Trees and Goats

CntryBoy777

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Thank you for the responses! I just moved to the area last year so this is my first year seeing everything bloom and go through seasons. Trees line the property while a good portion of my 9.6 acres is tree-less. From what I can tell I have a few white pines, eastern red cedars(either that or juniper but pretty sure it's cedar), flowering dogwoods, eastern redbuds, pink mimosas among others I'm still identifying. As for common plants I see among the grasses I have black-eyed susans, two kinds of honeysuckle, what I think is partridge pea, patches of lilies, some purple prairie clover, red clover, and white clover, among many others.
They will certainly like the dogwood and most of the others as well....on the honeysuckle, depending on your location and winter temps, the honey suckle will hold its leaves until frost hits them....our goats ate honeysuckle in winter and temps in the high 20s.....it was protected by trees from above, so they would prod me and my wife to pull some down for them to eat.....some lillies are toxic, but ours ate day lillies and even ate the flowers....they will taste most anything, but are smart and most that is toxic doesn't taste good to them and they will move to something better.....they will always eat the best they have available, so don't fret too much over it....there are shrubs that they like too that ya could plant....some grow fairly quickly and are evergreen so they can have it available all year....just have to check with a local nursery....we lived in Mississippi....in Florida now, tho.....:)
 

DellaMyDarling

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Some books I've read say to avoid pine with a pregnant doe.

What climate are you in?

Goats should never be out in a pasture without optionable weather protection. In my climate, that meant I had to build a shelter. The July sun, the February snow, rain, etc are all miserable things to goats in a pasture.

Goats hate rain like the Witch of the West.
 

DellaMyDarling

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Oh, forgot.

Also depending on climate but my personal knowledge on this is limited.
I've seen a number of studies now suggesting rotational pastures for parasite control don't work in many climates. Goats can "soil" the pasture within three days and it can take a year of nongrazing for parasite loads to diminish.

Having more than one pasture for every other reason is gold though. I'm working on another myself, always annoyed we have one. Breeding on a schedule is *impossible* with only one place to turn the goats out too.
 

Amaggio

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I'm only going off a year of experience and what others tell me, but mainly we're super hot in the summer but rarely dry. We get a fair amount of rain so I know adequate shelter during heavy rains is a must. I was thinking about building them a type of porch too for those all-day rains we have on occasion. Winters are supposed to be mild and usually don't start until January/February. Even then the temps aren't too low and there's usually not a lot of snowfall. I want to do rotating pastures too, I know someone that has four, two for winter and two for summer essentially. With all the rain we get, plus the additional dew every morning, I am a little concerned about the parasitic load being on the high side. The humidity in Missouri likely won't help either. I'm more interested in rotating pastures so they have fresh feed all the time rather than constantly buying hay. I always keep hay on hand, my chickens love alfalfa too, but I like eating fresh food from my garden I would think some nice pasture would be nice for them too.

I found a website that actually sells pasture blends with clover, alfalfa, and other grasses.

https://www.groworganic.com/search?q=goat&category_2=Pasture Seed

They even have a chicken scratch blend which I really want to try for my runs.
 

CntryBoy777

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If it gets wet that often....I would encourage ya to use some of the larger concrete squares ya can get at Lowe's or WalMart reasonably priced....or free if ya can find them....and make paths around their enclosure.....with tbe clay soil it will get slick and will help ya and the goats a great deal....safe footing for ya....and when the ground is wet, the goats will walk on them instead of the mud....this will help with hoof problems and also wear them down so ya won't have to trim them as often....in the winter I'd sow a pasture rye grass and it will grow nust about anywhere....the goats would walk the squares and eat the grass during wet times....otherwise they would've been in their house screaming for me to bring them something....I put a deck around there house and they really enjoyed having it....cause they could lay on it instead of the wet cold ground....plus, they would play all over it....mainly chasing each other up one side around the house and off the backside.....works real well with uneven ground.....if it is high enough they will get on their knees and crawl under the deck too....and for parasite control, just 2 words....Khaki Campbells....ya sure won't be disappointed...I promise.....:)
 

Georgia Girl

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Hi all, I'm planning my property for when I buy goats (hopefully next year). I'm planning on using a two pasture rotation method but the area I'm planning on using is without shade. I'm thinking of planting some trees but want to use something the goats could eat. I have a lot of Junipers on the property so I'm trying to keep them away from those because I've heard mixed things about Junipers. I've heard some people use Pine because it's an Evergreen but the goats can munch on the needles without issue. Anyone have suggestions on a good multipurpose shade/feed tree?
If you plant young trees it is going to take years to be of shade benefit. Also, you would need to put up about 4 post and put wire so that they could not get to the tree. Short leaf pine is safe for them to eat but they do not make a good shade. If you live where summers are hot, you need an area with mature shade trees. They do need adequate shade or they will suffer with the eat.
 

Ridgetop

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Goats are browsers closely related to deer. For this reason they love to eat trees and bushes more than grass. They will graze on grass but it is not what they are made to eat. If you want something to graze grass, cows or sheep work better. For brushy pastures goats are ideal, although some breeds of sheep will also browse. If there is plenty of brush to eat, your older trees will be safe but young tender saplings are like celery sticks for goats to chew up! Actually our goats lived happily for many years in a pen with a huge ancient pepper tree, keeping the dangling fronds trimmed off about 5' above the ground. It was the later sheep that girdled the trunk and killed our lovely old tree!

Since you want to plant trees, and are planning rotational pastures with cross fencing, I would plant them on the outside of the pasture fences (make sure the fences are strong, no climb wire, tall enough to contain the goats) and when the trees are grown they will shade the edges of the pasture. West and south sides are best to provide summer shade. In the meantime, you will be better off to put up a couple of shelters for shade and wind protection in each pasture. A roof on 4 posts with 2 or 3 sides facing winter winds and storms will do fine. It can be open on the 4th side to allow plenty of access for the goats. Goats can take cold weather and heat depending on the breed, but all animals need some sort of shelter in an open pasture. They may never be seen inside it LOL but it is necessary to provide it. It also gives you a place to provide hay or grain out of the rain.

The sheds do not have to be expensive. Check to see if you have a garage door company in your area. When they replace old wooden doors (or even old aluminum ones) they have to dispose of them which means paying a dump fee. Often you can get them for free or very cheap. The single garage doors are about 8'x8' while the double doors are 8'x16'. Put 4 4"x4" posts in the ground 7'6" apart, and run a 2x6" board across from post to post. If you need more supports, use 2'x4' in joist hangers between the cross pieces. Then put the 8'x8' door on top and secure it well. Instant shelter. You can use a couple sheets of 4x8' plywood to make half walls to cut the wind. If you want to carry the walls all the way up to the roof, make sure to allow enough height on your posts.

You can use these garage doors to make many configurations - tipi shaped, lean-to shed, etc. I picked up a truckload of single doors for my 4-H kids to use for shelters for their animals years ago. They worked great. Make sure not to get any that are severely damaged, dented are ok. Call around to different companies that advertise replacement garage doors.
 
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