Sericea Lespedeza = cheap wormer!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Jim S., Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    They would hate me for this, but I doubt seriously that it is anything actually in the Lespedeza, it is the growth of the plant. It is small plant, it is not blade grass. So like grass it is not mown short by the goats. It is not going to have larve from worms or cocci clinging to it like leaf grass does when fields get dew or rain. Worm eggs can not crawl they float up and cling on, the fields would have to be severely flooded to cling as high as goats would be eating nearly with their heads up on this stuff...like how in my woods pen with no grass just underbrush we don't even worm when the goats are out in that pen.

    Go to Google.com put, Sericea Lespedeza in the search and click images, look at the plant, it is not a grass. Makes perfect sense to me if you planted any small shurb like growthy grass like this that it would elimanate parasties in your goats also, as dry lots do. As alfalfa does, as peanuts do, as clover does, as corn stubble etc.. vicki
     

  3. Marjorie Dickso

    Marjorie Dickso Well-Known Member

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    DON'T plant that stuff. It is invasavie. Noxious weed introduced when planting was started on CRP ground.
     
  4. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    LOL. I'll let folks decide for themselves. I've never had an invasion problem with the sericea on my farm in Tennessee. It was there when I got here 16 years ago. It has not invaded adjacent fescue hayland in that time, and it is not listed as a noxious weed in my state. Gotta be careful about what are noxious weeds...they vary state to state. For anyone who would like to check it out, just Google "Sericea Lespedeza" and you will find lots of good information. It's been proven in multiple studies.
     
  5. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    Thanks Jim! It 'jives' with other findings on high tannin roughage containing plants. Like Oak leaves, etc.

    Amazing what some call weeds, a goat farmer glories in :)

    Andrea
    www.faintinggoat.net
    www.arare-breed.net
     
  6. Simpler Times

    Simpler Times Well-Known Member

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    That study is pretty interesting. It specifically investigates the effect of Serecia on Haemonchus contortus. Some goats were fed Serecia and others long-stem bermuda. ALL were intentionally infected with Haemonchus contortus larvae three times a week. The goats given the Serecia showed a significant difference in fecal egg counts for Haemonchus contortus when compared to the goats receiving bermuda. Although only twenty animals were used in the experiment those findings are still pretty impressive! Kinda goes to show that all things have a purpose...we sometimes just don't understand the purpose. As far as its invasiveness, I too have had a significant stand of Serecia in our pasture. Over the last nine years I can't tell it has expanded at all. I wish it would! Its good for my horses, bees, and my goats! I wouldn't want it to invade a pristine natural area but pastures are seldom characterized as such.
     
  7. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    I agree, computerchick, oak leaves are great! Plus, my goats just love the acorns in the back pastures. I pity the poor squirrels! LOL.

    We religiously feed leaves on trimmed branches from the yard we toss over the fence.

    The lovely wife has a B.S. in clinical herbalism, and she has treated the goats by prescribing certain herbs for them to eat fresh. FiasCo Farm has a great holistic site. Stinging nettle is one my wife grows that does well here and is an excellent first-line tonic. It'll sting you and me, but goats eat it right up.

    I have pastures here that were 90 percent weeds when I came. They are near 100 percent stands of grass now, 16 years later. Every spring, I get a comment from someone about how I must have really laid the fertilizer on this pasture or that pasture for it to look so dark green and growthy. How'd I really do it? Herbicides? Fertilizer? Intensive planting?

    Nope. Goats!
     
  8. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Birdsfoot trefoil is also supposed to be high in concentrated tannins. Langston Univ. did a similar study using that plant.
     
  9. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    Awesome Jim, your wife sounds like she's right up my alley with train of thoughts on goat care. I didn't know there was a BS program in herbals! I probably would have gone that route for sure! I actually follow Juliette deBaircali Levy's wisdom. Although I've gotten lazy lately and am using Fiasco Farm's premixed/ground dewormer tonics. With great success, by the way, over two months now.

    I bet you are pitying the gorgeous grass now though - and wishing for more browse!!! I'm working on hawthorns and a few others for hedgerows - I'm converting old fencelines into hedgerows...fingers crossed there LOL.

    Fishhead - chicory is also prized.

    I am putting together an herbal paddock this year - for 'limited' use as in - let the goats browse it a wee bit, and also for us humans to use too. I have chicory, mustard, dill, wormwood, echinacea, rue, and a couple other herbs that I can't remember :)

    We love garlic here too!

    Andrea
     
  10. crafty2002

    crafty2002 Well-Known Member

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    I just stopped in so I can find the site latter. Thanks for the info.
     
  11. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    computerchick, I am in the middle of fencing off more of the place where there is more browse, simply because I want to more than double the herd size. But contrary to what I often read on the Net, in my own experience goats can do very well on grass alone.

    We leave the barnyard off limits to them til the leafy brush grows back, then let them in to intensively graze it. Brush grows in TN like magic. There is a pasture down the road that was clear when we moved here 16 years ago, and they quit using it that year. Minus grazing and mowing, it is now forested.

    This pasture was mostly all dog fennel and bare dirt 16 years ago...all we added was goats...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Not in all states. In Kansas, the cattle farmers have bullied the state into classifying it as noxious, because their cattle don't seem to like it. Goats on the other hand, love it. So, if Kansas were to be primarily a goat state, it would not longer be classified as noxious. Noxious weeds classification is mostly political and business.
     
  13. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    Right on, gc, the classification of noxious is indeed state by state. To use another example, I love Johnsongrass in hay when it is baled right (before frost), but in the Midwestern grain states it is declared a noxious weed. I can buy SEED for Johnsongrass here, but up North it is a scourge to be eradicated. We actually grow a clump of Johnsongrass as an ornamental in our side yard. A guy came down from Ohio, he about had a heart attack when he saw that! LOL

    Cheers!
     
  14. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    Wow Jim - my HORSES would love that!!!

    Up here, when you buy a 'just grass' bale - it's mostly Orchard Grass - which most horse folks go ya ya over. For some reason it didn't do well with my goats this year...so I turned them all back out on the pasture/woods/hills to scrounge for themselves. They love the hawthorns, clover and the wild rosa (something we consider invasive up here!!) and raspberry thorns. One day I'll actually get an agent or something out here to sample what's in these fields that I lease...I swear I've identified 20 'herb' or 'weeds' just from my walks to check the fencelines with the Peterson's field guides in hand :)

    Goats look nice Jim - where in TN are you?

    Andrea
     
  15. Liese

    Liese Namaste

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    Jim, did you lime your fields and if so when? that was one of my to do's that didn't get done in the fall, now I am thinking with all the rain and saturated ground that if I lime now it will just run off with the next rains. But I have 2 small fields that had been in corn when we moved it, I mowed it down but would like to do some frost seedings since it is so barren. Would like to hear some thoughts on this-thanks, Liese, Piedmont region, NC
     
  16. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    sounds very interesting I read the study. I wonder how helpful it would be to have a low intake, such as overseeding that and several other mixed herbs/weeds into the existing sparse grass pastures? I want renovate the ones thre with a mixed legume and herb mixture and trying to figure out benefical species for a cows/horses/goats and sheep in a rotational grazing scheme.

    hardest part so far is trying to find a single resource that will tell me the benefits and downsides to all the diffrenet potential pasture inclusions for each animal species.
     
  17. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    Andrea, I'm in Lincoln County, TN -- south-central, above Huntsville, AL. The grass you are looking at is orchardgrass/fescue mix. Thanks for the goats comment. Many of those goats in that pic are no longer here.

    Liese, the first deal with lime is that you can't put it on and expect the same short timeframe of results that you get with fertilizers. It is longer-acting. Fall is good lime time, so that the first benefits will come in spring and continue through into summer and fall. To answer your question, that pasture has never been limed. In 16 years, I never limed until fall a year ago, when I finally did it. I still did not lime the pasture in the pic, nor do I fertilize it. It's all goat powered!

    For your frost seeding, I wouldn't much worry about liming first. You could go ahead and estabish, then hit it with a later-spring shot of broadcast starter fertilizer once the leaves are say 3-4 inches long. The right timing of fertilizer just before a gentle rain will really bring on new grass, and it is more cost-effective than lime in establishing grass.

    If you have a tractor and a good farmers co-op, you can often for $100 or less rent a drill and drill in your grass planting. That will mean a thicker stand right off, and less ungerminated seed. But it is more expensive. I have found broadcast works well, especially in fields that already have some vegetation.

    LMonty, I have a book called "Southern Forages" that lists sericea as a legume. So it could take the place of some clovers as far as N fixing work. It is less palatible, though. To help with your question, my own experience is that a mix of orchardgrass, fescue, ladino and red clover is excellent here for horse/cow/goat operations. I stay away from bermuda and warm-season grasses, though they volunteer here. Horses and cows will tend to open up pastureland (especially horses, which rip the roots out rather than top-grazing), so that weeds and woody plants will volunteer into it, then your goats come along and prefer eating those.

    Horses/cows eat in this order: clover, grass, weeds, woody plants

    Goats eat in this order: Woody plants, weeds, grass, clover

    I don't feed herbs but I do feed weeds.

    The pasture in the pic was devastated by an overgrazed horses-only farm, which is what this was when we bought it. It was all dog fennel...I wish I had a pic of how awful it was! Lots of horse owners for some strange reason seem to like to overpopulate their pastures. Goats continue thrive on the pasture in the pic -- which is now 90% cool-season grass due exclusively to their efforts over 16 years -- and a small thicket of briars adjacent to the pasture that they have limited access to. I have done nothing else to that pasture. I never even overseeded it.

    It speaks volumes about the power of goats in management.
     
  18. Liese

    Liese Namaste

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    Thanks so much Jim for your information. Liese, Piedmont region, NC
     
  19. Marjorie Dickso

    Marjorie Dickso Well-Known Member

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    The county agent had a meeting this fall on the Lespedeza. Since Kansas has mostly cattle, the cattle won't eat it and when it becomes invasive, cattlemen are in trouble. Unless, I guess, they buy goats to keep it down. There is almost no way to kill it off. The pasture across the road has Lespedeza, it is taking over and coming my way. It only has to cross the road. So it depends on whose ox is getting gored. I'm glad I have goats to take care of it. Isn't it funny and wonderful that there is a use for almost anything. Now if I could get my goats to leave the barnyard!!

    Sorry folks, I was just lettin you know what I know.
     
  20. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    Jim, good info- thank you very much!