Dangers of goats grazing in the woods

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by waddles99, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

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    What are the negatives of grazing goats in the woods? I have about a tenth of an acre on my mini farm that is all woods/weeds and i want to get rid of it. It is inconvenient to get to and from my barn and is just an eyesore. I heard some plants can kill goats, which i wouldn't want to happen(on top of them being great friendly companions, they are also $400 show goats[​IMG]). Also, I heard some trees can get killed and/or damaged by goats. Which i wouldn't want to happen, I have about 5 trees I'd like to tap this winter. Seriously, what are the dangers of grazing them in the woods? Whats the worst that can happen? Any input appreciated.[​IMG]
     
  2. H Diamond

    H Diamond Songster

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    The worst? They all die.. lol. That's probably not going to happen, but it would be the worst. :)
    Assuming this will be a fenced in area and not just open range type grazing, your biggest dangers will be predators and poisonous plants.
    The goats will eat the bark off trees and mow off any leaves in range pretty quickly. So, anything you don't want potentially killed, you will need to fence the goats off of.
    Here is a good list of poisonous plants: http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/goatlist.html
     
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  3. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

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    In that case, I think i'll keep them in their pen. I would rather have them in a controlled environment where I choose what to feed them, nothing for them to eat and possibly die from, not as many predators. All I'm saying, is if there's a chance they'll die, even if it is 10%, I don't want to risk it. And thanks for the list, but if i went around a tenth of an acre(woods is about 100 x 60), trying to ID every plant, weed, and vine to make sure it is not one of 100 poisonous plants, I'd rather rip them out myself, LOL.
     
  4. H Diamond

    H Diamond Songster

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    Let's try this again... if it were me I'd put them out there if you can fence it in. You asked for worse case scenario, so that's what I gave you. There is ALWAYS a chance your animal is going to die. Death is an inevitable part of raising livestock. And trust me... I understand the cost of a show goat... I raise registered dairy goats, and it gets REAL expensive.
     
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  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

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    Ok, good. I might just wrap the trees individually with 4 x 2 square field fencing and use a staple gun to secure it so they don't strip the bark. Most trees in this woods are pole trees :/ so they can kill those all they want, but then they're around 10 trees that are really old and I would like to keep. Plus, they can chow down on all the weeds and ivy out there they want.
     
  6. H Diamond

    H Diamond Songster

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    That probably won't work to keep them from eating the bark.. You will probably have to set the fence off a few feet so they can't reach it at all. Maybe someone with more expertise in that area can jump in.
     
  7. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

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    Yeah. Ive heard they are tricky to keep away from where they wanna be, lol. You've been a big help throughout the thread(and even on my goats vs cow thread), even if you weren't able to answer this one question.
     
  8. doug thefarmer

    doug thefarmer Hatching

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    we have goats in a 2 acre lot and they striped the bark off every tree . I am cutting them down as I get time for fire wood
    because they are all dead. I did know they was going to die . you can put large plastic pipe around the trees and that should stop them from hurting the trees. the poisonous plant thing I don't think you will have a problem with.
     
  9. cassie

    cassie Crowing

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    If you offer goats a mineral mix high in phosphorous it should cut down on the bark stripping. You can also tack stucco wire around the trunks.
     
  10. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

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    I was thinking along those lines since i have some leftover 4x4 field fence but i guess they can easily get through. Chicken wire or this stucco wire seems better suited to keeping goats out.
     

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