Fodder Trees

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Tegs, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Nigel Richards

    Nigel Richards Junior Member

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    You might consider olive trees.

    Here in Greece, I've seen them doing very well in very exposed regions.

    In addition to a highly valuable crop of olives, these trees provide valuable fodder twice a year (spring and autumn pruning).

    Goats, cattle, sheep, horses even pigs; yes pigs.
    I'd swear the animals are getting much more than fodder though - they always appear so sleek and bright eyed after a period of eating olive leaves/branches.
     
  2. Nigel Richards

    Nigel Richards Junior Member

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    If you're spoiled for choice or like me; wan't a bit of everything, you might think of your windbreak as a mini forest in itself.

    Plant a whole variety of suitable plants - a giant mixed hedgerow...mini forest? Legumes, fruitbearers, hardwoods, shrubs, bamboo...am I getting carried away?

    Ahhh! Bamboo!!! Now there's one heck of a fodder scource if ever I saw one.
     
  3. void_genesis

    void_genesis Junior Member

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    That is really interesting to hear olive leaf is good animal fodder. Definitely reason to put some in our fodder plantings and see how they go. They are usually grown over the other side of the mountain range in the drier/cooler places but I think they can do ok in well drained spots on our more humid side of the range facing the sea.

    I considered doing highly mixed hedgerows but I wonder if they will be more difficult to manage. So for the moment each row contains one species but they alternate, mostly between legumes and non-legumes. I also decided to keep all my bamboo in dedicated groves. It makes it easier to manage it, and it grows a bit more upright. The animals will be getting the prunings to strip the leaves before I make charcoal from the heavier remains.

    For fruiting plants- I am planning on incorporating boysenberry and muscadine grapes to grow through the fodder shrubs since they make excellent fast growing fodder as well. Just want to test the boysenberry on a small scale first to make sure it isnt going to become too much of an unmanageable thicket (with goats around I suspect that wont be the case). Hopefully the speed of moving the animals around the block will mean that at least some of the fruiting vines get a window of not being grazed that is long enough to allow the fruit to mature.
     
  4. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Rather than allow it to dissolve into obscurity...

    Japanese Sunflower/Tree Marigold (similar to Mexican sunflower):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tithonia_diversifolia

    Biomass accumulator crop, fodder crop. Roadside weed. Design accordingly.

    Links below from a quick Google search:

    https://www.lrrd.org/lrrd22/3/fasu22042.htm

    https://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Tithonia_diversifolia.pdf

    https://www.ifmaonline.org/pdf/congress/09_Igua&Huasi.pdf

    https://www.mekarn.org/workshops/prohan/sao.htm


    https://www.betuco.be/agroforestry/Tithonia diversifolia kenya.pdf

    From the above:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Primary Producer
    Location:
    Curramore, Blackall Range, S E Queensland, Aust.
    Climate:
    Sub-tropical to temperate 2000mm rain, elevated 350-475m
    Indian Sirus, Albizia lebbeck, it grows wild or escaped on the roadside from Childers North, especially near the old Raglan pub further North. Bean pods are very high in digestible protein and wood is suitable for firewood and is also used for some cabinet work but is hard. Very drought tolerant.
    Canna edulis Queensland Arrowroot in wet patches, cows love it and in summer grows fast. Does fall over a bit and get messy when it gets over 2m tall.
    Kurrajong trees and Flame trees in the bottle tree family are very drought tolerant and can be coppiced in a drought for feed. Others in the family Sterculiaceae such as peanut tree Sterculea quadrifida may grow that far North as well.
    Leucaena would do well but the toxin it contains to keep animals from eating it called mimosine needs to be tackled by cud inoculating ruminants and it's no good if you want to keep a horse. Can spread too.
    Some species of Calliandra, I think it might be holocephalus? Or is it haematocephalus? Can't recall the right Greenus growtallus name for it just now. Calothyrus rings a faint bell.
    Carob. The pods are highly nutritious.
    Tagasaste doesn't like hot wet summers here and gets root rot, but it could be my acid red soil here as well.
    Bananas. I feed mine all the de-suckerings every few weeks and green bananas which are bitten by birds and bats and the split stems after I have removed the bunch. Also I cut of the flower bells when the bunch is complete and feed this too if I don't cook with it myself.
    Mulberry.
    Willows in wet patches, but can become invasive.
    Bush lemons. Cows love the fruit, but squash them first so they can't get them stuck in their gullet. They will eat all the leaves off as well as far up as they can reach.
    Young palms like Piccabeen or Bangalow in really wet spots, the cabbage is relished but kills the growing point of the plant. So not so sustainable.
    Some of the Stylosanthes or stylos like Townsville Stylo.
    Wynn Cassia.
    Ice cream bean tree Inga edulis is another in the legume family that may grow their as well.
    Some of the saltbushes may do well if you are in a dryer, free draining area on tougher soil conditions.


    Like most fodder trees, they really should be fenced off and the animals let in once or twice a year to graze, then let recover otherwise they just flog them and they lose vigour and die.
     
  6. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    SOP got any??
     
  7. void_genesis

    void_genesis Junior Member

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    That is a really good list for the southeast Queensland corner curramore.

    The common bushy Calliandra is haematocephala that you see in gardens. It produces top quality leaf mould and really good firewood, but the tannins are a bit high for most livestock to eat very much of them. I'm thinking of seeing if they will work as part of a hedgerow since they are very dense and only get to 3 m tops. The other one C. calothyrsus is meant to be lower in tannin but it grows into a 5-8 m tree. I reckon the shorter calliandra, tithonia and malvaviscus grown together could make a pretty stock proof hedge that only grows to 2-3 m tall.

    I'm pretty sure carob pods ferment in our climate unless we have an uncommonly dry summer.

    To Andrew Curr- Tithonia is pretty common as a weed in road cuttings around the range. There is a huge stand of it between Nambour and Mapleton as you drive up the range. Just be careful with it- it grows from seeds and cuttings.
     
  8. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I went to get some Tree Marigold today but I totally forgot to go home a certain way and missed it. Not very common in our corner but like Void states, there are areas that have large infestations.

    I actually got onto it from a comment on PRI about Comfrey improving the soil around it. It was recommended as the tropical/warm temperate equivalent for Comfrey's benefits.
     
  10. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    He also posted a fruit tree list back in the day that I kept (from memory it may have been in order of what worked best for him):

    Curramore's (Blackall SEQ)

    Banana
    Lime
    Emporer Mandarin
    Washington Navel Orange
    Late Navel Orange
    Valencia Orange
    Macadamia
    Hass Avocado
    Cherry Guava
    Grumichama
    Jaboticaba
    Ice Cream Bean
    Mulberry
    Tamarillo
    Passionfruit
    Paw Paw
    Fig (White Adriatic, Black Genoa, Brown Turkey)
    Grapefruit
    Jakfruit
    Wampi
    Fejoia
    Lemon
    Kaffir Lime
    Ruby Grapefruit
    Blood Orange
    Pineapple
    PErsimmon (Jap non-astringent)


    Others

    Acerola Cherry
    Miracle Fruit
    Pitaya
    Lychee B3
    Mandarin (Imperial, Ellendale)
    Persimmon
    Cherimoya
    Carambola
    Pomegranate (Fuyu)
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Ahh so that's what that is - I have often wondered. It does look pretty when it is in flower, but the hill that is growing on would need a very footsure mountain goat to get stuck into it to control it.
     
  12. debonatrek

    debonatrek Junior Member

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    Fodder trees and sheep. How do you work out how many trees you need to feed your sheep? ie. 2 tagasaste, a macadamia can feed 1 sheep? I have 25 sheep numbers may go up and down, thanks
     
  13. void_genesis

    void_genesis Junior Member

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    Number of fodder trees per animal is an even more complex thing to balance than number of animals per acre of pasture. It varies so much with climate, soil and weather cycles.

    The only thing I have picked up is that proper rotation of the stock is even more important for fodder trees than it is for pasture. Overgraze a pasture a bit and you just lose diversity, falling back to less palatable grasses and eventually just toxic weeds. A pasture in a good growing season should get back to a nutritional peak in about 90 days from last grazing (ideal time to graze again), but cold or dry weather can slow that down a lot. That said it is beneficial to skip a grazing from time to time to let some of the pasture legumes etc seed and establish new individuals.

    For fodder trees for cows or goats the tricky part is establishment, where they need a year or two with no grazing to get going. Most commercial farmers can't justify the loss of income during that amount of time plus the expense of establishment, even if it means you massively increase productivity and drought proof stock feed in the longer term. It takes more time to manage the grazing as well if you need to cut the plants back down to browsing level every so often. Undergrazing fodder trees means they can grow too tall. This is one reason I am moving from cows to goats- easier to vary the numbers of a smaller animal that is more prolific.

    So you can't really think of it just in terms of number of trees per animal. For goats I'm take the approach of figuring out how many grazing cells I will need in order to get a sufficiently long rest before grazing again on my property. With only 30 acres of grazing pasture, 3 days per grazing cell (minimum time taken for parasite eggs to hatch and reinfect the animals) and a six month rest between grazings I will need at least 60 grazing cells (180 days/3 days) and 0.5 acres per cell on average (30 acres/60 cells). I'm planning on putting a clump of trees in the middle of each cell, arranged so I can also subdivide the cell into halves or quarters without the electric fences getting too tangled in the trees. I'll then start with a small goat herd once the trees are established, small enough so the trees still make reasonable progress year to year. When the trees start getting too mature I will start coppicing them back down, and when the goats start doing too much damage to the trees I will reduce their numbers back to a sustainable flock (particularly during prolonged droughts).

    Sheep are a bit different in that they wont browse shrubs as much, but they are known to get a lot of benefit from the fallen leaves of more mature trees, particularly if they shed their leaves in the dry season (Albizzia should be good in Perth if your frost is light). If you are in a drier climate parasites may not be as much of an issue, so rotation isn't as critical from that perspective, so I would look at figuring out the ideal percentage tree cover for your property and plant fewer trees, protect them from the sheep with guards, and allow them to grow up and over. I think I have read in silviculture studies that up to 30% tree cover in widely spaced plantings is the ideal- the grass under the trees grows almost as well as that in full sun, but you also get fallen leaves and pods for the sheep. The reduced air flow near the ground reduces water use from the grass and makes up for the extra evaporation of water from the trees.

    Smaller plants like tagasaste aren't as long lived as large trees, so you have a couple of options. If you can subdivide and cell graze you may be able to set up conditions where the tagasaste can self sow and establish between grazings, then it effectively becomes just a jumbo pasture legume. Otherwise you can plant it in protected areas and cut it by hand for the sheep, for example during drought times. If you have the time and access to mobile electric fencing the first option should give the biggest benefits. Many cell grazers have accounts of nearly doubling the carrying capacity of the land by maximising photosynthesis and minimising wastage of uneaten plant material. I know my cows are like 4 year old who eat all the candy first (pasture legumes) and only begrudgingly eat their vegetables (over-mature grasses). Brief periods of cell grazing should force the animals to eat the old grasses before they have time to completely destroy the pasture legumes, and get them back before the grasses get old again when they regrow. The cut and carry option tends to work in developing nations where it is more feasible to pen the animals and bring them the food regularly.

    Lastly....I wouldn't recommend macadamia for sheep, especially in perth. Surely it is too cool there for them to grow fast enough to be useful? Plus they make lousy fodder. I am going back on my idea of putting productive trees in the middle of my fodder groves- they will take far to long to be big enough to stand up to goats, and even then their bark is always within reach. I'm going back to putting my fruit and nut trees in dedicated groves in my more fertile areas, maybe a better spot for pasturing pigs eventually.
     
  14. debonatrek

    debonatrek Junior Member

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    Thank you void_genesis. Youve given me heaps of food for thought. (macadamia tree was just an example:)) It seems i have a lot to research to do
     
  15. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    I have a mate with a really nice macadamia in Launceston!
    Tree crops a permanent agriculture:" guves a few hints ;;;;but the book is yet to be written!!
     
  16. debonatrek

    debonatrek Junior Member

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    please put me on the mailing list when complete!

    Does anyone have some photos of there fodder crops? or someone that i should be following?
     
  17. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Try newenglandpermaculture.com
    or my facebook!
    How many acres?
    2 honey locus t pods/drysheep/day is a good suplament if you have dry standing feed!
    dont forget about oaks!
     
  18. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I've never seen your site work, Andrew. Every time you link it, or I see your name on PRI, I click. I've never made it there.

    I'm assuming it's like www.zombo.com
     
  19. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    I need a teenager here!
     
  20. debonatrek

    debonatrek Junior Member

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    we have 22 acres
     

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