[NAFEX] Fruit Tree and goat care

oliver smith callis oliversmithcallis at gmail.com
Tue Jul 11 13:49:25 EDT 2006

I would just like to add that although some livestock ca adversely affect an
orchard or garden, others can be quite compatible. Geese and ducks, for
example, are excellent orchard weeders & fertilizers, and a chicken tractor
can work wonders in any backyard garden. I use chickens and ducks in my back
garden in a chicken tractor,
to till soil for a garden bed rather than rent a rototiller plus I get eggs
in return. However it is true that with some animals, care has to be taken
to fence out younger trees and plants, but integrated systems can be

Search for silvopasture on this page:
   "In a silvopasture system the cattle, trees, and pasture exist in a
symbiotic relationship. The trees provide shade for the cattle, reducing
heat stress, compaction, and over fertilizing. In this subtropical climate,
Lindegger believes that the pasture also grows better in partial
shade...this system makes optimum use of the land."

With goats one option is to plant a hedgerow to contain them with wire
netting on the side the goats are contained in so that they can trim the
hedge but not damage the plants. Another way of protecting trees is to
tether the goats to a pole so that they can't get to the trees, and
continuously move the pole so that the goat can get fresh browse. Here is an
example of one hedgerow-goat system

related quotes:

"As far as the living fences for the goats idea, Chris, well, I tried that
with a bunch of things that will grow from cutting. Coral trees, african
tulip and samea samans, and the goats debarked every post! So of course none
of them grew! I think the key is to have a "double fence", with some kind of
barrier between the hedge that is food for the goats and the goats! Perhaps
species can be chosen that have a drooping foliage so that the goats can
browse on what hangs down... "

"Goat Person:

Having been confused, bemused, abused, and misused by goats any number of
times in a long career on the farm, I shall venture the following:

Goats are smarter than we are...they are more determined and prideful
than we are, and they will get their way...

In the present instance, your goats are psychically attuned to your
distress about the young nut trees and they are browsing upon them in
order to hurt you for, you write:

<< I would like to put these animals to work>>  HA!  Goats cannot abide
this kind of thinking.

If you could genuinely manage to transfer your affections to a prickly
pear cactus planting on the other side of a 40 foot high chain link fence
and an active lava flow, your goats would go eat those and leave your
trees alone.


On Sun, 28 Sep 1997 04:31:05 -0700 "Permaculture West"
<permawest at olywa.net> writes:
>	The farm I am caretaking has three rascally goats that are
>never content
>with what they are being fed or where they are being ranged
>typical for goats).  I would like to put these animals to work as
>management agents around my newly planted nut trees.  I have tried a
>of caging devices to protect my trees but the goats have defied all my
>defenses and continue to ravage the young trees. This happens despite
>fact that they have abundant woody browse within their range.  Has
>stumbled across a clever way to protect their saplings from rampaging
>goats?  Is there such a thing as a goat proof cage for trees?  I get
>feeling the common answer will be, "don't range your goats with your
>trees."  However, unfortunately the two are already committed to
>due to lack of space. "

I have been contemplating designing a goat forage system for my
backyard and it seems  that there
must be a way to incorporate the benefits these animals bring and to
utilize their mischeviousness and intelligence.

some plants naturally browsed by goats are (from : "Permaculture
Plants" by Jeff Nugent & Julia Boniface)

Nitrogen fixers-
Acacia cyclops (coastal wattle) - foliage
Alnus glutinosa (common or black alder) - foliage
Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust) - pods

Simmondsia californica (Jojoba) - foliage
Ziziphus mauritiana (Indian jujube) - foliage
Ziziphus spina - christi (Christ thorn jujube) - fruit

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