Brian Mallak

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since Apr 27, 2013
Central NY
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Recent posts by Brian Mallak

Chris Stelzer wrote:

Brian Mallak wrote:Jerry,
I have a somewhat similar situation with my land. While I have more acreage, I cannot afford to actually fill it to its capacity nor do I have the infrastructure to support that much livestock over winter.
So, what I am doing is using portable poultry fencing to create paddocks. Then I lead with goats (6 of them), and follow with a flock of chickens. I have also been planting buckwheat after the chickens. Looking into planting other weed suppression like crops (mighty mustard, barley, winter wheat etc).
Next year I will get some more live stock for a more complex lead/follow system.
The goats are clearing a paddock (120m) about every 10 days, but the most recent paddock has a heavier stocking rate and it is taking them quite awhile to mow it down.
Had to move the chickens to a new paddock as a result (19 of them).
+1 on the Dexters! I plan I getting a few of them in the next 2-3years.

Hope this helps!



Brain, that sounds awesome, how is that working out for you? Does that netting work for fencing goats? I've heard horror stories! haha



Chris,
So far it is working pretty well.
The goats eat down the brush, shrubs, and small trees, and some weeds and grass (4 Boer and two mixed milkers). I have 3 RIR (over a year old) chickens in with the goats for tick control. Seems to be working well!
The other paddock with the other chickens (French Freedom Rangers, about 12 weeks old) are doing well. The paddocks after both have rotated through are very lush and green, both grass and weeds. I then use a 5/8ths chain harrow to prep for a bed to plant Mannmoth Red Mangles and Forage Turnips for the livestock over winter. I did another paddock with sweet clover and yellow mangles but we had a dry spell for 10 days. The sweet clover has begun to establish itself. The mangles are just now coming up. I think the lack of rain and heat had something to do with it. The buckwheat I planted seems to be stunted as well. Only 3-5inchs tall, a yellow/red color and some are budding out flowers. The buckwheat that was under clumps of grass (effect from the chain harrow) seems to be growing better and much greener.
The fence is engergized by a solar/battery energizer. Puts out about 2.8-4.0k volts depending on the sun. The goats dont try to go over the fence, too small for the chickens, and they have not been bothered by predators. I have seen coyote in the area, and none have taken a goat or chicken. My dogs who have experienced a active fence have not gone near the fence since.

If you or anyone has additional questions, feel free to ask!
7 years ago
Jerry,
I have a somewhat similar situation with my land. While I have more acreage, I cannot afford to actually fill it to its capacity nor do I have the infrastructure to support that much livestock over winter.
So, what I am doing is using portable poultry fencing to create paddocks. Then I lead with goats (6 of them), and follow with a flock of chickens. I have also been planting buckwheat after the chickens. Looking into planting other weed suppression like crops (mighty mustard, barley, winter wheat etc).
Next year I will get some more live stock for a more complex lead/follow system.
The goats are clearing a paddock (120m) about every 10 days, but the most recent paddock has a heavier stocking rate and it is taking them quite awhile to mow it down.
Had to move the chickens to a new paddock as a result (19 of them).
+1 on the Dexters! I plan I getting a few of them in the next 2-3years.

Hope this helps!
7 years ago
I am using Premier 1 Poultry fencing. When the chicks where young they could slip through the netting. But now (8 weeks old) they cannot.
We clipped their primary feathers to prevent them from flying over.
We also have 3 RIR adults, all over a year old. None of them have every gotten out of the paddocks.
I move the chicks about every 2 weeks.
7 years ago
I have seen signs (scat) of rabbits all over my property in the fall, when the foliage is brown, leaves fallen. Easier to see, especially near water sources. In the winter I have seen both cottontail and hare tracks.
However, since spring I have seen only one rabbit. And he was huge! Thought it was a large fat cat at first.
If I had the time, I would get out there and hunt using the .22LR, or even the 12ga.
But who has time!
7 years ago
I planted some buckwheat as an experiment.
It is coming up, but it is not green like in all the pics I see, but more of a yellowish. There are a few that are green.
Any ideas or recommendations?
7 years ago
I got a old army surplus M55 coat (with button in liner), replaced the cotton drawcords with shock cords and barrel plungers, and tossed the whole thing into the washer with Cotton Nikwax.
Did the same with a old boonie hat. only in the heaviest downpour does it become saturated. But I would not be working out there unless I had too.
7 years ago
I am using a large (800cc) ATV. Use it to haul water to the critters (3 5gal buckets) once a day, pull a 170lbs 5/8 chain harrow, pull out old junk, trees for fire wood.
Someday will I buy (likely rent) a tractor and all the implements? Probably.
but I am getting along just fine with the ATV.
7 years ago

Renate Haeckler wrote:Look up how to do the FAMACHA test. You use the color of the skin in their eyelids to see if they need to be wormed. Combining that with just checking their overal body condition should be all you need. I don't use anything for flies and my goats are rarely bothered by them. We do have chickens in their area, tho.

If you use ivomectin you risk killing dung beetles. I think it takes a couple of days to get out of their system but it might be worth keeping them in a dry lot and bringing them branches for a couple days after worming them with that (or on a rainy day shutting them in their shed - they won't want to go out in the rain anyway).

Some of my friends have reported good results using copper boluses to prevent parasites. The key is to only do it if you're in an area that has low copper. If you look it up the US Geological Survey has maps online that show which areas are high/low in the different minerals.

Because parasites are developing resistance to many dewormers, it's always better to take a stool sample in to the vet or learn how to do your own than to just deworm on a schedule. In some areas there are different dewormers you use different times of year, because there are some parasites that may get killed in sensitive areas (like near the spinal cord) and cause paralysis or other problems.

There are home recipes you can use to prevent parasites too. Feeding cloves of garlic, hot pepper, pumpkin seeds (they go over way better than the hot pepper!), and others are supposed to help the goats naturally deworm themselves; in addition if their pasture includes wormwood, black walnut, etc. they can eat it as needed.



Thank you Renate Haeckler for your response.

I will look up how to do the eyelid test. I read about it elsewhere online.

I also just got a cheap used microscope to do my own fecal testing. Figure might as well. Probably pay for itself after a year with the goats, dogs, rabbits, chickens and future livestock I will get.

How can I get copper supplements? I have read the mineral blocks made for goats and sheep do not contain enough copper to make a difference.

I am going to give the garlic a try before the ivomec! And I want to see if the goats even like it!

R Scott wrote:If they truly do not see the same ground for 6 weeks+, you should have minimal problems. That means you can't have a permanent shelter or water commons area.

Our solution was to stop worming altogether and cull the herd. Any that got worms got treated and then sold. It took a few years but we got to a herd that had no issues with no shots. There are lots of goats out there that are genetically weak and only alive because of the medications and simply can't survive naturally.

The chickens take care of most of the fly problems.



Thank you for your reply R Scott.

Nope, they will not see the same area for at least 6 weeks. I am using two lengths of Premier 1 fencing to form 120m paddock. Have them out on about 40-50 acres.
I do have them in a moveable shelter, and two 7gal galzanized water tubs. I give them fresh water every day from a artisan well.

I am aiming for the no worming state.
On the advice of another, modern, farmer, to use Permethrin for flies. He says they will prevent bites and worms.
He also recommend the ivermectin for internal worms.
I am TRYING to remain organic/non-commerical/self-sustaining.
I have 6 goats, 4 Boers, and two mix milkers. All will be ready for their first mating this fall.
I am free ranging them in portable electric fencing, on pasture with young trees, brush, weeds and some native grasses. The land has not seen livestock in over 30 years (with the exception of wild game). They clear out a paddock about every 7-10 days. I have enough acreage they will not return to the first paddock for over 6 weeks.
Do I really need either of these products?
Is it just safe to assume they have worms and treat accordingly? Or better to get a fecal test and go from there?
I check them twice a day, pet them, check for external parasites, their general well being (water too). All appear well. Posterior end, and droppings appear normal. They appear to be eating well, gaining weight. Acting like goats!
I have three chickens in the same pen with them to try to address the ticks.
Thank you for any insight