hubert cumberdale wrote:
of course it can be done and its just silly to think it cant.
what kind of ecosystem are we talking about? fields, forests, mixed, mountain, valley, etc...
each would most likely have a set of livestock that would do best there. no one place will have the same answer to the problem.
paul wheaton wrote:
Although wild turkeys, quail and pheasant suggest that it should be possible.
Thanks for the information and encouragement.
As I said, any information that I find on this topic will be posted on this thread. I'll share what I find, so we all can learn about it.
Good question Dock, i'm particuraly concerned for chicken
But first you have to ne clear on what you want, for example i've understand that you don't want to buy, process or stock feed, but what about feed that hang on trees on winter and that you an give to your livestock (by cutting branches for example ?)
For pigs, maybe selected varaities of persimmon, and for poultry sea buckthorn ?
Here is a list of plant generated with the PFAF database, that have somewhat edible fruits or seeds for human, and whose fruit/seed ripen in harsh monthes, its a good list to star designing a winter/spring self forage for poultry
I have raised sheep, ducks, chickens, geese and pigs without supplemental feed. With the pigs there is the issue that pasture is low in lysine, a limiting protein, so they take a few extra months to grow to market size and the pasture is lower in calories so the pigs are leaner. I did three batches of pigs that way. It works.
I raise bamboo to get my sheep through the late winter after they have eaten down the stockpiled grass in the pastures but before the new spring grass has started growing. I raise a 10 foot high bamboo (Hibanobambusa) that I give the sheep access to and they self harvest the leaves. On the taller bamboos, I cut a few culms each day, let them clean off the leaves, and then I use the stripped culms for bean trellises and other bamboo construction.
Brilliant... I love this idea.
Brilliant... I love this idea.
Have you considered Sasa Palmatta? Huge leaves and it doesn't get very tall. I considered it for when I get a couple of goats in the future but it doesn't do well below 20 F so we shall see. I was damaged a little last winter but hopefully by next winter it will be better established.
Raising animals is a huge responsibility, but I don't know if it has to be a huge commitment... especially of time. IF we design things right.
I plan on incorporating intensive management/rotational grazing, access to clean, pure water whenever wanted, and likely multiple checks per day...
I want to develop a system that models nature... and making hay or feeding bags of feed doesn't happen much in nature.
Pat Maas wrote:
I've been culling my dairy goats for years now. They have to make do on at very minimum decent forage. Last summer with no grain supplementation, but good quality dairy hay, they absolutely milked their hearts out. This is with mineral supplementation and a monthly dose of selenium. DE for worming.
In the next month, I'll be moving my little herd to a new place. Will have to feed for the 1st few years as the natural forage has been grazed off by cattle. The ladies will have several good sized paddocks at 20 acres a piece to start with and will keep them on just long enough to see some growth knocked down from our monsoon season-if it happens.
These 20 acre paddocks will be for 20 milkers and one or two small cows. Should be able to keep them on for a week at a time, depending on conditions. If ever any doubts, will have the dry pens to house them in until pasture comes back in. Just have a few of these paddocks to start with, but will do more as time and resources allow. May find need to make the paddocks bigger at first, so it will be trail and error.
There is only limited place for making hay and that only in a good year of rain, so very good range management will be a must. Already know will have to bring hay in at this point for the time being and winter/spring.
I've done a lot of work with improving sandy soils to a point where grass root growth has noticeable nodules on it and , so am fairly certain can do what is needed at our new small ranch.