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Author Topic: Pygmy goats?  (Read 368 times)

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Pygmy goats?
« on: May 03, 2019, 06:24:33 pm »
Help all! I have an acre garden and 2 acres of paddocks.  The paddocks have 3 horses in them.  The garden is all grass and not much else as we don't really enjoy gardening much so keep it easy! However a acre of grass is still not that easy when you have t mow it 1-2 times week totaling an hours work! I kept mowing the bottom end of the garden which is around 1/2 an acre thinking what a waste of time it is as we never go up there, the first half if the garden is full of our kids play things and useable things! Soooo as there is post and rail 3/4 of the way around it due to the paddocks and a river which is fenced off the other side of the paddocks I was thinking about putting one more side of fencing in and keeping goats in there, they would have water from a trough already used for my horses the could access through the fence that side and 1/2 of grass.  BUT, I have horses, dogs, g'pigs, rabbits, and cats os I am not a stranger to keeping animals or the work involved but no knowledge of goats! How hard are they to keep? Are pygmy best for non escping reasons? Cant be doing with the hassle of chasing goats around! Or are all goats escape artists? What is their feeding routine? Do they need mucking out? Feet trims? Are the nice natured with kids around? Would like something I could take the minto stroke, with supervision of course.  Any other work they need I wouldn't have thought about being a amateur?! If not goats, any other ideas?! Don't want anything which will churn the grass too much like horses as it is messy in the winter as we are in a dip of land, in fact do goats churn up lots?! Any help welcome! x
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Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2019, 10:26:41 pm »
Not 100% sure but I've got the impression pygmy goats are THE escape artists  :D .
If you are keeping inside overnight yes they would need mucking out, they will need a water and draughtproof shelter, and foot trims, easy to do yourself. Feeding would depend on breed and use, if you are getting wethers as pets to keep the grass down, I wouldn't think they would need much concentrates. Half an acre isn't that much for a bigger goat, not sure about pygmies.
Horns may be an issue with children,
Have you thought of getting a couple of lambs to fatten over the summer, then no work needed over winter?
Or geese?

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2019, 10:28:42 pm »
If it only takes you an hour twice a week to mow your land, then goats will not save you any time, they need much more time and effort - feeding, etc. Goats also don't do rain, so need access to a shelter all the time, they are escapologists, so horse type fencing will not keep them in. Maybe someone near you would like to rent some land for sheep? Goats are also browsers - eat branches/trees/shrubs in preference to grass.

Can you not leave the grass and get hay made from it for your horses?

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 09:04:33 am »
Thanks both.  The mowing is around a hour - 1.5 hours a week, so my hope was that jus feeding some goats and the odd hoof trim wouldn't be as much time in terms of a 'chore' more time for fun things like handling and stroking them, which i know is work and time, but we dont mind that, way more fun than mowing a lawn! As for them being THE escape artists, maybe not then haha! I would get it all goat proof fencing, I just thought as I already have the post and rail 3/4 way around it wouldn't be much more work to make it goat proof? Just another strip of post and rail and then (non barbed) wire. 
Have thought about renting but dont want to put all the fencing in for someone else to benefit, and have random people at our place all the time, as miserable as that sounds! Also sheep, i am not sure i am tough enough to turn them around in winter for meat, we would be down there all the time with the kids and get too attached haha!  Thought about hay but it makes a mess of our lawn as no access but over our garden!
Thank you though for the suggestions.,

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2019, 10:44:52 am »
Can you put a temporary electric fence and let your horses in there?
Why would you now the grass twice a week? Do it once in two weeks instead. Alternatively swap house with me as I only have around half an acre lol
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2019, 01:26:27 pm »
I think pygmy goats are wonderful, especially when they are young, although of course they grow up quickly.  They love playtime, exploring and leaping about on their climbing frames, rock piles and so on. Their only drawback when I looked at purchasing a few is their cost, certainly not a cheap option. I'm sure they would be worth it, and would be great favourites with your children.
If you go ahead with the idea, please please post pics  ;D
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macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2019, 02:08:38 pm »
What about couple Shetland or other small sheep? They are (a little bit) less naughty but can be take too
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2019, 07:53:59 pm »
Macro, we tried the horses in there before and they trashed it for one but also as they are ponies they need restricted grazing so they actually had too much grass, its very lush down here as we are in a dip along a river so it grows a lot and very lush, hence the amount of mowing to keep it low enough so the mower doesn't struggle!
Fleecewife, I s would post pictures dont you worry haha! Macro, this was another idea actually, but again not sure about work, and friendliness etc?!

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2019, 11:27:18 pm »
Sheep can be as friendly as goats - as long as they are handled since young - same as goats to be honest. If you get some bottle fed lambs they will be your best friends for years.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2019, 06:29:16 am »
A couple of pygmy goats aren't going to eat much grass.Mowing is going to be much easier / less work than keeping any type of animal.Let it grow as a wild flower meadow and teach the children about wildlife.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2019, 01:13:02 pm »
I love Dog walkers idea, I can imagine a lazy summer day, wildflowers all around, gentle hum of bumbles and dancing butterflies, I would include anything that flowers early as well, daffodils, snowdrxops etc, and I would also plant some fruit trees,  and maybe some Elder trees, lots of flowers and berries for insects and birds.
Sounds like it could be heaven, maybe at the most mow a winding path round about once a week or so?
And I understand about having other people about, my veg and fruit are getting too much for me now, someone suggested getting someone to share it. I like my privacy  :)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 01:19:05 pm by Penninehillbilly »

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2019, 02:15:55 pm »
Why don't you just now a footpath around wildflower meadow? And now the meadow with stimmer once or twice a year
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Cattyniccy

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2019, 08:07:17 pm »
Thanks all, again we tried this last year and it was awful, doc leaves and weeds everywhere, dead grass and no flowers and a nightmare to mow as ride on wouldn't go through it when we had to cut it as it was so weedy haha, maybe we are just not gardeners but thought we couldn't go wrong with some wild meadow!! Its not just about saving work mowing, its also about a use for the 1/2 acre we dont use but to combine that with less mowing for an area we dont use is a bonus I thought animals could help me with - no mowing and a reason to go to the bottom of the garden.  Love the wild meadow idea and engaging my kids, although the amount my kids get dragged on dog walks I doubt they would be that interested with a path at the end of the garden as much as animals.  We have a small animal huge pen with rabbits and g'pigs and they are always happy to be in there, so was trying to mimic that enthusiasm but at the bottom of the garden!
 Penninehillbilly glad its not just me not wanting someone to intrude on my privacy haha!

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2019, 09:45:12 pm »
Tbh personally I would definitelly get goats (which I did in my 1/2 garden!) Or some sheep. If you just get a couple of goats they will get rid of the docks and other weeds first but you might still have long grass.
Don't know much about horse husbandry unfortunately - which is a shame as all my ancestors were cavalry people  :(
Also I like mowing grass myself lol
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Pygmy goats?
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2019, 04:29:57 am »
We started with a couple of Pygmy goats in a similar size area when our children were small. Your effort expectation is realistic, feed daily and check daily, constant access to water and a decent field shelter. Hoof trimming I tend to do or at least check when the farrier comes for the horses- keeps it regular!  Think about a worming strategy too. Yes they are browsers but the grazing they enjoy so top up by bringing them some branches or better still lead rope train and take them for a walk around the garden. You will need to top up with a surprising amount of hay in winter.

We never had escapees. But I don't think another rail will do it, we had stock fencing pinned to the post and rail.

We now have a herd of angoras which are fabulous  but you have to add in shearing and  :spin: time.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 04:32:07 am by pharnorth »

 

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