[NAFEX] Fruit Tree and goat care

Kieran and Donna redherring at tnaccess.com
Thu Jul 13 15:07:01 EDT 2006

I liked Lucky's responses to the goat questions.  We had alpine milk goats,
who lived happy carefree goat lives, running loose on some 50 acres with
only smallish fenced garden that they were not allowed into.  Goats are
browsers by nature and regard grass as famine food.  I feel sorry for all
the goats I see in grassy pastures, it is unnatural.  We discovered that
goats will stand up on their hind legs to reach up into trees, and the sound
of cracking limbs will bring the rest of the flock running.  If young trees
are wrapped with chicken wire, goats will push the wire against the tree to
pull the leaves out, and then will smash them to the ground.  Later we
reduced our milkers and got some pygmy goats, and so I can tell you that if
you have some fat slow mature does that is good for their shorter reach.
However, we had a young pygmy goat who would literally run up the trunk of
an apple tree and then stand in the branches eating.
    Sheep, by contrast, much prefer grass and don't stand up on their hind
legs to get things they shouldn't.  They WILL bark trees from time to time,
just for a change I suppose.  We never saw our sheep eat anything but grass,
but I have read other people's laments about bark eating.  However, compared
to goats, it would be much easier to protect trees from sheep.  Goats are
determined creatures, and if you want to grow some of their favored food
inside their fence, you'd better have a moat and guard towers around it.

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