- Jun 26, 2022
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I had heard that you couldn't feed black locust, that the leaves were toxic. Your post led me to a search about black locust as feed, as we are looking for more tree forage, besides the fabulous white mulberry. I found an article through Feedipedia (great resource) at https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:ijsr&volume=16&issue=1&article=003 wihere they compare grass, mulberry leaf and black locust leaf as the forage component for German Angora rabbits. They did also feed pellets, but it was an interesting comparison. Looks like both mulberry and black locust beat out the production from grass, not a surprise as both tree species are high in protein.Black locust. They love the leaves, bark, and thorns. So do my guinea pigs. They leave the branches smooth and white. I have locust coppice and hedging all over. This year I tried "shredding" a few small trees and it worked really well. Shredding is when you prune the tree to a 6-8 foot bare pole in the spring, so it sends shoots out the sides in every direction.
Cornell University also notes that they use black locust as part of their sheep grazing program. Black Locust: A Tree with Many Uses - Cornell Small Farms I wondered about honey locust leaves, and while they are apparently used, the Feedipedia article noted that black locust was a better choice: Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) | Feedipedia The more detailed Feedipedia nutrition page noted that rabbits seemed to enjoy the honey locust forage as well, Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) | Feedipedia As we have both trees here, as well as white and red mulberry, that will help us expand our use of tree forage for protein.
Thank you so much for the information, I sure appreciate you sharing your use of black locust, I would never have used it otherwise, and would have missed a great resource, as we have a black locust grove in the old hayfield.