Goat garden ideas?

Discussion in 'Barnyard Bananza' started by farmerA, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    I'm planting a 70-foot goat garden along one of the fence lines for my girls and wondered if anyone had any additional suggestions or ideas. I'm planting things they can brow's on when they're in their paddock or unable to go out to pasture.

    So far I have mulberries, bamboo, blackberries (which I didn't have to plant), and a couple of baby willows and hawthorns on one side and an established apple and pear on the other. There are two cedars in their fenced area. I plan also to plant a maple, another apple, and seasonal things such as peas, beans, sunflowers, greens (not kale), pumpkins and squash to fill in the gaps, plus maybe a tiny bit of corn. I'm considering a wax myrtle as I have a couple in pots but I wonder if that would affect milk taste. I still need a lot more ideas because 70' is a *lot* of planting. I'm in the PNW, in Oregon.
     
    Iluvlilly! likes this.
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Keep in mind they are good at killing trees.
     
    farmerA likes this.

  3. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    Oh I know. All but two Cedar are outside of their fenced area but hang over or are reachable for a little leaf or limb nibble.
     
  4. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Don't forget raspberries are good too. I don't really know what grows good in Oregon, but I think it would be good to get some herbs in there as well. Oregano, peppermint, thyme, lemon balm, comfrey, marshmallow. Chicory is something I would love to grow for goats, and it grows back well because of its robust taproot. I'd add some beets too. Mine love the foliage of beets. Maybe some alfalfa? Again I have no idea what would be good for your area.
     
  5. KST Goat Farm

    KST Goat Farm Well-Known Member

    402
    Jul 28, 2019
    NE Colorado
    Sanfoin is good. It is a little like alfalfa but they won't blote on it. My goats love it and Dads bees like it too.
     
    MellonFriend, Iluvlilly! and farmerA like this.
  6. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    US
    Pretty much any herbs are good. Also, my goats love blueberry leaves. Not sure how good they are for them though.
     
    farmerA likes this.
  7. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Yep!

    Garlic is always good to grow.

    Also hyssop.

    Go online to FirMeadow LLC’s website and look through some of their herbal blends and take note of the ingredients... all of those are ideas of what to grow.

    Parsley, nettles ;);)
     
    MellonFriend and farmerA like this.
  8. Morning Star Farm

    Morning Star Farm Well-Known Member

    367
    Sep 26, 2018
    I always wanted to do a goat garden! I had a friend who did though and she planted collard greens, kale, carrots, lettuce, and broccoli. Her goats loved it!
     
    farmerA likes this.
  9. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Goat garden, you say? Well...Plant anything that you love and DON'T want them to eat and I'm sure they'll enjoy it. :heehee:
     
  10. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    I love these! I actually have raspberries on their back fence line as it adjoins my garden. Plus blueberries but those are far enough away that they won't be able to nibble on those for quite a while. Everything but marshmallow and chicory I have growing but should definitely put closer oh, thank you! I'll look into growing chicory here. I've never heard of anyone doing so but that doesn't mean it won't grow. You are amazing oh, thank you! I didn't even think about putting the herbs around where they can reach them since I can just pick some and bring them to them but this is even better. ♡
     
    MellonFriend likes this.
  11. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    Thank you! I've actually never even heard of it so I will have to look that one up. Eventually I plan on growing alfalfa but next spring is the soonest that could possibly happen.
     
  12. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    Great idea! I'm part heirloom garlic farm so we have lots of that for them, and I grow a ton of medicinal and culinary herbs and our actual Garden but I definitely ought to plant some right around their fence line so they can nibble at will. I'll definitely check that site out, thank you! For some reason I thought they couldn't have hyssop and I'm so glad they can. It's lovely and I have a few different varieties. I guess it's yarrow they can't have? I'm going to have to look this up. I love Nettles and hadn't even thought about that. I have lots of seeds too so great idea!
     
  13. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    I'll definitely add all of those to their Garden. Though I know too much broccoli can be toxic, or anything in the Brassica family. I think it's the young plants that are the most potentially harmful. My goats are going to be so happy! They share about a 75 foot fence line with our garden so we'll always get lots of extra goodies.
     
  14. Morning Star Farm

    Morning Star Farm Well-Known Member

    367
    Sep 26, 2018
    Your goats are going to be in heaven!! I think goats favorite green treats are kale and collard greens. I know mine never stopped begging for it. We had a vegetable garden, so I was able to grow a little for them and they got all the leftovers. My friend with the actual goat garden had 4-6 raised beds each about 30' long. Half were collard greens, the other half were kale and she planted the broccoli in big tubs. If they were sick or looking off, she would let them into her herb garden to pick what they wanted!
     
    farmerA likes this.
  15. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    I hope they feel that way! I actually finally move them here on Friday. I've had two since March but haven't been ready until now.

    I love your friend's idea about the herb garden! I will have to think about doing that for the goats, chickens and ducks. I started a healing garden (medicinal and tea herbs) but there are plenty of non-goat friendly things coming up in there so that one's off limits. Having one that's 100% safe that they can browse in would be amazing!

    Kale confuses me for goats. I've read that too much can be extremely toxic for them so it should be very limited but then read things about people planting kale gardens for them. I have a 3000sf fenced garden space (only 1/4 planted at most so far -- that project will take a few more years) so may just keep the kale in there just in case.
     
  16. farmerA

    farmerA Active Member

    120
    Sep 4, 2019
    Oregon
    I'll add heaps of herbs. ♡ I wondered that about blueberries too.
     
  17. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you Staff Member Supporting Member

    Most things aren't as toxic as most think to goats. You've already classed apple as safe, even though It contains trace amounts of cyanide, cedar as safe, even though It contains huge tannin amounts. People don't give goats the credit they deserve for their evolution.
    Chicory does reduce milk production as does sage, thyme, and some other herbs.
    Goats' natural food is trees and course brush. They are well adapted to it and get their mineral needs from the deep rooted plants.
    Goats won't eat raw nettle either, they soon learn it hurts. It must be dried or in bloom before they'll touch it.
    Look for basket willows, figs, mulberries, salal, salmonberries, nooka rose, and deer fern.
    Inside their area (or where they can be turned out try Jack hammer radish, mangles, turnips, and Swedes. Given time these create way more product than hay and the greens can be grazed about 4 times before the roots are grown. The roots grow partially above ground so, they quickly learn to pull them up.
    They must have the calcium of the trees to offset the roots, it's not really as hard as it seems.

    Where in Oregon are you? I'm outside of Lebanon.
     
    farmerA likes this.
  18. littleheathens

    littleheathens Active Member

    127
    Apr 27, 2019
    south central WI
    I'm still learning but my experience with brassicas is this: We had an acre or so of our pasture planted with pig fodder which included kale and broccoli, pigs went to freezer camp and we put sheep and goats in there. We had crazy mineral problems which lead to crazy lambing (stillborns/abortions). I only had one pregnant doe at the time and she kidded 3 healthy perfect babes. One lamb nearly died and was later diagnosed with goiter, but many of the typical symptoms weren't present. We have some residual brassicas but very little and my theory is that there was something else off in our minerals or pasture to cause our trouble but the goats were smarter or more resilient about their intake.

    I'd add comfrey too- loads of Ca! Nannyberry/viburnums, sorrels- red-veined is pretty. Mine also LOVE to eat sunchoke tops but I can hardly stand growing them. Also kiwi vine and goji. It's a great list here- love it. My goats and sheep don't touch cucurbits in general while they are growing.

    I'd love to see how other similar projects have worked out for folks. The woody stuff seems it could created fencing troubles, and spreading stuff can be an issue if not mowed well or eradication becomes necessary. We have some but I'm cautious.
     
    farmerA likes this.
  19. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    Grow some trees for pollarding, like @goathiker says. I am trying to figure that out on a steep slope.
    Summer they like okra leaves, just be careful they don't ride the bush down and ruin the okra harvest for you.
    They like just about any pepper bush,cayenne, pimento, bell, etc.
     
    farmerA and Iluvlilly! like this.
  20. Morning Star Farm

    Morning Star Farm Well-Known Member

    367
    Sep 26, 2018
    Now I have never heard that about kale. Only heard how much they loved it and how good it was for them. With the amount mine went through, if it were toxic, they would have been dead. I never had a goat get toxic poisoning from eating something growing that they shouldn't. I even had plants in the woods like lupines, nightshade and honeysuckle. I was worried about them at first and couldn't get rid of it all, so I would watch them graze, but they never touched them. I found them to be extremely smart at identifying what they need. If they didn't need it, they only tasted it. For example, Shepherd's Purse was not something they really ate, unless they were close to kidding, either before or after. Then they devoured it and that is an herb that helps with bleeding and preventing infection! I also noticed that they wouldn't eat a plant if it was flowering. And elderberry leaves are toxic in great quantity, but they never ate more than one leaf every couple of days. It was amazing to watch!
     
    farmerA likes this.