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Wisconsin and its opportunities : illustrated by photographs taken in northern Wisconsin
([1905?])

Angora goats on brush land,   pp. [30]-31 PDF (523.6 KB)


Page 31


The Angora Goat and Its Usefulness
winter when the snow is not too deep,
but at that season they should not be
confined to browse alone. They will
also eat the bark on many kinds of
trees and in that way kill them, but
their mission is rather the destruction
of brushes and twigs that cover the
land, in some places so thickly that
one can scarcely walk through It. As
not a little of the cut-over land is of
this character, and indeed some that
has not been cut over, there is wide
room for the introduction of goats as
clearers of land. The lands that have
been burnt over also sustain a most
vigorous growth of young trees, such
as goats love to browse upon. It is
very probable, therefore, that large
flocks of goats will yet be introduced
into Northern Wisconsin to help clear
the land.
THE COST OF CLEARING BRUSH LANDS.
  It has been stated that timber land
will usually produce a sufficient re-
turn in wood and lumber to pay for
the cost of clearing. In the absence of
personal experience in clearing brush
lands with goats in Northern Wiscon-
sin it may be hazardous to state that
the goats will give a return sufficient
to repay the outlay of the investment,
but I can see no reason why they
should not be made to pay, so that the
land could virtually be cleared for
nothing. The goats could turn the
brush into meat. For this meat there
is a sale in our markets, and for the
mohair there is also a good demand,
since so much of it is imported from
other countries. When the goats de-
stroy the brush, the portion of the
young bushes that can't be eaten soon
decay and fall upon the ground. Tufts
of grass begin to come up as the sun-
light is let in where the bushes grew,
hence by the time the twigs are dead
there is good pasturefor sheep or other
live stock. And the growing of this
pasture may be hastened by scattering
the seed of certain grasses and clover
over the land in the early spring while
the browsing is still going on. It should
be remembered, however, that the
goats would have to be well fenced in
if they are to do the work assigned
them in the most approved fashion.
The fence may be made of rails,
boards, or woven wire. In any event
it would be necessary to have it a
good height, but the fence would be
there when the brush had disappeared,
and would be equally useful for in-
closing pastures for other classes of
live stock.
  Goats have been but little kept on
the forest lands of the North, hence
very little is known about them by
farmers in the Eastern States. The
Angoras in the high-grade form would
be the kind to introduce, not because
they would kill the brush more readily
than common goats, but because they
furnish mohair and meat that bring a
superior price. They ought not to be
kept on brush alone as they will fare
better when they can have some grass.
Like sheep, they require shelter in
winter and forage in addition to what-
ever browsing they may do. And they
ought not to be allowed to produce
their young until the weather is settled
in the spring, as the young kids are
more tender than the lambs. They can
also be kept on grass pastures after
brush has disappeared, although it is
at least questionable if they will pay
as well as sheep under these condi-
tions.
31


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