Cow in the Orchard

BarredBuff

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We will soon be acquiring a Jersey heifer calf, to add to our homestead as a dairy source. We are on small acreage, thus limited in pasture opportunities. I have at least 10 days worth of 900 sq ft. rotational grazing spaces for an adult cow. Those number are from a forum that I have been lurking on. These spaces include mainly our orchards, do you all see any problems with grazing a milk cow in the orchards? I have been researching it and found that a lot of nurseries graze sheep in their orchards, would a cow be alright as well?

I myself am pretty confident it will work, I'd just like some more input. :)
 

Beekissed

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Depends on the size of your trees...if they are small enough to be bent over at all, a cow will do it. If not, they will trim your lower branches/apples off for you, which I always counted as a good thing as I had too many apples anyway.
 

BarredBuff

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Quite a few are young but are staked, and some could be excluded and protected if need be with wire cages. They won't damage like goats will they? As for the trimming, we usually don't have many close to the bottom anyway, usually midway and up.
 

pinkfox

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cows are grazers so theyll take leaves and any fruit within reach but there not likley to strip the bark off the trees. id cage them when small because cows will lean and rub and they can damage younger fruit trees just from leaning on them, but otherwise as long as you dont mind loosing the odd apple here and there, it shoudlnt be an issue.
as a side note cows CAN get drunk so make sure to clear any fallen fruit the cow doesnt get to first BEFORE it starts to rot/ferment lol.

ive never seen a drunk cow...but i have seen drunk elephants...and can only imagine a cow being a slightly smaller version...big and clumsy lol.
 

BarredBuff

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This should be workable then. Any methods of protection that I haven't mentioned?
 

FarmerJamie

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ditto to want PF said, they will rub their heads as far up as they can reach. Anything up to 5 ft high could be used as a scratching/rubbing post.
 

BarredBuff

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FarmerJamie said:
ditto to want PF said, they will rub their heads as far up as they can reach. Anything up to 5 ft high could be used as a scratching/rubbing post.
We should be clear then on the older trees. They don't start to produce until about 6 ft. up anyway, I am mainly worried about my young trees...
 

FarmerJamie

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Then I would fence in the younger trees to protect them.
 

BarredBuff

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I'll have to fence out those rhododendrons as well....
 

FarmerJamie

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BarredBuff said:
I'll have to fence out those rhododendrons as well....
I would...but that just me. Last thing I would want to see is your hard work with plantings get damaged or the girl getting sick from something preventable.
 
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