Monday, August 19, 2013

Moving day for goats ... again

A couple of weeks ago, we moved the goats to this weed-covered field. Yes, those six-foot-tall plants are weeds, not small trees.

We were a little worried that they would completely trample everything and wind up with little to eat within a day or two. But then again, we've never put them up against six-foot-tall weeds.

To our surprise, they stuck together and didn't venture very far into the weeds. They really have been gradually eating their way through the weed forest.

I suppose the reason this is working is because enormous weeds are not nearly as close together as blades of grass. When we've put them into areas with grass that was several feet high, they do trample that in no time.

Then again, maybe it was simply the height that intimidated them. I'm not sure they've ever been in grass that was so far above their heads.

We use rotational grazing both for pasture conservation and parasite control. If goats are not eating off the ground, they are not ingesting the worm larvae that has been deposited on the ground in goat poop. And if you move them before they eat all the vegetation down to the ground, they won't be continually reinfecting themselves. So, whenever they work their way through this little forest, we'll be moving them to another pasture.


Mary Ann said...

Learning so much from this!
I gave a copy of Homegrown and Handmade on our blog two weeks ago to a lucky winner, and she LOVED the book!

Velva said...

Looks like the move is successful! very cool.


Deborah Niemann said...

Thanks for spreading the word, Mary Ann!

Deborah Niemann said...

Velva -- oh, yeah! The goats love moving into a new area! :)

Spinners End Farm said...

Is your fence electrified or do they respect it from experience?

Deborah Niemann said...

The fence is ElectroNet. There is no way that wimpy little fence would keep them in if it were not electrified. In fact, you should never, ever leave them in an area with that type of fencing unless it is hot.

Anonymous said...

I think your goats are afraid to venture into the tall grass. Goat are prey animals and tend to be fearful when they can't see where predators might be lurking.


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