What should I plant in the goat pen/chicken freerange area?

Kaitie09

Songster
11 Years
May 28, 2009
1,205
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South Central, PA
I'm not totally sure where to post this, but I'm looking for some help. I have goats that have 1/2 acre of a wooded pen they are in. The ground is very fertile, but bare, so I'm thinking about planting a ground cover this spring. The chicken are also allowed to free range in there on nice days. I really have no idea what to plant there, and no one on BYH answered my question. The ground is on a hill, so the water runs down it, but does not sit.

I was thinking either just plain, hardy grass, because the goats won't eat it, but it will look pretty. They would also keep it short because of walking on it, so no need to cut it. However, I was also thinking a mix of Orchard/Alfalfa, which is what they eat now, but I'm not sure if they would eat it unless is was cut.
 

Iowa Roo Mom

Resistance Is Futile
11 Years
Apr 30, 2009
3,925
12
281
Keokuk County
Good luck planting anything in a goat pen!
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Just plant a hardy grass, don't go with anything fancy... It will get eaten by the goats and scratched up by the chickens!
 

Kaitie09

Songster
11 Years
May 28, 2009
1,205
35
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South Central, PA
When we moved them into the area, it was totally wooded. They have clear cut everything below 5 feet, so now the ground is just covered with 50 yrs of rotting leaves. We are trying to make it look a little better, as we are starting to work on the backyard now. There was some grass that grew in there just from us throwing some straw in the pen (had some grass seeds in it). The goats did not bother it.
 
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Mrs. Feathers

Songster
11 Years
Apr 2, 2010
753
11
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If you find anything that your goats and chickens don't demolish please let me know....the only thing that survives the wrath of our girls are big trees, some ferns and lots of rocks.
As a matter of fact the dirt isn't even safe from them....they dig it up and miraculously even more rocks "grow".
barnie.gif
 

Kaitie09

Songster
11 Years
May 28, 2009
1,205
35
216
South Central, PA
I'll let you know. I think we are going to try a Kentucky bluegrass. Our goats are extremely picky and when we let them "free range" in the yard, they will skip the grass and go for the weeds. I don't think I've ever sen them eat grass at all. They will chase a leaf around the yard before they touch anything else.
 

chickinlittles

Songster
7 Years
Jul 13, 2014
245
1,635
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If you find anything that your goats and chickens don't demolish please let me know....the only thing that survives the wrath of our girls are big trees, some ferns and lots of rocks.
As a matter of fact the dirt isn't even safe from them....they dig it up and miraculously even more rocks "grow".
barnie.gif
Rosemaryis great , once established both my goats and chickens will take a bite here and there but don’t hurt it, the chickens run around in it and smell great. I put a little bit with fresh lavender and mint in laying boxes helps deter pests and smells great.
 

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