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  #1  
Old 04/16/11, 12:07 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Goat's favorite forages, fodder, etc

These are plants I'm trying to incorporate into the landscape I hope to create for a dairy goat farm one day. I've gleaned this info from various sources so what I'm hoping for is that some of you have experience with these plants and goats and can tell me if they like them. Also, if you have any more in mind or have seen your goats eat it preferentially please include. Thanks

Alfalfa
Kudzu
Lambsquarters
Tagataste
Sericea Lespedeza
Sunflower Seeds
Chicory
Comfery
Honeysuckle
Stinging Nettles
Mangels
Jerusalem Artichokes
Velvetleaf?
Amaranth?
Acorns?
Epimedium
Thistles
Purple Deadnettle
Leafy Spurge (invasive)
Dandelion
Yarrow
Matua
Blackberries/Raspberries
Tribulus
Clovers
Cannabis
Wheatgrass
Sage
Mustard
Chamomile
Borage
Lovage
Echinacea
Apios Americana
Perennial Sunflowers
Alfalfa, clover, wheatgrass hay mix, and comfrey?
Red alder, redcedar, salmonberry
Squash
Kale
Honey and Black Locust
Capers
Alfalfa, Italian ryegrass hay mix
Eleagnus
Weeping Willow
Poplar
Sugar Maple
Buckwheat
Mimosa

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  #2  
Old 04/16/11, 12:08 PM
 
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Goji Berry Shrubs
Seabuckthorn shrubs

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  #3  
Old 04/16/11, 12:26 PM
 
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Pecan trees and mulberry trees

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  #4  
Old 04/16/11, 12:33 PM
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They will not eat stinging nettles fresh. You can, however, if you cook them. The goats may eat them if they are dried. I would leave out the leafy spurge....I could be wrong but it seems that I have heard that it has a milky sap that irritates the mouths of grazing animals...plus, it is invasive.

I also would not put locust near them, although it could be used as a hedge tree farther away from them...the thorns can get stuck in their hooves. Red alder and willow are both good in a goat pasture or for coppicing and feeding the shoots. Serviceberries are also very much appreciated by goats. :-)

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  #5  
Old 04/16/11, 02:24 PM
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I would have second thoughts about adding kudzu. I have heard that goats really like it, but unless you have A LOT of goats to control it, it can take over your landscape, killing many of your other plants. There are whole stands of trees around here that are just dead wood now standing completely covered in the stuff.

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  #6  
Old 04/16/11, 09:21 PM
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You don't have any of MY goat's favorite things to eat in there!

Roses
Marigolds
Petunias
Rose of Sharon
Wisteria
Anything else in my mother's flower beds......

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  #7  
Old 04/16/11, 09:28 PM
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Swamp rose, birdsfoot trefoil, flax, umm, how are you going to get away with the cannabis?

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  #8  
Old 04/16/11, 09:33 PM
 
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Gotcha, mulberries, pecans, serviceberries, and marigolds will all work exceptionally well on the permaculture farm in my mind. As far as the kudzu, my plan is to build something for the goats to climb on in each pasture portion of each paddock and on a few of these stands plant the kudzu all around it. That way I can just mow around the stands to control it. Either this or plant it along a few of the fences. I'm expecting to do a few hours a week of machete work as part of my exercise routine.

Keep the plants coming! Hopefully I'll have enough to provide the goats with a wide variety of food choices at every paddock rotation.

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  #9  
Old 04/16/11, 09:35 PM
 
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Hmm, good ideas, I need to look these up. Get away with cannabis? You mean it doesn't grow naturally in these parts... Seems kinda crazy to lock a brother up for something God grows..


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Originally Posted by Manchamom View Post
Swamp rose, birdsfoot trefoil, flax, umm, how are you going to get away with the cannabis?
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  #10  
Old 04/16/11, 09:43 PM
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Cannabis ruderalis grows naturally and along railroad tracks all through the midwest

But yes, they will still lock a brother up if they find it growing wild. You'll probably get out of it as long as the lab comes back with the species being cannabis ruderalis.... since the only thing you will get from smoking it is a headache.

But if the lab finds it is cannabis sativa or cannabis indica, then a brother's gonna do some time. And yes, a simple gas spectrometer will allow them to know what kind it is.... and those are available for $600 on e-bay, nearly every department can afford one.

Just trying to be helpful and keep a brother from getting dissed by da MAN.

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  #11  
Old 04/16/11, 10:11 PM
 
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Aw well I guess it'll have to grow naturally on my property interspersed between similar looking plants. Super silver haze, afghan kush, and white widow, bump that ruderalis stuff, only the best for these goats.


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Originally Posted by CaliannG View Post
Cannabis ruderalis grows naturally and along railroad tracks all through the midwest

But yes, they will still lock a brother up if they find it growing wild. You'll probably get out of it as long as the lab comes back with the species being cannabis ruderalis.... since the only thing you will get from smoking it is a headache.

But if the lab finds it is cannabis sativa or cannabis indica, then a brother's gonna do some time. And yes, a simple gas spectrometer will allow them to know what kind it is.... and those are available for $600 on e-bay, nearly every department can afford one.

Just trying to be helpful and keep a brother from getting dissed by da MAN.
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  #12  
Old 04/16/11, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Goat's favorite forages, fodder, etc
Anything you don't want them to eat.
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  #13  
Old 04/17/11, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearningLife View Post
I would have second thoughts about adding kudzu. I have heard that goats really like it, but unless you have A LOT of goats to control it, it can take over your landscape, killing many of your other plants. There are whole stands of trees around here that are just dead wood now standing completely covered in the stuff.
Not only that, but in many southern states it is considered a noxious weed and it is forbidden to grow it intentionally.
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  #14  
Old 04/17/11, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMContrary View Post
Anything you don't want them to eat.
Exactly.
Anything you want to keep and don't want them to touch, is their favorite food. Like grape vines, fruit trees, perennial flowers, etc
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  #15  
Old 04/17/11, 01:00 AM
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Oh. They are quite fond of peas.

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  #16  
Old 04/17/11, 01:01 AM
trail ahead-goats behind
 
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Oops, strike the flax. While the seeds are edible it seems the green plant can cause upset do to acid content.

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  #17  
Old 04/17/11, 06:29 AM
 
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Calendula are good for them too and an easy annual.

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  #18  
Old 04/18/11, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chancehayden View Post
Gotcha, mulberries, pecans, serviceberries, and marigolds will all work exceptionally well on the permaculture farm in my mind. As far as the kudzu, my plan is to build something for the goats to climb on in each pasture portion of each paddock and on a few of these stands plant the kudzu all around it. That way I can just mow around the stands to control it. Either this or plant it along a few of the fences. I'm expecting to do a few hours a week of machete work as part of my exercise routine.

Keep the plants coming! Hopefully I'll have enough to provide the goats with a wide variety of food choices at every paddock rotation.
I heard a good one at a permaculture course lately: "work is a failure in design" So maybe leave the kudzu out and let the goats do the machete work for you! I have heard similar reservations about sea buckthorn...still cogitating on it for our situation.
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  #19  
Old 04/18/11, 08:59 AM
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Mine aren't keen on velvetleaf, or amaranth, if you mean what we call "red-root pigweed". They do eat burdock and have completely cleared all the milkweed out of my pastures. They won't eat cockleburrs - that's the one weed I have to go root out manually.

Oh, and one of my bottle kids pretty much ate down the rhubarb patch last year. I've also seen the kids eating deadly nightshade.

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  #20  
Old 04/18/11, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearningLife View Post
I would have second thoughts about adding kudzu. I have heard that goats really like it, but unless you have A LOT of goats to control it, it can take over your landscape, killing many of your other plants. There are whole stands of trees around here that are just dead wood now standing completely covered in the stuff.
Kudzu is not really that hard to control. When I lived in Alabama it grew all around us, but we never had problems with it in our yard or on our trees, as long as you mow your lawn, you shouldn't have problems with it.
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  #21  
Old 04/18/11, 12:56 PM
 
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I didn't see bamboo listed, although, like kudzu, it grows and spreads vigirously, but IMO, that's a good thing when it comes to goats. Both kudzy and bamboo have a lot of nutrients your goats can benefit from.

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  #22  
Old 04/18/11, 01:38 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Yea I'm thinking about making living/edible fences out of bamboo and the runners. They wouldn't eat it once it's a couple years old right? They can have the shoots as long as they leave the big stuff (the fence) alone.

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  #23  
Old 04/18/11, 02:33 PM
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You have to protect bamboo until it is established, but once it is established it is safe.

What growing zone are you in? I am in 8b and currently have P. Viridis and P. Euridis (Moso) doing fine, even in this drought.

P.S. I'm the bamboo person on the board as that is my hobby.

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  #24  
Old 04/18/11, 02:37 PM
 
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Alfalfa: Mine love alfalfa hay, but I'm not sure how much they would like the plant. Probably once accustomed to it, they would like it.
Kudzu: Very good for goats
Lambsquarters: Mine will eat it, but it is not their first choice
Tagataste: Not familiar with this plant
Sericea Lespedeza: Excellent choice. Goats will eat it, and it can help control internal parasites.
Sunflower Seeds: Goats LOVE sunflower seeds.
Chicory: Great choice. Goats will eat it, and it is a great source of protein. Very high quality forage.
Comfery: I don't have this where I live, but I hear goats love it.
Honeysuckle: Goats love this one, but it is an invasive weed.
Stinging Nettles: I don't have this on my property, so I am not sure.
Mangels: Not familiar with this plant.
Jerusalem Artichokes: These are closely related to sunflowers. Goats will definitely eat.
Velvetleaf?: Not familiar with this plant.
Amaranth?: Goats will eat, but doesn't appear to be a favorite.
Acorns?: Goats will eat, but make sure you plant white oaks since red oak acorns can cause kidney problems due to too high a concentration of hydrolysable tannins.
Epimedium: Not familiar with this plant
Thistles: Goats will eat, but not a favorite.
Purple Deadnettle: Not familiar with this plant.
Leafy Spurge (invasive): Not sure
Dandelion: I haven't observed much with this plant, but it is edible, and I imagine goats would eat it.
Yarrow: Don't have it growing in my pasture, so don't know.
Matua: Not familiar with this plant
Blackberries/Raspberries: Favorite food of goats.
Tribulus: Not familiar with this plant
Clovers: Goats will eat some clovers and turn up their nose at others. Mine seem to like crimson clover.
Cannabis: Never fed this to my goats
Wheatgrass: Goats will eat this and any other type of cereal grain grass if they are accustomed to eating grass.
Sage: My goats have never seen this.
Mustard: Goats will eat.
Chamomile: In the daisy family. My Goats love asters, which are related, so they would probably eat this.
Borage: Don't have this in my pasture.
Lovage: Not familiar with this plant.
Echinacea: Since goats like daisy-family plants, they would probably like this.
Apios Americana: Not familiar with this plant.
Perennial Sunflowers: Goats will eat.
Alfalfa, clover, wheatgrass hay mix, and comfrey? Probably a good mix.
Red alder, redcedar, salmonberry: only familiar with red cedar. Goats will eat red cedar.
Squash: Haven't offered to my goats, but when they got into the garden it wasn't their first choice.
Kale: Not sure
Honey and Black Locust: They would probably eat, but I wouldn't plant either of these.
Capers: Not familiar with this plant
Alfalfa, Italian ryegrass hay mix: Sounds like a good hay.
Eleagnus: Not familiar with this plant.
Weeping Willow: Goats would probably eat. I haven't exposed mine to willow, so I am not sure.
Poplar: Goats will definitely eat.
Sugar Maple: Doesn't grow in my area. Goats will eat some red maple, but red maple can be toxic in large quantities.
Buckwheat: See wheatgrass.
Mimosa: Goats will eat, but I believe this is an invasive species.

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  #25  
Old 04/18/11, 03:15 PM
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Oh, just a note on cannabis:

Goats DO love it. Therefore if you are planting it for you, and think you can plant some of the "party time" species, don't bother. Your goats will eat it to nubs before it ever has a chance to form a single "party time" chemical. If they can get to it, they will eat it. They love it.

C. ruderalis is tough enough, and grows fast enough, to endure the goat's chomping it... but the...less hardy...species won't last seconds past sprouting.

When I lived in Colorado, I had a friend that had greenhouses and grew one greenhouse *specifically* for the dispensaries. One day, he forgot to close the door all the way, and his goats got in there. (Angoras)

6 hours, 10 goats later....and $15,000 worth of damage due to plant loss. Ouchies. They were mid-way through flowering too.

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  #26  
Old 04/18/11, 11:34 PM
 
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Cool, do you like to build with it? I'm getting more and more into bamboo. Never heard of p. euridis though nor does anything come up on Google when I type it in. And P. viridis? Wish I had enough to brew..


Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliannG View Post
You have to protect bamboo until it is established, but once it is established it is safe.

What growing zone are you in? I am in 8b and currently have P. Viridis and P. Euridis (Moso) doing fine, even in this drought.

P.S. I'm the bamboo person on the board as that is my hobby.
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  #27  
Old 04/18/11, 11:40 PM
 
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Lucky goats...
Good to know though, ruderalis is probably what I'll put in. I'll probably use it for more than fodder though as I believe the seeds are very nutritious and might even make good goat feed. The fiber's always a plus too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliannG View Post
Oh, just a note on cannabis:

Goats DO love it. Therefore if you are planting it for you, and think you can plant some of the "party time" species, don't bother. Your goats will eat it to nubs before it ever has a chance to form a single "party time" chemical. If they can get to it, they will eat it. They love it.

C. ruderalis is tough enough, and grows fast enough, to endure the goat's chomping it... but the...less hardy...species won't last seconds past sprouting.

When I lived in Colorado, I had a friend that had greenhouses and grew one greenhouse *specifically* for the dispensaries. One day, he forgot to close the door all the way, and his goats got in there. (Angoras)

6 hours, 10 goats later....and $15,000 worth of damage due to plant loss. Ouchies. They were mid-way through flowering too.
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  #28  
Old 04/18/11, 11:48 PM
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Nobody better tell my goats they don't eat stinging nettle, it's one of their favorites. Also, they can strip a mulberry or cedar tree in a matter of minutes if given a chance. They'll eat flowers/seed heads off just about anything, including button weed. Mom's sheep nibbled every brussel sprout off my plants two years ago, left nothing but stems. Seems like goats may be so inclined as well. I also question the sanity of intentionally building exercise time in to your schedule, especially if you'll be doing a lot of work manually already! Caite

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  #29  
Old 04/18/11, 11:49 PM
 
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I forgot to add peanut hay. I'm going to be planting some where the goats can't get at it till I harvest the peanuts, then give the plants to the goats.

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  #30  
Old 04/19/11, 02:41 AM
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Ruderalis seed is available at most bird supply places. It IS good feed, and it has a very slight sedative effect....about the same as a cup of chamomile tea for us.

At any rate, I have a blue & gold parrot that can get pretty neurotic, especially if his environment is disturbed (he had an unhappy past), and he gets that when he is particularly stressed. It is considered a source of fats and a slight source carbs.

In Moso, the full term is Phyllostachys pubescens heterocycla edulis. My bad, my brain said erudis when typing the other post and I don't know why. Probably coming down with that Waltzheimers stuff.

Yes, you can build with P. edulis, P. viridis, or P. bambusoides, all of which will grow in zone 8b. Some people also suggest P. vivax, but I think it is a bit thin walled for true construction. I know a couple who has built most of their outbuildings in Austin all from their grove of Golden Bamboo on sight.

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