goats in permaculture

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by inahd, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    there is very little information on this, i will share what i have learned so far:

    goats snap baby fruit trees like.. well baby fruit trees

    goats eat vines, weeds, bark, bushes, tree leaves... a lot of things! will eat parts of vegetables that you wont.

    they are the only animal i know of small enough to provide milk (and meat if your into that kind of think) to a surburban family... except sheep who will also give hair. (but only eat grass which is boring)

    droppings will not burn plants like others that need to be composted.

    anything i am missing?
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    How about what they won't eat?
    [​IMG]
    https://everlastingmercy.blogspot.com/20 ... odils.html

    https://www.goatworld.com/articles/nutri ... teat.shtml
    https://netvet.wustl.edu/species/goats/goatpois.txt
     
  3. frosty

    frosty Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    you left out goats are smart affectionate and generally addictive :lol: :lol:

    we started with a doe in kid 3 years ago and now have 8 !!!

    our life revolves arround the goats - milking a making stuff from goats milk

    and we love every minute of it :D :D

    frosty
     
  4. david n

    david n Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    I've read Goats will not eat clover, leaving it to florish, perfect for bees and honey ( not to mention all the countless other benefits of bees) perhaps this is where the expression "land of milk and honey " comes from. Clover is a nitrogen fixer and has some dramatic claims in herbalism, such as treating breast cancer and arthritis.

    Sloe (Prunus spinosa) is supposed to be able to edure goats, at least for many years. It has some obsure medicinal and culinary uses such as flavoring Gin. It is really the sick cousin of the Plum, perhaps someone really stubborn- determined could graft plum on high up where goats can't reach.

    Rhododendrons are not eaten by goats because they are super bitter (a new commer may try it) like many beautiful showy things they are of course toxic, some are said to be intoxicating, but they have a few obscure medicinal and culinary uses.

    If I had goats I'd try very bitter and spikey things like Aloe or Cacti.

    I guess by kkeping the grass down they reduce fire risk, I wonder if they're any good for intruder alert.

    Over all I would have thought goats would be one of the more challeging species to incorporate into Permaculture at least without fencing/tethering.
     
  5. david n

    david n Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    I should have added honey made from the nectar of Rhododendrons may be toxic too, I don't have any details.
     
  6. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    my goat eats clover... not the female but she is really picky
     
  7. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    my goat loves aloe, but goats aren't into grass much. sheep would be better for fire prevention. they are not going to alert you to invaders, and will most likely run before you even know what is happening in a dangerous situation.
     
  8. Alex M

    Alex M Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    ABC TV's Landline ran a segment on goats today, called Weedeaters:
    You can view this story, and more, here:
    https://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/ ... 163583.htm
     
  9. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    the environmental work was one of the main reasons i became interested in goats. their diverse diet really makes them unique as far as i can tell, much more suitable for permaculture than say sheep which just eat grass.
     
  10. david n

    david n Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    I remember hearing people were using them against Gorse in NZ years ago, I don't know if it's a strategy that lasted, I guess harnessing that destructive power against evil part of the idea. Interesting to know they may eat clover, so much for that pretty idea. I seem to recall they're more sure footed than sheep in rough terrain.
     
  11. elmejor

    elmejor Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    Goats are perfect for permaculture, they produce milk and great garden manure and eat lots of things that are otherwise useless. they will come in really handy for clearing your pastures and in helping you to get rid of some of the brambles and cedars...though sheeps give you a better ROI, but they prefer only grass. so they are quite useful, and the things goats like can be easily planted and you may end up getting benefit from them!
     
  12. david n

    david n Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    Of course goats have been strongly implicated in desertifaction & deforestation for thousands of years, kept under control I'd believe they'd be excellent for permaculture, a natural/man-made disaster could mean they escape.

    Things that eat almost anything are cool in that they serve the permaculture principal of 'produce no waste', I hadn't thought of goats, I looked at flies-maggots recently (planning to eat some of the maggots in stir-fry) for this purpose but abandoned the idea because of potential and real negative social pressure(they do cultivate them for food in China), a list of all such garbage recylcing "pig-like" creatures would be good, I expect it would be pretty big.
     
  13. elmejor

    elmejor Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    Yes you are right, cows, pigs, sheeps are anything better than goats. you get better ROI in these as compared to goats. the biggest problems with goats are that they are can be prone to respiratory infections, and may need an inoculation against that once a year. as the topic was about Goats so i commented about them other wise are better options than that
     
  14. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    for vegetarian permaculturists i would think goats, and maybe some variety of sheep would be useful. cows are of course really great cause the males will work hard. in the suburbs keeping cows would be a nightmare however. me and my goats can cruise around to the local parks and friends houses doing some free landspaping, never too much harm as long as we keep moving. i will encourage them to eat ivy (because i hate it) and wild grape when i see it out of control. if i chop down a tree, they have eaten the leaves by the time i get it chopped up. then they eat the bark while i peel it off. i am planning to do trail work so they can backpack in seeds, tools etc. and i don't have to work hard for food just drink their milk. i couldn't really imagine keeping any other animals in the suburbs, especially pygmy goats and pygmy crosses will produce large excesses of milk and are too cute.
     
  15. david n

    david n Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    A little off the subject of goats but still on 'garbage disposal' animals, rats will eat almost anything animal or vegetable, I just Goggled "rat milk" for a laugh to find they are indeed milked for human consumption, and rat milk cheese has been made for centuries in Parts of Europe. The problem would be social acceptance, but if you actually want to keep ("normal") people away it might serve that role nicely too.

    I've been trialing Mealworms (Tenibrio molitor, a beetle larvae) in a cupboard for about a month because I was told they'll dispose of almost anything organic, including chicken bones which i don't give to the dog. Fishermen often raise some in a dark corner for bait, so people can't really say it's that weird, at least until they hear I plan to eat them.

    They seem to go through food at such a slow rate, I can't imagine how many I'd need to cover my garbage disposal needs, I should probably look into worm farms, since I haven't the room for a goat.
     
  16. inahd

    inahd Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    rat milk, and worms? hmm... if i had limited space i would want a few logs of shitake mushrooms or something. i think mushrooms will prove the most helpful in cities and suburbs where edible plants are not common.
     
  17. david n

    david n Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    Yes keeping rats for garbage disposal, meat and milk, I couldn't do that to my sweet neighbours, or family for that matter. Also I'd say the council would try hard to prohibit it. But I'd predict If we do get a full blown depression people will suddenly get open-minded about anything remotely edible. Rats are common livestock in parts of Africa (Oxford Companion to Food).
     
  18. goatahontis

    goatahontis New Member

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    Re: Need help with diagnosis

    Hi, I am new to this site, and to raising goats. We have learned so much in the past six months re the needs of goats and their care. I now have a new dilemna. We have a small herd of mixed breed goats, does and whethers, aged four months to two years. We started with nineteen, and are down to twelve. We have a small farm of 100 acres, natural bushland, central Queensland coast - humidity, high rainfall in between periods of heat and dry. We live 200 km away and spend each weekend at the farm. So far, we have been able to research and find out what we have done wrong in losing some of our goats. Yesterday when we arrived at the farm, one of our does was standing near our camp. She was not with the herd. I approached her and she slowly moved away. I am a great follower of "Pat Coleby"and tried to give her some feed containing ascorbic acid. She refused to eat and walked away. I thought this was odd behaviour but wasn't too worried at the time. This morning, we awake to a rasping sound. The doe was lying in the paddock, away from the others and the shelter, and had obviously been there quite some time. We had just had a heavy downpour, so she was very wet. She was labouring to breathe and convulsing. We picked her up, took her inside and dried her off. Wrapped her in dry towels to keep her warm. We gave her small amounts of water with some ascorbic acid with the aid of a bottle and teat. At first she swallowed and it seemed to calm her breathing and convulsions. Then they started again and continued for several hours. We could not find any signs of parasite such as ticks etc, or bites, or wounds etc. She was not bloated and seemed quite alert. We kept attempting to keep up her fluids but eventually, and sadly decided that the most humane course of action was to euthanaise her. Wow, this seems very long winded. I am wondering if anyone may have any suggestions as to what may have caused this. I have been researching for hours and come up with nothing.
    Michelle
     
  19. frosty

    frosty Junior Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    Hi Michelle

    no real suggestions -some sort of virus or toxins or maybe lung worm but I dont know much about lungworm ..........

    If it happens again I would suggest try giving the Vit C hourly - goats can take an almost unbelievable amount of Vit C- so if in doubt and it makes them show some impovement just keep on dosing

    frosty
     
  20. goatahontis

    goatahontis New Member

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    Re: goats in permaculture

    Thanks For that Frosty. I have read a lot about te use of vitamin c and have been using it on our goats. I will do some research about lungworms. Thanks again. Cheers, Michelle
     

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