Blackberries

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Blackberries

Crockett's picture
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Joined: 25/07/2017

 

I have  a 1 acre lot in South Gippsland.

I have blackberries around my dam and a paddock that hasnt been grazed for years nor slashed for a year.

I'm looking at borrowing some goats to help clear it up for me.

If I cant find goats to rent then I am thinking of buying  a couple and slaughtering them once the land is sufficiently clear for sheep.

My questions are:

Is this a viable option?

Is there anyone who will rent/loan goats in my area?

Can they be let loose near a dam or will they get bogged/fall in, or otherwise drown?

What sort of temproiary fencing would be best to contain them until the task is done?

Thanks

 

comments

barb's picture
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Joined: 23/11/2011

Hi Crockett,

Good question. I have been off line for quite a while as I have just been finishing the second edition of Farming Meat Goats for CSIRO. O.k. now to your question, goats would be fine for clearing black berries.

Temporary fencing for goats, if they are the horned type (not dairy goats which are dehorned)  Would have to be of the new electric mesh type fencing that is now available in 50 mt rolls from your rural supplier. Easy to set up and you would have to purchase a small fence battery or solar energiser to go with it. The tape type temporary fencing, is not suitable for horned goats as they can get caught by the horns in it and strangle to death, as I found to my cost years ago- it was a dreadful sight to see. If they don't have horns then three strands of electrical tape would be suitable running at 5kv (5,000 volts) minimum for both types of fencing.

Re bogging or drowning, goats are very smart and would not have a problem with the dam. After they are fenced in they will not begin to eat the blackberries until they have finished off the grass in the enclosure and are forced to eat them. Like children, they won't eat their vegies (the  black berries) when they have desert available (the grass) . You will need to keep an eye on them to make sure that they are not starving in there. The beauty of the portable mesh is that it is very easy to relocate. I am sure that Charlton will be able to supply you with some links to suppliers. Sheep may not be so ammenable to eating blackberries, but most likely would if they were starving. Dorpers would probably be o.k. as a breed to use, due to a shorter fleece, if you must use sheep, because they are less likely to be hung up in the black berry thorns due to heavy fleece.

 It may be possible to advertise in the local paper to offer agistment on your property for goats- say a dollar each per week, which would help to offset the costs of buying the temporary fencing and energiser.

Good luck with finding the goats. It is really good to see someone who wants to try a natural method of control rather than using chemical control.

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