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Old 11/09/10, 10:33 PM
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Fast growing bushes

What are some types of fast-growing shrubs that goats can eat? I would want something at least as productive as grasses. I think we could plant shrubs, and let the goats eat them instead of trees (too slow, not enough nutrition) or grass, which they don't like or can have parasites present.
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Old 11/10/10, 12:06 AM
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Raspberry or blackberry canes come to mind.
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Old 11/10/10, 12:23 AM
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I am thinking about getting some of these.
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Old 11/10/10, 06:51 AM
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I don't think there are any shrubs or bushes that will regenerate growth at the rate of grass, if you take into account the density of grass in a given area.
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Old 11/10/10, 10:35 AM
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Bamboo. My goats love it.

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Old 11/10/10, 11:09 AM
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I favor tri-color lespedeza shrubs. I planted 1,000 all around our place and the goats love them!

They need some tending to initially so the goats won't kill them by eating all their leaves/stems. We planted them where the goats could "not" get to them except when we "permitted" them to. We let them grow untouched the first year; then let them herd munch down on them "late" summer the next year; then mowed them down near to ground the 3rd year. They had established a great root system by then and, since they put out each year from the roots, they are rather indestructable now. When they grow up again from the roots, they are so thick that they form a nice strong hedge goats cannot go through; thus even serve as a fence in areas where we could not easily put a fence up.

If you let them seed, they throw their seeds all over the pasture (depending on where you placed them) for the goats to browse on while eating grass. (We keep a 30' x 10' area for them in the pasture that neither goat nor deer can get to for just this purpose.)

Any shrub you plant that goats enjoy will eventually be killed (just like trees) unless you protect them. We found that placing a fence 2-1/2' around the shrubs; with another fence 2-1/2' from that one permits the shrubs to survive those first few years, which gives them an opportunity to develop a good root system. (We do our fruit trees the same way.)

Laverne, I have been considering getting some of those Aussie Willows as I have a couple of boggy areas they would do well in; however, that site only sells a minimum of 20 at a time, which is just way too many for me to make use of.
I am what I am! Acknowledging this is the beginning; and my growth is yet to end. ~~~~~

Last edited by motdaugrnds; 11/10/10 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 11/10/10, 10:57 PM
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I typed in 'hybrid willow tree's' on Ebay and there's a seller that has 25 trees for 49.95 with free shipping, it says in the ad that they're Australian willow trees.
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Old 11/11/10, 01:35 PM
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Seems like it would be easier to convince them to just eat grass. If we manage the rotation properly, it would work and they would get worms...Or we can just get more cows, which eat grass just fine.
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Old 11/12/10, 12:02 PM
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There is a stand of bamboo on our rental ground. I'm planning on transplanting some to my place as soon as I get the time. The cows just love browsing on it across the fence.
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