Which grass eating animals?

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by grassroots, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. grassroots

    grassroots Junior Member

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    I am after some advice on what sort of animal would suit our needs. We have three town blocks in different areas, we live 45minutes from all of them, two are close together. I will not be onsite all the time, probably only 1 day a week. The thought is to get an animal that will eat the grass and move it to the next block. All up there is probably an acre.

    I have thought of goats and muscovies, I am worried about local dogs thinking that they would make a good meal.

    At the moment we are mowing and using roundup, I would like to get off this treadmill.
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    Would the blocks be fenced? (I don't think it's ok to leave tethered animals alone).

    What is the reason for keeping the grass short?

    What is your medium and long term intention for the land?

    Any other plants on the land apart from grass?
     
  3. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I agree iwth a fence. Geese are aggressive they might be able to fend off the dogs. You still have to feed these creatures though and provide fresh water for them.

    Maybe a better solution would be to plant permanent ground covers that are able to fend for themselves.

    Animals are at risk of getting stolen or abused by strangers. I think its probably not a good idea.
     
  4. grassroots

    grassroots Junior Member

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    Hi Pebble, I would be fencing the area with a goat/dog proof fence, but am still worried that dogs given enough time will dig under and have a feed.
    The council sends us reminders to mow the blocks or we cop a fine.
    They have old houses on them that we plan to do up and rent out, one day when health permits.
    It is mostly grass some grevillieas and gum trees, I don't mind if they get eaten.
    Hi Sun burn, what sort of feed other than grass do geese need?
    We could have a automatic float attached to the water supply.
    What sort of ground covers would be suitable on dry blocks (it can get pretty dry up here)?
    We do have neighbours on both sides of all these blocks, so noise might be an issue.
    Thanks for the replies
     
  5. meher

    meher Junior Member

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    welll if ure gonna get it fenced, then i think u shud keep goats and sheep... They wont be of much trouble to you
     
  6. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I am sorry i don't have exact answers to your questions but i am sure a bit of googling or phoning around will get you some answers if no one else here can help you. About the geese, I don't have any but i have ducks and they free range and eat some laying pellets. The chickens also free range and eat pellets as well so i presume the geese might need something extra for good health. Google knows everything.

    About ground covers you could talk to your council about that too. Their garden department should be able to help you or even local nurseries.

    Here (at oak beach) where its much wetter though often also very very dry during the dry season, I am experimenting with sweet potato which everyone says is dead easy and vinca. When you are establishing them, they just need a little water in the beginning. And then they seem to keep going on nearly. If its too dry to grow these things, surely it would also be too dry for the grass to thrive? ?During the wet season, you could also try watermelons and pumpkins, though i believe the watermelons need a dry period at the end for the melons to be any good. I've got some in now so i will be interested to find out how true that is.

    https://www.photoblog.com/shangrila this link to my photoblog (which i update and post regularly to on my members thread) shows both of those plants.

    I wonder if it would also be worth while looking at some sort of manure crop or legume and intensively planting your blocks iwth it. They will also act as ground cover. Now is the time to be doing this if you're getting rain like we are. Otherwise when the rain starts they should do well over the wet season. I think cow pea does well in the dry season. But i get a bit confused about legumes so check with your local agricultural supplier. Here, i'm getting my seed from them. I'm buying lablab. I would have liked to try peanuts.

    I suppose the main thing is, they want your yard kept tidy. Maybe you can talk about this all with the council gardeners too ie how to achieve this look.
     
  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    If it's really dry will there be enough feed for the animals? How long is the grass? How often are you having to mow? Is the council concerned about look? Fire?

    There are significant issues with leaving animals for a week in a suburban situation. Not insurmountable, but animals are alot of work too, you can't just put them there and then not do anything else. If you were doing a permie design on the sections that would make it better for the animals and be less work in the long run, but I take it that that would defeat the purpose.
     
  8. grassroots

    grassroots Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I'll do a bit more research on the needs of geese and how noisy they are. I am starting to think that the mowing will be the easiest in the short term. On the block that I am doing the permaculture, I'll plant it out with legumes, sweet potato etc.
     
  9. Mudman

    Mudman Junior Member

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    Geese will be noisy, most probably annoy the neighbours and a target for predators.
    We lost our geese to a fox in a secure yard, got through the fence and the geese were gone before they knew what had happened.
    In the short term its probably best to mow, if its dry you wouldn't have to mow very often every couple of months probably.
    use a good brushcutter instead of roundup.
    Kurt
     

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