Goat Pastures Renovation

Renovation of pastures

Given that goats are the most versatile of livestock in terms of the variety of plants it consumes, many of them considered weeds although of extremely high quality, assessing the plant community and its productivity is a “must” before considering and investing the total renovation of a pasture. A pasture considered not sufficiently productive for beef cattle of horses because of “weeds“ and brush invasion could be highly productive for goats. Therefore, total pasture renovation should be considered a last resort alternative. Drilling other forage species such as white clover, chicory, plantain or spreading crabgrass or prairie grass seeds on a very short stubble and incorporating them into the soil with a light implement should be sufficient in most cases to thicken a thin stand. In addition, soils samples should be taken to determine chemical composition and possible remediation. Under certain circumstances, adding lime to correct the pH is sufficient to alter the pasture plant community. In other cases, strategic nitrogen fertilization, grazing and or bush-hogging to allow other plants to grow will alter the plant community satisfactorily.

Luginbuhl, J-M. 2006. Pastures for Meat Goats. In: Meat Goat Production Handbook, ed. T.A. Gipson, R.C. Merkel, K. Williams, and T. Sahlu, Langston University, ISBN 1-880667-04-5.