Tips For Choosing Trees for your Livestock Pasture

Mini Horses

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Black walnuts can lame a horse...donks? Never had any on the farm due to equine.
Just pine, oak and holly mostly...a few birch near some wetlands on other farm. Several pecan. Farm came with them. Here I have pine, oak, gumball, holly and..?
 

Baymule

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Donkeys are brilliant smart and would learn not to step on the walnuts. Plus they are sure footed and careful where their feet go. Animals don’t eat the leaves or twigs.
 

canesisters

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I was recently gifted a paper mulberry and I'm researching where it might be useful around the farm.
Don't want it to shade the garden, don't want to feed it to the cows....
The area around my main pasture gate has always been muddy and last to dry. A HUGE problem when I was bringing home 1 round bale at a time and having to drop it in the driveway & roll it by sheer force through the mud to get it in the pasture - :sick When doing a HUGE cleanup this past Jan, I 'discovered' a poor little willow tree that I had bought who knows how long ago and left in it's pot tucked into a flower bed. Poor little thing! I planted it next to the gate and it's more than doubled in size over the summer. I don't seriously think that it's actually making a difference already in the wetness of the area... but it IS much drier there....?
My main pasture has 1 lone pine tree in the middle.. zero shade. I'd LOVE to get a whole copse of trees right there in the middle to provide shade and to slow down runoff since the entire pasture is a gentle slope towards a creek... but I haven't yet figured out what I can put in there that they won't eat.. that would be safe for them to eat if they did - and how I can protect it until it's big enough to fend for itself.
 

blessedfarmgirl

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Good ideas. I might try planting some mulberry trees in our pastures that don't have as much tree shade. I know the chickens and pigs would appreciate that as well as my family, we all like mulberries. I would definitely have to protect them though, because our sheep would tear them apart. I wish cattle panels weren't so expensive.
Interestingly enough, our sheep eat black walnut, oak and peach leaves. Oops. I may try to keep them away from those in the future.
 

goats&sheep19

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Willow is an amazing fodder tree. Goats, horses, and sheep all like it, (particularly the goats!) and it is very good when any of them are feeling a bit under the weather for any reason.
It is invasive, but if harvested every year so it doesn't set seed then it isn't a problem. (as long as you can legally have it)
 

canesisters

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Willow is an amazing fodder tree. Goats, horses, and sheep all like it, (particularly the goats!) and it is very good when any of them are feeling a bit under the weather for any reason.
It is invasive, but if harvested every year so it doesn't set seed then it isn't a problem. (as long as you can legally have it)
Legal??? Weeping willows are super common here. Used all over the place as decorative specimens near water features. I love how they look like umbrellas when livestock has access to them - huge, drooping canopy sheered off level with the animals' highest reach.
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canesisters

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As long as we're discussing it. I'm a BIG FAN of using what I've got handy, and what I've got an abundance of at teh moment is GIANT TREE crepe myrtle shoots alllll over the front of my house. These are the kind that will shoot up 10' branches in a single season once they are established and will quickly (less than 5 years) become 30' TREES. I bought them on sale a lifetime ago, not knowing what variety they were, and planted them along the front of my house. In my mind, I saw a lovely blooming hedge... Now I have to take the chainsaw and lop them off every year about waist-high JUST to keep the summer's growth mostly off of the roof.

I can't find anything that says they could be dangerous for cows.
This morning I was thinking that maybe, IF I can get several of them dug up, I could start putting in a line across the pasture.
Maybe I could plant 2 or 3 near enough to the fence that I could run a line of hot wire in a BIG circle around them to keep the cows off them for a season. Then the next year.. a few more in another clump 20' over or so.
 

Baymule

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@canesisters crepe myrtles are brittle and cows break them off. Not a good pasture tree for cows. The cows will eat them and tramples them down to nothing.
 
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