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7 years 8 months ago #38495 by 4donks
Hello! was created by 4donks
Hi there,

We are just starting out on my family's old piece of land on the Coro Pen.... not living onsite yet, rent in town which is about 10kms away. Land is about 2ha, half in old (pretty stuffed) orchard; half in mature (100/150 yr old) bush... my elderly mum lives out there, and we are hoping to build (basic) place out there as and when we can afford.. however, we have just managed to acquire 4 donkeys - a long held dream of my mums, and very useful for clearing it all up! Thought this might be a great place to get advice, and info about a whole range of things... grass types, lichen control.. all sorts - and all on a nil to low budget!!!

Cheers all! :)

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7 years 8 months ago #496059 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Hello!
Hi 4donks and welcome :D

No advice here, but I am interested in Donkeys, in as far as why people keep them. So they are as useful as a goat? Not that I have one of those. They (Donkeys) seem a lovely peaceful animal, but I've always wondered if they have any use. All the best for your endeavours. :)

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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7 years 8 months ago #496060 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Hello!
Hi,
Regarding lichen control, where is it growing, and why do you want to remove it?
Lichen grows well where there is low pollution, sunlight and moisture.
It is difficult to remove lichen without damaging the surface it is on.
If it is on paving it can be scrubbed off. Paving that is smooth and in sun won't usually be damp enough to support lichen.
If it is on a tree, it is not doing any harm. If a tree appears to be struggling with a heavy load of lichen, it is probably struggling for another reason, and the lichen is flourishing with extra light due to less leaves, and on some types of tree, possibly less bark shedding. Pruning to allow good air circulation but still allowing the tree to have good leaf cover may reduce dampness without increasing sunlight.
If it is on a roof, removing it may damage the roof, and anything that will kill it is not something you will want in water collected from the roof. If the roof is shaded by a tree, consider pruning it back so the roof doesn't have a damp surface.

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7 years 8 months ago #496068 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Hello!
Hawkspur, you beat me to it I was going to say exactly the same.

If it is on a roof and you don't collect rainwater, or if you can stop collecting rainwater for a few days neat bleach will kill it, though it will take a while before the lichen washes away.
If it is on outdoor furniture or a gate, then a power washer will get rid of it.

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7 years 8 months ago #496070 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Hello!
Just make sure that if your donkeys get access to any area of the bush, that there are no Tutu plants growing in there. They are very toxic and are likely to kill your donkeys.
and,
welcome to the LSB

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 8 months ago #496091 by KP2569ES
Replied by KP2569ES on topic Hello!
Hello everyone. New here in the forum, hoping to have great time.

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7 years 8 months ago #496148 by 4donks
Replied by 4donks on topic Hello!
Hi, we got the donkeys simply as pets, and to graze the land. Have found them to be amazing for controlling weeds such as ginger and jasmine - just in time to stop me spraying! Have also been told that they will control the blackberry, which unfortunately has taken over vast tracts of the cleared area. We are cutting the mature canes back, assuming that they will eat the new shoots easily. I guess in a lot of ways they are just like really massive goats...

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7 years 8 months ago #496150 by 4donks
Replied by 4donks on topic Hello!

Hawkspur;501350 wrote: Hi,
Regarding lichen control, where is it growing, and why do you want to remove it?
Lichen grows well where there is low pollution, sunlight and moisture.
It is difficult to remove lichen without damaging the surface it is on.
If it is on paving it can be scrubbed off. Paving that is smooth and in sun won't usually be damp enough to support lichen.
If it is on a tree, it is not doing any harm. If a tree appears to be struggling with a heavy load of lichen, it is probably struggling for another reason, and the lichen is flourishing with extra light due to less leaves, and on some types of tree, possibly less bark shedding. Pruning to allow good air circulation but still allowing the tree to have good leaf cover may reduce dampness without increasing sunlight.
If it is on a roof, removing it may damage the roof, and anything that will kill it is not something you will want in water collected from the roof. If the roof is shaded by a tree, consider pruning it back so the roof doesn't have a damp surface.

Thanks for your feed back!! The lichen that we are finding a problem is on fruit trees. My mother has had the land for 45 years, and swears black and blue that the lichen is what is killing to trees. Am not 100% sure it is all lichen, but the land is in a valley, and has a unique microclimate. The trees are so densely covered that they are unable to produce leaves.. As the land is bordered on three sides by mature bush I assume that it is the natural process of reclamation - primary colonisation occurring; but we would like to keep it at bay! There has been a lot of cabbage trees, manuka/kanuka, matipo etc coming in too that we are clearing again... I understand that in many situations it is a sign of healthy environment etc, but regardless, we don't want it. It smothers all the fruit trees (mature plum, peach, apple, pear etc) to the point of not producing much/any leaf or fruit and also the mariginal natives (about which I am less concerned) I had heard somewhere that lichen on trees could be controlled by spraying with soapy water? Any ideas?

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7 years 8 months ago #496151 by 4donks
Replied by 4donks on topic Hello!

Stikkibeek;501362 wrote: Just make sure that if your donkeys get access to any area of the bush, that there are no Tutu plants growing in there. They are very toxic and are likely to kill your donkeys.
and,
welcome to the LSB

Thanks for the tip! I understand that creeping buttercup is also toxic to them, and we have an awful problem with this stuff! Unfortunately for us, wild pigs went through and did a real number on the place about 3 days before donks arrived, and all that is regenerating in the worst hit areas (looked like it had literally been plowed) is the buttercup [:(!] still looking into how to best control it. Have checked out conventional method (pasture kleen etc) but my mum is keen for me to find out about organic methods too. Will put up a thread asking about this too, I guess :)

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7 years 8 months ago #496197 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello!
Does Mrs James still live out at Te Kouma Rd? She had donkeys out on their farm 60 years ago and up to 10 years ago. If she is still around, a chat with her might be very worthwhile. The Donkey Society has lots of useful information and contacts too. Have you joined yet?

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7 years 8 months ago #496200 by 4donks
Replied by 4donks on topic Hello!
Hi Longridge, not sure about Mrs ???? but there are heaps of people around the area with donks... am figuring that the more sources of info the better. Have not joined the society yet, but have checked out their website :)

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7 years 8 months ago #496217 by Baroque
Replied by Baroque on topic Hello!
Welcome to LSB!

Wow 4 donkeys, that's a fair number to keep for a new donkey owner!

Just remember that your donkeys will require regular worming and foot trims throughout their life and they will benefit from lots of handling too [;)] so they are easy to manage if you need to do anything else like vaccinations etc.

Donkeys feet can be a real issue so make sure you find a good hoof trimmer or learn to do it properly yourself so they don't end up foundering.

We have people across the road from us who have lots of donks and the poor things do not get much attention from what I've seen, I know they don't get handled very much because their Jack [stallion] escaped and decided to visit us one time a few years ago and I had the devil of a job getting him away from my mares as he would not lead properly like a horse, he eventually dragged the owner down our driveway! [:(!] Hope he doesn't get out again and come visiting because my stallion and his friend would probably kill him if he came anywhere near.

Breeding & training quality Spanish horses - THE horse of Kings! Also breeding Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep.

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7 years 8 months ago #496223 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Hello!

4donks;501447 wrote: Thanks for your feed back!! The lichen that we are finding a problem is on fruit trees. My mother has had the land for 45 years, and swears black and blue that the lichen is what is killing to trees. Am not 100% sure it is all lichen, but the land is in a valley, and has a unique microclimate. The trees are so densely covered that they are unable to produce leaves.. As the land is bordered on three sides by mature bush I assume that it is the natural process of reclamation - primary colonisation occurring; but we would like to keep it at bay! There has been a lot of cabbage trees, manuka/kanuka, matipo etc coming in too that we are clearing again... I understand that in many situations it is a sign of healthy environment etc, but regardless, we don't want it. It smothers all the fruit trees (mature plum, peach, apple, pear etc) to the point of not producing much/any leaf or fruit and also the mariginal natives (about which I am less concerned) I had heard somewhere that lichen on trees could be controlled by spraying with soapy water? Any ideas?

Old fruit varieties, good established root systems, and good sized trees are worth trying to keep! :D
Anything you use to kill lichen will either have little effect, or may affect the trees negatively as well, and it sounds like the last thing they need is another challenge.
I would look at whether the trees need pruning to give a better shape for light, fruiting, and to allow air through if they are densely branched. It can also encourage new growth in an old tree.

Severely cut back any encroaching vegetation as this will decrease airflow and compete with the trees for sunlight, water and nutrients.

Fertilizing the ground under the crowns of the trees (but not right against the trunk) with something like well rotted manure and covering with a good layer of mulch will give them nutrients and reduce the competition the trees have for those nutrients.

Check whether they need a good watering, or better drainage as well.

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7 years 8 months ago #496229 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello!
Mrs James.
Trees in NZ grow hugely faster than the same ones do in Britain and the cooler parts of Europe. Thus trees from these colder countries do not live for as long a time as in UK and Europe. I would think that most fruit trees in NZ would be getting very, very old at 45 years.

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7 years 8 months ago #496292 by 4donks
Replied by 4donks on topic Hello!

Baroque;501522 wrote: Welcome to LSB!

Wow 4 donkeys, that's a fair number to keep for a new donkey owner!
Donkeys feet can be a real issue so make sure you find a good hoof trimmer or learn to do it properly yourself so they don't end up foundering.

Thanks for the tips.... and yea, they have their first pedicure appointment this afternoon :)

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