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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:30 pm 
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I was driving through the mesquite forests of central Texas today and I had time to think about this. If we could just plant mesquite and harvest it like alfalfa, we could feed the world.

I have heard of fields where goats will eat mesquite seedlings. It might have been a special breed of goats or even sheep (I'm such a city boy). I've driven by the camel ranch west of Wichita Falls and seen healthy mesquite going untouched. Anyway it occurred to me that goats or other animals might eat it if the mesquite was sprayed with molasses. Has anyone sprayed it trying to get animals to eat it?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:42 am 
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I believe mesquite is poisonous to some large animals. You mentioned camels. I have heard that mesquite is poisonous to llamas and alpacas. Horses shouldn't eat it either.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:54 pm 
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That leaves sheep and goats. Obviously it doesn't taste good to anything. I wonder if anything would eat it if it was sprayed with molasses?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:42 am 
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Goats will eat mesquite voluntarily. In a rich environment they will pick around, and not necessarily eat the mesquite first, but they do like the leaves. (I believe cows will eat the seed pods too).

I don't know how sustainable a solution this is though. If you ever see goats in a patch of mesquite, all of the trees are happy and leafy up top and just pruned clear up to about 5' high where the goats are eating. Most other vegetation and grasses are choked out or not getting enough sun because of the thick mesquite.

Perhaps if you regularly cut down the mesquite, there would always be new growth down low for the goats to munch on.

Justin
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Waco, TX

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:12 am 
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PGCF, I'm glad you wrote. I've seen camels and llamas eat Live Oak the same way. They strip it up as far as they can reach on their back feet.

So if you used one of those big tree pullers and pulled the mesquite out by the roots (and mulched it), the goats would eat the seedlings. Is that what you are saying? Do the goats prefer to eat the seedlings over other forage? Or is mesquite just part of the diet they tolerate like poison ivy?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:40 am 
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Our goats like to mix it up and keep moving forward. Even if there is a plant that they love, they will keep moving if there is room and other growth to be eaten. I believe this is their natural way of promoting better vegetation & less worm exposure. They love leaves - especially tender new growth & dry leaves (like potato chips).

I was thinking if you cut the trees down low - they will have all sorts of shoots coming off the crown. These would be new and low enough for the goats to get to and at the same time, sunlight could still get to the grasses and other plants.

For mesquite, they will strip the leaves and new shoots, but not eat much of the tree itself - especially not dry. Something like a pine, they'll completely strip and eat up part of the seedling (or even bark on a larger tree).

Thanks,
Justin


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:23 pm 
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Well horses will eat Mesquite trees. However they prefer grass. I have heard of founder etc from the beans, but I have many horses, many mesquites and have NEVER had any trouble.

I would never cut a mesquite at it's crown, it it's not eaten it will become a very large mesquite bush that you can't do anything with.

I'm not sure what you are tryng to do with them, but I have found the best way to get rid of them is a large buldozer and some good spray for anything too small for the bull dozer.


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