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Author Topic: Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep  (Read 1981 times)

melholly

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep
« on: September 06, 2013, 10:00:29 pm »
Evening everyone,


We,ve got 7 ewes currently grazing on rotation around 5 acres. I was thinking about 1/2 goats as I heard they are fine mixing in with sheep and that they'd eat the thistles etc that the sheep don't!


I don't fancy anything big or hard to handle. The sheep are really friendly and my 6 year old loves goats so I know she'd like a breed she can touch.


I'm a complete novice in goats so advice welcome!
http://selfridgestoscats.blogspot.com  **NOW UPDATED**
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Voss Electric Fence

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 10:19:58 pm »
I have 3 angoras who mix in with the sheep nicely and have the advantage of not needing to be milked ( I love goats but not goats milk!) but they do need shearing twice a year.  Very friendly.
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 07:36:05 am »
First goats will eat some thistles but not all varieties - that said my goat field is free of docks, and thistles, the sheep field is not.
 
However mixing goats and sheep is not advised as both species share the same kind of worms. Adult sheep tend to have a greater tolerance of worms, but goats - being browsers rather than grazers - haven't built that up and suffer quite badly from worms. So if you are planning to mix them, you need to be certain of the worm status of your field.
 
Goats also need a shelter for wet weather and overnight, they do not stay outside all the time. Goats also need hay all year round, for overnight only in the summer, all day in winter - my goats do not go outside much in winter, as I rest the field from October till March.
 
Goats are quite different from sheep in many aspects. Do some research - your local library should have quite a few books. Even the older ones from the 80's and 70's are still quite relevant, except for chapters on worms and disease control.

Orinoco

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 07:02:42 am »
Hi,

I have just put 3 pygmy goats in with my 5 sheep.

but I think I made the mistake of buying 1 mum,her kid and another kid as mum is been protective of the kids and upsetting my very friendly sheep who now give her a wide berth, and i don't think they were handled much prior to my purchase so they are slowly getting used to me and associating me with food.

They are so funny though we have built them a little climbing frame and i should have had a video camera to record the antics.

I would also like to get a couple of milking goats at some stage but wont have the time to milk for a few months yet,.

Would be good to know what you get and how it goes.

K

Orinoco

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 07:08:28 am »
Oh! Forgot to say, we have learned a valuable lesson the are escape artists, and I think some breeds are better at this than others so may be worth considering (i did know this but  did not appreciate how clever they are)

K

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 07:36:02 am »
Given the chance ALL goats (and sheep) are escape artists - so good fences are necessary. Stock netting topped with an electric top wire (preferably mains) is the best.

Orinoco

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Best Goats For Smallholding and Sheep
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 06:51:46 pm »
I thought 4ft fencing all round and wired to 3ft would be enough, and as a whole it seems to be, but there is a bit of fencing that the wire is buried and they managed to push through underneath.  Bless them.  Learning curve.

 

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