following my post on planting forage on steep slope, I would like to have your advice on keeping animals on a 30% wooded slope. I know goat would be great but what about the rest? do poultry mind the slope? sheep? cattle? pigs?
I'm not sure about cattle, might be kind of steep however a stout hardy breed would likely do just fine. I would worry about a dairy type breed. All the rest should be fine though it might be difficult to erect proper goat fences. If it's wooded, goats and pigs sound like the ticket to me.
Fenced countours will help with pigs. pigs dont go down hills well, the destroy them going up. countrour fences- thickets, woven and thrashproof, these keep the pigs moving horizontal to the hill. in short order you get terraces.
easy to write in a few sentences, much more to say re: site specifics. this is what im headed for. Ive had the advantage of 10 years working with hogs. im gearing up for doing it in a better way.
Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Location: Northern California
If you look at a hilly slope that's had cattle on it for a long time, you can see the beginnings of wear lines on the hillside parallel to contour—i.e., horizontal. Cattle tend to prefer to walk parallel to contour, not up and down. I think you could actually do "cowline plowing" if you were to reinforce this natural tendency with, as Deston says, some creative fencing.
Chickens probably wouldn't mind the slope, but make sure the downhill fence is tall enough—if the slope is steep enough to give them an altitude boost and they get a flapping start, they can get over higher fences than they normally could.
Of course, key to preventing erosion is having a good rotation plan. You do not want to overgraze that hillside; you'll lose a lot of topsoil and potentially endanger structures below.
I too agree with what others have said so far.... I would add -
Ducks will be fine as long as their are no sharp rocks, sticks which they can cut their feet on. Ducks are much more hardy than chicken's except for foot damage due to cuts.
Chicken's will flat out tear out any soft soil if they don't have enough land to roam. So along with having a extra high fence on the down hill side you will want them to have lots of room. If you give them only a roomy chicken run area they will first kill off the ground cover and then begin to bring down the soil as they scratch for bugs. This won't happen if they are always moving - either because they have lots of land, or you are moving them, or other animals, like goats sharing the hillside, are moving them Hillside solution - keep chicken's moving! Moving chickens will do fine on hills.
Regarding milking cows - if you considered a smaller old-world breed such as Dexters they can handle hillside climbing, and they too will make horizontal cow walks for themselves over time.