How much pine is too much to feed?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by AndreaNZ, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    Mar 19, 2003
    Hi, all -- we've just taken down 3 huge old pine trees (I think they're scotch pines if that matters), with 7 more to go... having read and been told that fresh pine boughs fed to goats can be a good vermifuge and that it has antiseptic qualitities as well, we fed a few boughs to the goats, who've eaten it with relish, and started stripping off the green bark. They've mostly all just kidded (one more doe to go, but she's about a month off - managed to keep the buck at bay for that long! :shock: ), if that matters for the pine intake. Can I just keep feeding them the boughs, or is there a point where it's too much? I haven't noticed any scouring at all, BTW, and they've been eating it about 3 days now.

    Thanks!

    Andrea
    NZ
     
  2. dscott7972

    dscott7972 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    I think the two biggest problems would be: 1) such a change in their diet causing some diarhia 2) not the pine needles themselves but toxics that can get caught in the resin/gooey stuff of the needles. I don't have too much concern for that, I give my girls a little at a time. If they have access to the trees good luck keeping them away from it anyways, and in my experience the goats will go crazy with something and it it exclusively for the first few days to a week then slow down and it'll be just a part of their diet. But if your giving it to them I would'nt give them much at a time and the needles should keep and you should be able to give it to them through the winter, just pile up the limbs the needles should stay on, they may turn brown but should keep much of their nutrition and it would be a nice addition to your winter feed supply.
     

  3. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    Jul 3, 2003
    We live in the heart of the Black Hills National Forest so expectantly we have tens of thousands if Ponderosa pines on the property. For fire prevention purposes we are cutting all branches up to the 6’ level. All these branches plus whole trees are piled up and the goats eat them year round.

    We were always told pine was an abortive agent but we have no seen this occur. Maybe it’s because they eat them every day and have a level built up. Either way it’s a free food source. And after 3 years here we still have only finished about 15 acres of the cutting so they have a long future of free food.
     
  4. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    Mar 19, 2003
    Thanks, guys... I hadn't heard about pine causing abortion. Down here it's the cypresses that everyone's always warning against as causing abortion in cattle and sheep and the occasional goat.

    Cheers
    Andrea
    NZ