Goat Pastures Cool Season Improved Grasses

Goats March 17, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

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Cool Season Improved Grasses

Cool season perennial and annual grasses are generally of higher quality than warm season grasses. Cool season perennials have a longer productive season than warm season perennials. Cool season annual grasses provide very high quality forage for grazing when warm season grasses are dormant. Cool season perennial grasses generally do not grow well in the hotter parts of the Southeast.

Incorporating cool season perennial and annual forages in a grazing system allows meat goat producers to kid earlier in the spring on cereal grains or annual ryegrass, followed by grazing a cool-season perennial pasture. This strategy will not only increase lactating does milk output, thus permitting high rates of growth of nursing kids and weanlings while pastures worm loads are low, but will also reduce feed costs. The same principle can be used for fall kidding on a cool-season perennial pasture followed by grazing cereal grains.

Perennials

Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea)

Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata)

Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

Winter Annuals

Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)

Cereal Grains

Luginbuhl, J-M. 2006. Pastures for Meat Goats. In: Meat Goat Production Handbook, ed. T.A. Gipson, R.C. Merkel, K. Williams, and T. Sahlu, Langston University, ISBN 1-880667-04-5.