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Rick's Ramblin's

By Rick Skillington
County Director Marshall County

I have been asked to try to give some educational information about goat production to assist producers with timely tips to help increase the number of quality animals to market.
While goats are primary browsers, they will do some grazing. Maybe not as much as some people would like, but they will graze. Since we are running our goats on some of the roughest ground on the farms and that usually involves much hill ground, try adding lespedeza into these fields. Kobe_ lespedeza is the preferred variety to use in renovating pastures. Adding eight pounds of Kobe lespedeza on the hillsides should provide additional grazing during the hot summer months. Planting Kobe lespedeza from February 15 to March 31 each year can yield big returns by increased growth in the kids and increased milk production in the does. At today prices, it is a real bargain in increased weights.
Creep grazing is another method of getting increased weight on your kids prior to selling them By sowing a field in Alfagraze, Birdsfoot Trefoil or Millet and building a gate that will allow only the kids into the field to graze will provide additional chances for increased weight with little extra expense. When the forage gets too big and the nutritional value starts to decrease, open the gate and let the entire herd into the field and they will remove the older growth and provide improved nutrition for the older goats as well.

The University of Tennessee recommends that you plant Alfagraze from March 1 to May 1 at a rate of 15 to 20 pounds per acre, Birdsfoot Trefoil from February 20 to April 1 at a rate of 6 to 10 pounds per acre and Millet from may 1 to July I at a rate of 25 to 40 pounds per acre. Always soil test and lime fields according to the results. This is the cheapest money you will ever spend.

The Universtiy of Tennessee Recommends You Plant

Type Browse
Dates to Sow
Amount to Sow
March 1 to May 1
15 to 20 pounds per acre
Birdsfoot Trefoil
February 20 to April 1
6 to 10 pounds per acre
May 1 to July I
25 to 40 pounds per acre


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