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Goats are voracious eaters and will consume almost anything in sight, including the bark off trees. This is an issue because with the bark removed, trees cannot transfer vital nutrients to the trunk, branches and foliage. Not only does this harm them, it can also cause damage to the goat’s digestive system. Keeping your tree’s bark safe from roaming goats is crucial.
Plant vegetation around the tree that goats will not consume. These include salal, mullein, wild sage grass and several types of nightshade. The goats will approach these plants, take a small sample, and then walk away, leaving the bark protected and intact.
Install a fence between the goats and any heavily wooded areas. Choose a wire mesh fence or an electric fence to keep your goats away from large areas that are filled with trees.
Install a small fence around individual trees. This is possible if there are a small number of trees that must be protected. Use wooden or mesh fencing that will not allow the goat’s mouth to reach the bark.
Cover the trees with wire mesh. Use rolls of wire window screen netting or hardware cloth to cover the bottom 5 to 10 feet of the trees. Install the netting far enough up the tree so the goat cannot partially climb up the tree with its front legs to reach exposed bark.
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