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Forage suggestions wanted

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by superbouncyballs, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Mar 26, 2018
    superbouncyballs

    superbouncyballs Exploring the pasture

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    So what I'm looking for is probably a long shot, but here goes.

    We are in North east Pennsylvania. It can be wet or dry. We really don't have a wet or dry season.
    Our soil is mostly clay. So when wet it tends to get muddy, and dry tends to be rock hard.
    We have limited land and will be rotating our animals.
    9 Goats. 2 cows 1 alpaca and 3 pigs and free range chickens.
    I'm looking for a forage plant that is easy to plant. Broadcasting seeds would be awesome. Early season grower, and will grow all season. And fast recovery.

    I have seen some sargum and Reed grasses that sounded like they might help. Any suggestions?
     
    CntryBoy777 likes this.
  2. Mar 26, 2018
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    You need to consider what's the use, hay or pasture or both.

    I would look at a mix of legumes and grasses, a variety wI'll give you plants that wI'll grow in different conditions. If you can divide and work out a rotating system of species is best. You need to determine how many animals per group, then consider what order of species. For example cows, then goats then chickens. Depending on your breed of pigs, they will destroy a pasture, but might be great prior seeeding.
    You might check with your local extension agent for suggestions.
     
    CntryBoy777 likes this.
  3. Mar 26, 2018
    superbouncyballs

    superbouncyballs Exploring the pasture

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    It will almost exclusively be for the goats. That is my biggest concern and will only be pasture.
     
    CntryBoy777 likes this.
  4. Mar 26, 2018
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    Welcome from NW Mississippi!!....:frow
    I would definitely go to your local extension office and find out their recommendations from them. They will know the right blends for your location and how to overcome the native soil there. As to your thought about sorghum or anything of the sorghum family....it can become toxic to your animals after the first frost of the season in the fall....so, do your research, but the first stop must be the extension office...so ya are headed in the right direction and not just tossing darts at a board guessing.....:)
    Again.....:welcome
     
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  5. Mar 26, 2018
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Herd Master

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    Yep, what CntryBoy777 said. Plants and seeds that are "native" to your climate is the best way to go. We do a sorghum/sudan but only make hay do not graze it. It grows great but the prussic acid from a frost can bloat and/kill your animals fast. Needs to be managed. A mix stand and seeded in small sections to be rotationally grazed is what you want.
     
    promiseacres and CntryBoy777 like this.
  6. Mar 27, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    I'll 3rd the above. Though not all are worth their pay, most extension agents really try to offer valuable FREE assistance. It's what they do.
     
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  7. Mar 8, 2019
    MiniSilkys

    MiniSilkys Loving the herd life

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    Have you looked into crimson clover?
     
  8. Mar 8, 2019
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    CntryBoy777 likes this.
  9. Mar 9, 2019
    MiniSilkys

    MiniSilkys Loving the herd life

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    @greybeard, I sowed some last fall to make a pasture for my goats. It is still pretty thin but it looks like it is starting to grow. I just broadcast it so it will be mixed with grasses and weeds too.