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geese to manage chicken pasture - parasite problems?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am trying find a way to manage my pasture for chickens. I want a patch work of short and tall forages. Short forages will have greatest chicken traffic while tall forages will be refuge / source of insect prey. Preference is to have about half of landscape in each type with complete connectivity of short grass areas meaning the tall grass patches will be fenced off. The fencing will allow chickens through. I was considering use of sheep and goats but latter in particular is prone to parasite problems and will be hard to contain near some of my valued shrub and tree plantings. Would cotton geese be suitable to maintain short grass areas? I am concerned geese may promote parasite problems in chickens which are of primary interest.
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Central Oregon
    While I am in favor of geese, your easiest solution to provide patches of tall grass interspersed with patches of short grass, is to simply go out there and mow aisle-ways in your grass. Mow in stripes, then go back and mow a few cross hatches.

    Sheep and goats will mow all the grass. They will not leave patches tall enough for chickens to hide in. They will also eat all of your shrubs and trees.

    Geese also will mow all the grass. If there is a lot of grass, they won't get it all short. They won't kill your shrubs and trees, but they might pluck the leaves off for as high as they can reach.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Goal is to not use tractor as routine pasture management tool. The monoculture you suggest will not provide a refuge for insects thus resulting in their rapid and nearly complete removal. Chickens will not use pasture effeciently if grass in "short" areas too high" If pattern can be achieved with an annual mowing only then worth considering. I invision this working like a reef (fenced-in tall pasture) that provides critical habitat / resources required by open water critters of direct economic value. A complex environment with intermediate levels of cropping pressure tend to be the most productive. Refuges make the system more stable.
     

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