly for the dog, I'm sure).

    Since I'm asking, will cattle ignore chickens and other poultry?
     
  2. Jul 19, 2009
    WildRoseBeef

    WildRoseBeef Range nerd & bovine enthusiast

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    You won't any info on bamboo browsers/grazers here.

    Secondly, cattle should get a long with goats fine, if they are trained to do so. Pigs I'm not so sure about.
     
  3. Jul 19, 2009
    Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty True BYH Addict

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    Cattle will be fine with poultry. As for pigs, I know of someone who did it but they had to hang a gate up from the ground so the pigs could go under but, not the cattle in order to separate them when they grained them. Make sure the gate is high enough or your hams will be bruised.
     
  4. Jul 19, 2009
    Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' with the herd

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    I wish I didn't have to look for bamboo browsers/grazers! I live in North Carolina, this whole darn forest of bamboo was because the nursery that belonged here years ago had a mishap with potted bamboo and now years later there is a 3 acre forest. I've found information that cattle can and will eat bamboo, but I tend not to trust articles, especially when they are usually written by pro-bamboo sites. I guess there is nothing to do by try and see.

    Thanks for the co-habitating pasture information.

    -Kim
     
  5. Jul 19, 2009
    beefy

    beefy Overrun with beasties

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    i would think your best bet to clear the bamboo would be pandas and/or goats. the cows may or may not eat it depending on how tough it is and if they have access to plenty of other better stuff to eat. we have a native reed here that they will sometimes eat. cattle and goats will definitely clean the place up tho.
     
  6. Jul 20, 2009
    username taken

    username taken Overrun with beasties

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    the goats will eradicate the bamboo by eating and knocking it down. even faster if you knock it down for them. and they will get fat and look brilliant off it

    not sure the cattle would though
     
  7. Jul 28, 2009
    laughingllama75

    laughingllama75 Overrun with beasties

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    Where do you live? here in new England, the bamboo we have here is aweful. I foget what kind it is, I can ask hubby later though. Bamboo is a type of plant (forgot what that is called too!) that is you cut it in half, lay the cut piece doen, that one will grow. it takes A LOT to get rid of it. After 12 years of living here, we got our half acre of bamboo down to about a 20x20 thicket. we pull it out as diligently as we can, but if any root stays, it will grow a plant. :(
    My llamas do not like it, I know sheep dont and my cows were not allowed down that end (for other reasons). So, I cant really help you out in that area. Good luck.....your gonna need it. :sick
     
  8. Jul 28, 2009
    amysflock

    amysflock Loving the herd life

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    Wow, that sounds like a big job!! I had inherited a small amount of bamboo in my old 1910 house in Tacoma and fought for years to kill that stuff...it kept coming up in the lawn! Finally we remodeled and landscaped the front to list it for sale so DH dug the clump up with a pick axe. Not sure if the new owners still fight with the little bits coming up in the lawn, but at least the big clump is no longer sending shoots 8 feet up in the air!

    As for poultry, one of our calves has always been fascinated, although not just with poultry but also with other birds, and will follow them around or try to creep closer to investigate. We had a bull here in the early spring who had never been close to chickens and he was curious, but seemed offended by my rooster and used to shake his head at him and chase him around. The cows would let the hens scratch in their round bale feeder as they ate, and walk all around under them and between their legs. All in all, I think cattle and poultry are a good mix.
     
  9. Jul 28, 2009
    homesteadingcowgirl

    homesteadingcowgirl Ridin' The Range

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    I second what Kitty said about the poultry and the cattle, my chickens sit on my cow and clean up "cow candy" all of the time. I have them in the barn togehter on occasion. Also, I have a Great Pyr cross who does wonderful with my critters. The caveat that I add is that my cow is used to him being around and can't pester him all of the time.
     
  10. Jul 28, 2009
    Blon Dalone

    Blon Dalone Exploring the pasture

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    So, the bamboo is okay for goats to eat and it won't make them sick?