NZ Lifestyle Block

5 na­tives you can use for fod­der

- Animals · Good News · Wildlife · New Zealand · Iceland

New Zealand trees did not evolve for brows­ing ru­mi­nants, but there are a few that are ben­e­fi­cial fod­der trees.

NZ flax ( harakeke, Phormium tenax) makes a main­te­nance-free shel­ter, plus it helps to pre­vent bloat and to rem­edy scour­ing. Cows, sheep, deer and goats will eat tips and strip the fo­liage of its tasty green parts. Broadleaf ( kāpuka, Griselinia lit­toralis) is highly palat­able to stock and deer, rea­son­ably fast-grow­ing and re­cov­ers quickly from brows­ing. Whitey­wood ( māhoe, Mel­i­cy­tus ram­i­florus) is a small (5m), fast-grow­ing tree that is so palat­able that early farm­ers nick­named it ‘cow leaf’. It was con­sid­ered a valu­able source of fod­der, es­pe­cially in droughts. Cows, horses, sheep, deer and goats love it. Five-fin­ger ( whauwhau­paku, Pseu­dopanax ar­boreus) is highly palat­able to cat­tle (and deer, goats, pos­sums and wal­la­bies). Seven-fin­ger (pate, Sch­ef­flera dig­i­tata) is sim­i­lar.

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