Round Table Farm

Donkeys, Goats, Books and Chickens

Tossing Brush

The goats know these tree trimmings are for them.

The goats know these tree trimmings are for them.

Here in northern New Mexico, we have Chinese Elm. These trees seed prolifically and also send up runners from their roots. Cut down the tree, tear up the stump, even remove the stump; if you left a root behind, you will have baby elm the next rainy season. As discussed in the post on firewood, many people find the smell of burning elm to be a mild irritant and don’t use it as firewood.

Here on the farm, this ‘weed’ grows in the both the dog yard and the cat yard. We usually harvest it twice a year for the goats and donkeys. Both will strip not only the leaves and bark, but will eat any tender little branches. M3 takes them out with his hedge trimmer or chain saw and we load them up in the truck and haul them down to the field, where we lay them out on top of two already existing rows of such branches. Once the beasties have had their way with them, we leave them in place to act as wind breaks, catching dirt, sand, seeds, and water, allowing plants to grow up among the branches, providing yet more goodness for the goats and donkeys to hunt around for.

The goats love brush and tree trimmings. This is primarily elm.

The goats love brush and tree trimmings. This is primarily elm.

We do this with any brush we can get our hands on, as long as we know pesticides and herbicides have not been used on the plants. We don’t need to poison all our barn animals in one fell swoop. We will even accept Christmas trees from friends and relatives in the winter provided there is not that tinsel stuff that could get balled up in the guts of a goat or donkey, causing a nasty painful death. So, just keep your local little farms in mind if you want to take out some brush or weedy trees. Both goats and donkeys are browsers, so they can handle a variety of plants.

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