What WON'T goats eat that will grow in the desert?

shawnnicole(z10LA Rdndo Bch)July 12, 2004

My brother lives in the high desert of California (a different zone than mine listed above.) Do you know of any plants that will grow in the hot, hot days and the very cold nights of winter, that the goats WON'T devour? Plants would need to be very drought resistant.

Also, does anyone have any advice on how to protect the base of trees from the nibbling goats?


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I am from the High Desert of Ca. (Lancaster). I can't imagine any plant that is goat-proof,they will chew anything.(Shoes,fences,etc,...) The trees will need wire all the way around them and farther up than the goats can reach "hopping" on thier back legs. My guess would be 10ft. There also needs to be a space of about 6"(kinda guessing here) betwwen the wire and the tree so the goats can't eat through the wire.Clever little buggers. A wire "bubble" around flowers might work. I'd just pen the goats and be done with it. I know someone with 10ft fountain grass that lets the goats out once in awhile. The stuff will leave cuts on human skin.The grass might be too big to make a difference with one goat?
Drought resistant plants can be poisonous. I'd stay away from Datura,Lantana and yellow Sage to name a few.PJ

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 7:47PM
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A year ago last winter, my wife "found" a native cactus in our backyard. It was only one "leaf", shrivelled, and about the size of a nickel. She decided to plant it in a 6 inch plastic pot (VERY bad idea). The first spring it decided to take off-- it grew to about the size of a baseball with 3 extra "leaves" (what the heck are those "leaves" called anyway?!) It also decided to flower that same spring.. Now, after almost 2 years of growth, "Spike", as my wife affectionately named it, is about the size of a basketball with thorns on it that hurt just by looking at them. The thorns are huge-- about 10 mm long with a base of 2-3 mm. I won't even WALK near it because I'm scared of it.

Anyway, I can't imagine ANYTHING wanting to eat Spike. Remember those kids in junior high school that just looked mean? You didn't want to bother them, right?! Well, that's Spike. He scares you just by looking at him. I will bet you a years salary that Spike is goat-proof.

If you are interested, I would be happy to amputate Spike's arm and send it to you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 3:21PM
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Wyld_Freatures(SE CA, z9)

Having owned a goat for about 6 years. The Boxwood shrubs that stood about six feet tall, gone. Cucumber could stand on her hind legs to over 6 feet tall (she didn't like my ex).
Oddly enough she didn't like cucumber, the veggies not the plant, if it was green she would eat it, we used her a asort of lawn mower for the 3+ acres of property. We would bring the dogs in for the day and let her wander around and eat the weeds, she liked mustard, and black eyed suzies. She never ate the pine, eucalyptus, or roses. But that might have been because she was very well fed on grass, mustard, alfalfa (regular feed) and the figs that dropped into her pen.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 2:37AM
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I don't think anything anything eats creosote (Larrea tridentata)...

"(what the heck are those "leaves" called anyway?!)"

If you mean on prickly pear or the like (i.e., these things), they're called cladophylls, or, more informally, pads or joints. I like the word cladophyll since it describes what the things are to some extent... "clade" means "branch", "phyll" means "leaf", and the pads are branches that perform the functions of leaves.

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 5:50PM
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How about Red Squill. Scilla is a summer dormant perennial bulb and is relatively drought

Ankrara's Hobby Corner

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 2:48PM
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drygulch(z9 AZ)

I think I've read that desert iguanas eat creosote leaves. As for goats, I couldn't say.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 6:57PM
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"I think I've read that desert iguanas eat creosote leaves."

The flowers I know they eat... I don't think they eat the leaves, though, and I've never heard of them doing damage to the plant. Desert iguanas also don't occur in anything I'd call "high desert"...

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 10:21PM
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