The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Goats => Topic started by: LeanneR88 on July 24, 2019, 10:30:55 am

Title: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: LeanneR88 on July 24, 2019, 10:30:55 am
I am looking into getting a pygmy goat or two. Wondering if they are best kept in pairs so have one of there kind with them or how do they get along with just sheep as a companion?  I do also have 3 horses so no chance would ever be alone :)
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: macgro7 on July 24, 2019, 11:03:16 am
Definitelly need company of other goats  ;)
Sheep speak different language.
Goats are so racist in fact, that they might not even be friends with other breeds of goats!
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: LeanneR88 on July 24, 2019, 02:38:04 pm
Definitelly need company of other goats  ;)
Sheep speak different language.
Goats are so racist in fact, that they might not even be friends with other breeds of goats!

Was secretly hoping that was the case. 2 it is then hahahaha
Oh gosh didnt realise they were like that :O
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 24, 2019, 11:56:16 pm
Definitelly need company of other goats  ;)
Sheep speak different language.
Goats are so racist in fact, that they might not even be friends with other breeds of goats!

Was secretly hoping that was the case. 2 it is then hahahaha
Oh gosh didnt realise they were like that :O



 :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:


Or even three in case one dies.  ;)
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: Anke on July 25, 2019, 07:04:08 am
Three is a good number to start with. Also if keeping together with other livestock I would go for disbudded goats, just reduces the possible issues in case of confrontation. Though I have known horses to be very objecting to sheep in their fields and sheep being killed by a well aimed kick from a horse. So depends a bit on the horse too....
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: LeanneR88 on July 25, 2019, 10:40:18 am
My horses took to the sheep pretty well and one clambers about on my biggest when shes sleeping so shouldnt be any issues :)

Thinking Pygmy's or any other you'd recommend? New too goats!
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: Zyg on July 25, 2019, 11:31:04 am
We decided we'd start off with two..... BUT... whilst looking for the two we saw an ad for four (one looked very striking in the photos - orange and black) so we bought them a week later! Oh! did I mention that the four were pregnant? So a couple of months later we were up to eleven. Then recently we bought a billy to service our girls later this year (except for this years kids).

One of the first two is a pure dwarf (unregistered), all the others are crosses with a mix of anglo nubian, tog, saanen and we think the billy is a pygmy x saanen (the vendors weren't sure!).

My partner saw some angoras yesterday, so watch this space.........
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on July 25, 2019, 03:50:21 pm
Three is a good number to start with. Also if keeping together with other livestock I would go for disbudded goats, just reduces the possible issues in case of confrontation. Though I have known horses to be very objecting to sheep in their fields and sheep being killed by a well aimed kick from a horse. So depends a bit on the horse too....

When my elderly pony was fresh out of 'horsepital' I put him in with my horned Bagots as I felt he wasn't up to dealing with the other horses...  They included my buck with big horns and some kids of a few months old... I was amazed how well everyone respected everyone else and friendships were formed.  He was careful where he stepped in case there was a kid underneath him (didn't seem to mind them jumping on him when he was lying down in the field) and the bigger goats were gentle with him when nuzzling... I wouldn't ever put my Bagots in with the big mare though as I'm sure it would end in carnage... and I don't think the horns would protect them!  When the horses are in a field next to the Bagots now, he can often be seen grazing close to them and vice versa which I think is nice.. and when I move the horses to a field further away, the Bagots shout at me for doing so!

Definitely need at least two, three is better... 4 means everyone has a pal and 5 is the equivalent of one pony so if you want easy numbers for working out how much grazing you have and need....

Goats tend to be a bit moreish - and are addictive.  If you think horses are difficult to keep... you ain't seen nothing yet, and life would never be the same without them!

Pygmies are actually more difficult to keep than some bigger goats - they bounce higher than you'd expect and often suffer from skin conditions that others are less susceptible to. 

In terms of what to go for, it depends what you want and what you like the look of... if you're after a milker (or possible milker for the future) Golden Guernseys (ginger through blonde), Saanans (white), Toggs (brown with striped faces) or Anglo Nubians (various colours with floppy ears).  If you want fibre then Angora or Cashmere.  If you're after meat goats then Boers, if you're after something to eat the weeds then Old English or Bagots, if you're after something small that continually causes havoc then pygmies.

If you want to do something for conservation then "pure" Saanans, Toggs, GGs, OEGs or Bagots are all brilliant.  If you're not interested in this then "British" versions of the milkers or cross breeds.  If you're not interested in females then many breeders will be looking for good pet homes for males and if you castrate them you don't have the "stinky season" in the autumn.

If there's a local goat club in your area, why not hook up with them in advance of getting the goats and see who keeps what and maybe go along and find out more about each breed so that you can get a feel for which ones you can't live without... those are the goats to get!

Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: Rushy on August 02, 2019, 01:47:30 am
I am looking into getting a pygmy goat or two. Wondering if they are best kept in pairs so have one of there kind with them or how do they get along with just sheep as a companion?  I do also have 3 horses so no chance would ever be alone :)

Why pygmys do you have a small yard? They seem to be more agile then full size breeds, hope your fences are high or the yards well stocked with diverse foods or they will be escaping often. Is the goat just for a pet or is there a purpose you would like it for? (meat,fibre,milk)

Title: Re: Do goats need kept in pairs or sheep company enough?
Post by: steve_pr on November 04, 2019, 08:23:19 pm
I would say 3 is a minimum group of goats (and any herd anima) just in case one dies.


A bigger issue is parasite control. Goats have practically no resistance to worms and will be cross contaminated by anything your sheep will be immune to. We keep angoras and sheep, but they don't intermingle (at least not intentionally - goats are very good at unlatching gates, scaling fences etc. so we have to keep everything tied up and they watch you like a hawk to check the knot and then start untying it as soon as your back is turned!)