Calling all the Goat People

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11 years 7 months ago #25476 by the old ram
In the last week or so ,I have been out "spraying"Thistles with my "backpack" and its a time when I can just "think" about the farm and stuff...........My question is :Those of you who supply adlib a mineral mix to your goats,have you found that after a few years when the goats system is stabilized that they still attack the "thistles" with the same enthusiasim as they did "before"you started using the mineral mix?.......................Unfortulaty the "goats are just to hard in our area",but in years goneby we had all manner of goats,Dairy,Angora and Meat and were a "joy "to own and breed..............The forum's thoughts on this subject would be of interest to not only me I'm sure.............T.O.R.

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11 years 7 months ago #356574 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic Calling all the Goat People
Goats are goats, and they love to eat things like thistle. Our place was riddled with thistle when we first put goats onto it 6 years ago. They have also always have had ad-lib goat minerals out, and they ate and ate away at the thistles and there are none left now except in the tree belts we have fenced off from the goats, and where we still have to grub the thistles out. Surrounding paddocks (not our property) still have thistles that the neighbours have to grub out, as their dairy and beef cattle herds won't touch them.

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11 years 7 months ago #356575 by Stu_R
Replied by Stu_R on topic Calling all the Goat People
The 2 ferals at my place will eat flowers off Scotch thistles , wont touch the Cali thistles though :(

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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11 years 7 months ago #356587 by beedee
Replied by beedee on topic Calling all the Goat People
my goat paddocks dont have thistles/daisy/or blackberry, all can be found in the cow paddocks... Pig likes daisy, donkey eats scotch but not cali's, cows eat trees/grapevine/ alkathene pipe

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11 years 7 months ago #356602 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Calling all the Goat People
Isn't there a bit of a misnomer about the dietary preferences of goats? I had them years ago and I know without a doubt that if they had nice grass to eat, they would eat that in preference to any weed. I used to shudder when people would buy a huge herd of goats to "clean up" the most awful pieces of land because (and I stand to be corrected) I always thought - if you are only offering that as feed, of course they are going to eat it. Nature says eat so they eat.

So the old ram - what are your goats being offered to eat? Good pasture and thistles? Mine only ever ate the tops off thistles if one appeared randomly. Grin.

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11 years 7 months ago #356604 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Calling all the Goat People
I think goats like variety...a bit of grass, a bit of branch, a bit of weed, a bit of old tyre, a bit of shirt hanging too close... They're browsers and that's what they do. I've had goats get stuck into weeds one day and ignore them the next, even though they have grass available.

They're complicated...and special [:I][:I]

Web Goddess

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11 years 7 months ago #356625 by highgirl
I'd have to agree Kate...mine eat anything...and turn their nose up at anything...just depends how they feel at the time... contrary wee things :D

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11 years 7 months ago #356641 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Calling all the Goat People
Our critters (both goats and cattle) are more likely to eat the californian thistles if I mow them first. Our real farmer neighbour reckons it's something to do with the sugar content of the plants undergoing some chemical change after they are mown. He told me that his cattle won't eat them until they are mown either. One heifer nearly got herself a new nostril once because she was following me too closely when I was mowing thistles with the scythe.

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11 years 7 months ago #356644 by PeterNZ
Replied by PeterNZ on topic Calling all the Goat People

Kate;346931 wrote: [...]a bit of old tyre, a bit of shirt hanging too close... [...]

I am a bit saddened that this old rumor pops up again and again. And I am even more sad that it comes from experts like you Kate. Sorry don't be offended by this. I am sure you have your reason to say things like this. Even on national television. But when was the last time anyone has actually seen a goat EATING (not nibbling or chewing or something) EATING a tire or a shirt sleeve or a beer can? We had our beef cattle destroy a switched off electric tape (oh the steep and expensive learning curve). So do I now go around and tell people cows eat everything?

Sorry.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 7 months ago #356646 by L Plates
Yes I would also agree with Kate, but something that always makes me smile is when I am giving them some bread .... they absolutely love bread .... but if I a drop a slice on the floor and pick it up to give to them - they sniff at it and look at me with disgust.

It's a look that says "surely you don't expect me to eat it when its contaminated" [:0][:(!][xx(]

Peter - Kate didn't actually say that they "eat" tyres, and shirt sleeves etc, she said they "like" tyres and shirt sleeves. My goats chew on my clothing too.

LP

Tyke Dorpers

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11 years 7 months ago #356651 by PeterNZ
Replied by PeterNZ on topic Calling all the Goat People
I believe in the fact that nature is not stupid. My experience in horticulture is that if you introduce a beneficial insect which is supposed to kill pest insects you will never get a 100% clean environment. Nature isn't wiping out a food source for a species. This is under natural circumstances.

Now if you overstock then it gets out of balance and then bugs clean up a pest or goats clean up a piece of land. Otherwise they would starve because competition is so big. This is in my opinion the only way you can clean up a paddock. And - again in my opinion - not something I would ever do.

I think what T.O.R. is aiming at is the question if there is a relationship between mineral requirements, availability of minerals and goats eating thistles. This would then result in the fact that if you feed supplement minerals the goats would not touch the thistles because they don't have a need for those minerals. I think this is true to some extend. But you need to look at what thistles contain. Minerals, fibre and as far as I know sugars which transforms into energy. I believe that if a grazing animal lacks a specific mineral or vitamin etc it will always go to the food source which provides this nutrient. Even with mineral lick, our goats won't touch it if it contains copper and they don't need copper. I read somewhere that dark skinned animals need more copper than white skinned animals. Interestingly enough, our dark goats touch a copper mineral mix before all others do. Same with my dark brown horse and the light grey donkey.

In my opinion T.O.R. I think it is questionable in most cases to use an animal to remove pest from an environment. I think we should rather make use of a benefit the animal provides if they prefer a certain food source. But should we now decide to not add any additional minerals to goat's food just because otherwise they won't touch those dreaded thistles?

Those are just my thought on this topic.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 7 months ago #356654 by PeterNZ
Replied by PeterNZ on topic Calling all the Goat People

L Plates;346976 wrote: Peter - Kate didn't actually say that they "eat" tyres, and shirt sleeves etc, she said they "like" tyres and shirt sleeves. My goats chew on my clothing too.

Sorry but those fine differences do not matter. Every time Goats come up someone says "Oh yes and they eat EVERYTHING, even your laundry!" Why do people have to do this? Do they feel there is a need to warn future goat owners to protect their laundry?

Our cow licks on everything and I am sure she wouldn't stop at the cloth drier. But nobody says about cows "Oh yes and they eat your ,laundry".

Goats still have such a poor and unjustified reputation in this country. Yes I know where it came from. But I think that people who love goats, who farm them and who see them as a very valid part of their animal family - people like Kate and yakut and spoook and all other goat people- should stop mentioning that they like/eat/nibble/lick/all of the above tires/shirts/laundry/beer cans/straw hats/little children/pick up utes/posties/your mail/cattle dogs/all of the above. [;)]

Cheers

Peter


Everything you need to make your own cheese at home
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11 years 7 months ago #356659 by highgirl
I think those comments are always backed up, or overridden by the positive comments of goat ownership, and in my limited experience the "eating (or trying to!) comment is quite true.

I went into my paddock the other day and had one nibbling my shoe, one nibbling the bottom of my 3/4 length pants, and one on the bottom of my shirt - and they are by no means deprived of real food! Maybe it's due to their inquisitive natures :)

I can walk into my paddock of cattle and they all come over, but none nibble any part of me, my sheep have never tried to check digestibility either [;)]

I don't think it's meant as a derogatory comment anyway, it's just goat nature. It probably is a wide spread comment though because even the farmer down the road made it when I borrowed a syringe when Jezebelle ate the buttercup [:0]

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11 years 7 months ago #356663 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Calling all the Goat People
Have just come inside from watching my kid "playing" with a bucket (never contained food matter). Very cute and to all intents and purposes it "looks" like he is trying to eat it.[;)]

The thistles are doing very well in my goat paddock. I went through with the grubber the other day and there is definite signs of browsing. When I dug them up the goats ate some of them.

Last year they let the calis to get really big and then took them off at the ground and ate them from the bottom up.[;)] This year they have been eating the centers out and the patch hasn't got away as in past years. But then I let the piglets into that area this winter and they had a great time digging the roots up. OH didn't like the mess they left though[}:)] so not sure if I will be allowed to do that again[B)][;)]

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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11 years 7 months ago #356665 by stephclark
sorry Peternz.. i disagree with you position on Kates comment.. when i read her post i smiled.. i have had goats and they did nibble everything.. we are talking about goats in this thread ..if it were horses i would mention that i have witnessed horses chew up quad bikes, tractors,sign writing on cars,wing mirrors, tail lights, hats, bridles,brushes,clothes, you name it...
if the thread was about cows, the same could be said as for horses, but add electric tape and baling twine..even the dog chewed up the front door step!

any itelligent animal will be curious by its surroundings and sample it with the only thing they can use to pick things up with..LIPS

Goats are just curious and intelligent and, i would say, more people have had experience of owning or being around a goat than cows and horses.. so there are more people who have seen them get into to all sorts

ps.. my 2 distroyed 250 trees in 6 months.. awesome effort..but then the horses took out the remaining 30..

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