Fall has quickly approached us here at our small farm, keeping us busy preparing the animals for winter. We’re stocking up on hay and grain, winterizing equipment, mucking the animals’ …
Fall has quickly approached us here at our small farm, keeping us busy preparing the animals for winter. We’re stocking up on hay and grain, winterizing equipment, mucking the animals’ sheds, and making sure there are no loose ends that require tending to before the snow first falls.
Something all the goats and Daisy donkey can agree on is that fall is one of their favorite times of the year. This is because once the leaves start to change their colors and the air gets chillier, they know the snacks are going to be pouring in.
The animals also start getting their winter coats and become super-soft and fluffy. The thick coats will keep them warm over the winter.
In the fall, on our little farm, we begin putting aside corn and corn husks, squash, pumpkins and soup-prep vegetable scraps to add extra nutrients to the animals’ everyday diet, and also reduce waste from food. Among the types of garden and kitchen scraps that could be put aside for goats and donkeys are cabbage, collards, broccoli, bananas and banana peels, apples, celery, carrots, lettuce and blueberries.
Some foods that should not be fed to the animals and should be avoided are kale, rhubarb leaves, lilac flowers, potatoes, garlic and onions.
Another plant that is toxic to goats is the rhododendron. About 10 years ago, Brownie the goat had escaped the pen, run up to the house, and eaten some of the leaves from the plant. It was right around wintertime, so there was no fresh grass on the ground for grazing.
It wasn’t until that night, when he was throwing up, had a fever, and was isolating himself that I realized he must have eaten something poisonous when he was out of his pasture. He was quickly taken to the veterinarian, given some injections and a prescription, and made a full recovery within a few days. Those plants are now fenced in and out of reach from any wandering goat that may make its way past them.
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