The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Sheep and goats in forest pastures

PollardingSheep and goats are a bit more difficult to grow in a forest pasture situation since they like to eat twigs and thin-barked trees.  There is also less data available for good ways to combine these livestock with trees, but I've got a couple of thoughts.

First, I suspect that sheep and goats would work very well in the power line cut if I planted it with trees that don't mind being coppiced (willows, alders, hazels, and elders.)  By rotating the sheep and goats through small pastures, we could give the shrubs time to grow back rather than being decimated by gnawing teeth.

We might also get away with grazing sheep along with pigs amid large, widely spaced trees.  Unlike goats, sheep can live entirely on pasture and they might eat up the woodier plants on the forest floor that pigs would ignore.

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This post is part of our Forest Pasturing lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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