Goats as weed control

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RE: Goats as weed control

Post by Iowaboo »

Good photos of the bamboo crew. My thoughts exactly. I think cattle wouldn't bother bamboo as much as long as the cane support structure is cabable of sustainment of the perennial rubbing.

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RE: Goats as weed control

Post by foxd »

Any problem with Chupacabras?

"Mama! The Goats! They are frightened!" -- Generic Chupacabra Horror Movie
Southern Indiana.
My Bamboo List.

The legal issues that will arise when the undead walk the earth are legion, and addressing them all is well beyond what could reasonably be accomplished in this brief Essay. Indeed, a complete treatment of the tax issues alone would require several volumes.
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Like Kyuzo (pictured above) in "The Seven Samurai," I've "...Killed (more than) two..." bamboos.

RE: Goats as weed control

Post by CadyG »

That made me think right away about the "X-Files" episode...
Cady G.
"Killed two..." -- Seiji Miyaguchi/Kyuzo
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Post by Jeff: Igor's Apprentice »

needmore wrote:Do you think it is possible to control goats with bamboo?
That's called "caning", a practice frowned upon by the ASPCA. :glasses5: :glasses4: :glasses5: :stop:
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Re: Goats as weed control

Post by Arkansas »

An old thread - but might as well update it with my goat experience. About 15 years ago i started keeping pygmy goats and had as many as 16 at one time. I had a patch of saw briers as big around as your thumb and 8 - 10 feet tall. That briar-patch was about 35 feet across and super thick. The goats highly preferred it over nice green grass and even over honeysuckle vines and they do like honeysuckle - cleaned it completely up before moving on to other prey.

I've taken a break from goats for a few years and during that time i have a lot of bamboo planted out where they once were. I've thought about putting 1 or 2 nanny goats in 3 acres, to clean it up a bit. Nanny goats are far less destructive than billies. And they do like company, so 2 is best, but in moderation, with plenty of roughage and not a lot of grass, they might be OK.

I'm still not convinced i want to risk it. I probably won't, but if i do, I'll limit them to half that 3 acres of bamboo and not even put a fence on the far side where they can, if they want, range 160 acres of woods.

By the way, i kept goats at first with a 3 strand electric fence and the last few years i only used a single strand. Of course for that to work, you must pen them up in a regular pen for a few weeks until they get familiar with the place and then turn them out to slowly experience the single wire. If you just dump them in there, they run right thru 3 or 5 strands ... but if they are content and slowly walk the perimeter and find the wire - they will then steer clear. One wire about 10 inches off the ground is all you really need.

If you have them thick enough, they will eat most anything. In my area, they prefer briars, weeds, small trees, bark from dogwood trees, and in late winter they skin all the bark off of cedar trees. The large oak, pines, hickory and gum trees, they pretty much leave alone. I'm sure they would eat them too, if the goat per tree ratio was high enough.

A good billy goat is twice or 3xs as destructive as a nanny and a bad billy goat (and lots of those Pygmy are) you better not go inside the pen without a good club. Some breeds are docile - some will lower that head and come for you every single time.
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Re: Goats as weed control

Post by ShmuBamboo »

In my experience, goats will devour bamboo leaves as a delicacy. So will sheep and cows. We had 100+ head of sheep and 12+ goats at my ex's place in southern Oregon. That was the ewe and doe count, not including rams, bucks, lambs or kids. Sheep are better than goats for grazing bamboos, as they will give the bamboo a leaf 'hair cut' about 4 feet off the ground without damaging the culms. The goats will also knock down the culms to get to higher leaves and do a lot of damage. Either can and do eat the bamboo leaves as fast as they can grow. The sheep preferred bamboo to many other plants. If they got into my one acre fenced garden area, they went straight for the bamboo, passing the roses, maples and berries in there. Munch munch munch. Bamboo is just a grass, and they are specialized and adapted to eating grass. The serrated bamboo leaf edges do not seem to bother the goats or sheep at all. The leaf edges keep the deer from eating the bamboo here though. My neighbor's cow gets out about once a year here and comes to my yard to graze on the bamboos. I have to bait her with apples to get her back across the road and into her pasture. The other neighbor has horses in their pasture, but they do not seem as interested in the bamboos here for some reason.
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