Goats and poison ivy
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Author:  Frogfan [ Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Goats and poison ivy

We have three goats that we obtained for the sole purpose of eating poison ivy: two Dwarf Nigerians and an Angora. We bought the dwarfs for thier size but quickly learned that they are rambunctious, climb and jump on everything and prefer just about everything in the yard to poison ivy. Doing some research we found Boers will eat poison ivy and Angoras will eat poison ivy. We decided to go with the Angora as Boers are a bit bigger and can have the same rambunctious nature as the Nigerians. Our Angora in contrast is very lovable and almost lazy dog-like in her approach to life but she seeks out poison ivy throughout the yard. We have a pen for our goats and tether them on dog colars each day in places we want to clear (making sure they have a source of water) we put them back in the pen at night and in inclimate weather. They share a large dog house for protection (the Nigerians spend a lot of time on top of the dog house). Per Howard's suggestion we hope to expand and dived thier pen into three areas and rotate the goats, so grass and other vegetation can return to the other pens. 8)

Author:  user_48634 [ Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:34 pm ]
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Those lovable goats can wipe a lot of poison ivy resins onto you if they're too loving right after snacking. That's the only caveat to using goats.

Author:  pridgeon [ Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:53 pm ]
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I read in "Planting Noah's Garden" by Sarah Stein that poison ivy is rated as one of the top 10 food-providing plants for wildlife. It's too bad people have such a bad reaction to it. Another example of man not being able (or willing) to co-exist. By the way, both of Sarah Stein's books, "Noah's Garden" and "Planting Noah's Garden" are excellent reads; scared me almost as much as Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring". They are about how man's view of what nature should be is destroying what nature really is.

Author:  Marlyn [ Mon Sep 08, 2003 8:41 pm ]
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How old are your nigerians? I have a wether that is about 6 months old. Got him when he was about 3 weeks. He has really calmed down alot as he has grown. My two does are about 3 years old and they are calm as well. They do like to get on top the dog house at times :) And they don't show a lot of interest in poison ivy (I have a little). Of course, they have about 6 acres and lots of other choices.


Author:  Mr. Clean [ Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goats and poison ivy

Frogfan wrote:
...we found Boers will eat poison ivy and Angoras will eat poison ivy.

:lol: Reminds me of the rhyme "...little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy too..."

Sorry...it's late.

Author:  Tony M* [ Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:16 am ]
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I think one of the reasons why it is listed as one of the top 10 plants for wildlife is because of the berries. I have seen so many different birds eating them over the years that it is no wonder its growth is so prolific. The seeds get airmailed everywhere!
Tony M

Author:  pridgeon [ Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:09 pm ]
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Tony, yes I think you're right about the berries. I wonder if the deer eat the vines. They eat just about everything else!

Author:  senegaltictac [ Wed Sep 10, 2003 7:03 pm ]
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Spend a lot of time in the woods of northeast Texas Oct thru Jan.
I have not seen deer eating poison ivy. They may but the deer have many other choices with the farmland and pastureland in the area. They love acorns of all kinds.

Author:  Tony M* [ Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:10 pm ]
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Nor have I seen deer eating PI berries but most of the berries are up near the tops of the plants, not readily available to them. I have seen deer eating another plant with white berries tho, Mistletoe! I used to knock it out of the trees for them and they loved it.
Tony M

Author:  Frogfan [ Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Co-existing with PI


I agree leaving poison ivy in the wild is fine. It only takes one trip to the emergency room with a 2 year old to know having poison ivy in the areas they play (our 2 acre yard) is not the wisest of ideas.

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