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Tips & Trends Vol. 9

You can successfully graze more animals on the same acreage by combining different species. Facts confirm that greater plant utilization can be realized by grazing cows and goats together according to Heather Smith Thomas of the Beef Magazine. Goats grazing habits trend toward ‘browse’ (~60%) and ‘forbs’ [i.e. brush plants with fleshy stems] – ~20%, while cows focus on consumption of grasses (70%) according to Jodi Pennington of Lincoln University in Missouri. These “weeds” and undergrowth can crowd out grasses, overtaking other plants cows prefer. An added benefit is that goats enjoy eating some other plants that may be toxic to cows, or that bovines wouldn’t touch!  
For easy care, a small herd of wethers can be integrated into your herd to keep broad leaves and toxic plants out of your pastures through a few months or even a season. 
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