Calling all the Goat People

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11 years 8 months ago #356666 by spoook
Replied by spoook on topic Calling all the Goat People
Peter I have proof that cattle do eat plastic [:0]............. some of our alkathene pipe got devoured by a cow we had, she also ate alot of the back of my plastic house :(
... and yes goat do "attempt" to eat everything.
I am watching our kids exploring the world with their mouth. It may not get digested but it gets into their mouths..... and yes clothing is amongst the "eaten" non-foods. [;)]

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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11 years 8 months ago #356671 by PeterNZ
Replied by PeterNZ on topic Calling all the Goat People
I don't think it is about right or wrong here. It is about being sensitive. The general "farming" public sees goats as a "bloody fugging pest, destroying all trees and eat everything, even beer cans" and if a goat expert comes along and says "Goats are lovely, the graze thistles and eat everything, even tires and laundry" then I think it might under specific circumstances not be a very clever approach.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 8 months ago #356672 by stephclark
didnt know farmers said that about goats.. you should hear what they say about horses !!.

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11 years 8 months ago #356677 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic Calling all the Goat People
You would not believe the comments and questions we get every year at the City Farmyard at Chch, where we take goats kids and stay with them all day, to supervise (because you would also not believe what people try to do to them!!!) and to answer questions. Every year, same daft questions and comments, which we try to put right.

As for goats and 'eating' everything, fact of the matter is that what they actually ingest and what they touch with their mouths is quite different. They are like small children who have to touch and finger everything, but they have no hands, so use their mouths instead. I think some things feel good to chew on (didn't you chew on weird things when you were a child?), but they don't actually eat them. And some of them never grow up, as I have a few very 'mouthy' goats amongst some of my older girls. New people come into their paddock, so they have to have a feel! I have to admit to being quite tactile myself!

Sorry to have hijacked your thread, TOR!

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11 years 8 months ago #356709 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Calling all the Goat People
It was explained to me once that young children, babies, stick things in their mouths, they discover textures, tastes and I guess shapes.... and like it's been mentioned in above posts, goats do the same. They can't 'feel' things with fingers so everything is tasted. Everything!!!

My lot will eat the flowers on a scotch thistle but not the big old huckery leaves, they have also eaten Cali thistle to the point where I didn't have to bother spraying.

Only last month I tried to grab an exploded water balloon out of a goats mouth at the show... . it was gone before I could get it's mouth open. It was picked up, nibbled and swallowed, I don't think she even chewed it.

As for pasture and weeds, branches and scrub, goats can eat a whole raft of it but once again, only if they feel like it. One day the rush to eat all the grass is on, the next day it maybe they ignore the grass and strive to get all the available dandelions or clever weed or whatever. My guess is they eat what their bodies require as far as vitamins and minerals and roughage even though they get supplements.
I also guess that it depends on what the plants are getting out of the soil as far as minerals and vitamins.... maybe that's the answer? If your soil is low in something, then the plants aren't going to supply it to the goats. If your soil is high in something, your goats may not need to eat it as often.

Yakut

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11 years 8 months ago #356711 by stephclark
emm.. i agree with what has been said before.. they try with their mouths.. but i do know what is being said about the steryotype of the goat being the weed eater of the animal world.. not true, as Yuket and others have said.. they will graze on what they feel like..
but not just goats..my horses will eat the 'nut' off the scotch thistle, will carefully pick blackberries, fejoas..all manner of fruit..they dig for roots and eat bark and dirt..
all animals will seek out what their bodies tell them they need.. people work the same way.. but we are so programmed that we have to have 3 meals of such in such per day, we dont listen..
cravings mean something ( chocolates doesnt count :) )

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11 years 8 months ago #356713 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Calling all the Goat People
No, Chocolates don't count, chocolate is a necessity of life... :D :rolleyes:

Yakut

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11 years 8 months ago #356715 by stephclark
:D :D .. ok ok.. chocy is in.. just remember the massive levels of Vitamin D, calcium etc and .. in the case of my fav.. scorched almonds ( yay xmas ..best time for scorched almonds ).. all that good nut oil and protein..a vertible health food :)

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11 years 8 months ago #356810 by the old ram
Hi Gang,just logged on since the original thread,my what a "diverse"response.Not what I was expecting at all..............

Didi:At the time when we had the "goats" we had hilly,coastal grazing,covered in "wild olive",blackthorn, fire-weed,native grass and Kikuyu.The quality of the country was not "flash" and so the goats ate all "thistles "to the ground at flower burst.We started the adlib mineral mix and after a few years the goats not only produced better(whatever type),but always had "a look or bloom"whatever the feed situation.(if you are a goat person you will know what I mean)

PeterNZ:It would appear that you were the only one who "got it".Thistles are "notorious mineral miners",with long tap roots that search out the necessaries of life and when they die leave a residue on the surface for others to use.You are also right in the statement that a species will never get rid of a food source completely.

Whatever goat "type"you have it is worth while going back to the origins of the breed and look at the environment from whence they came.A look at the dairy goats in Europe on their mountain pastures ,or the goats of France in there meadows ,woodlands and hedgerow grazing should give you a clue as to there requirements for a "happy and productive life".

I noted with a smile that all the "old"comments on feeding habits re-surfaced and were given another "airing",I don't think the "poor goat" will ever get past this sort of thinking.

I do thank everyone who took the trouble to respond to the thread,and will read with interest further responses...................T.O.R.

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11 years 8 months ago #356926 by LongRidge
My place is mineral deficient, so we have always supplemented with multimineral salt, and in the last 7 or so years with mineral drenches.
When we first got goats 15 or more years ago, we hoped that the thistles and other weeds would just disappear. But no, the goats and donkeys ate the grass if it was there, and wouldn't eat the small thistles. But when they started flowering there was not a seedhead to be seen. And there still isn't.
Over those 15 years the number of plants coming up has reduced. But it has taken that long for the "seedbank" to reduce. The thistles also get sprayed when I'm doing the other more poisonous weeds, and that has helped too.
So for me .... no, supplying minerals has not reduced the goats nor donkeys desire to eat thistles.

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