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Author Topic: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?  (Read 2179 times)

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« on: October 16, 2016, 08:02:12 pm »
I'm still wandering wether sheep or goats+geese would be more satisfied with grazing and browsing our our gardens - approximately 3/4 of an acre. Some of it is grass with a lot of weeds, some is woodland with a lot of tree saplings, brambles growing back and ivy.
I have geese and chickens which keep the grass short but not weeds, brambles or young trees.
My options are
1. Boreray or Shetland sheep
2. Goats - dairy, angora or pygmy

One thing I'm worried about is overgrazing. If sheep would overgraze the grass would they be likely to get copper poisoning?
Goats being browsers would be less likely to overgraze grass itself?
I don't mind giving them a permanent hay feeder even it it would be for most of the year.
Also what breed of goats would you recommend? Which ones are actually popular for smallholders? I'd love to have a dairy animal but for example saanen are quite large, what height of fencing would be necessary to protect younger fruit trees? I could have one dairy goat with a pygmy companion...

Whether they are goats or sheep they will be taken to the allotments next door for more grass and browsing on weeds and low branches of old fruit trees.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 08:04:41 pm by macgro7 »
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.
Voss Electric Fence

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2016, 08:14:08 pm »
goats will eat all your saplings and strip the bark off young trees - is that a problem?
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2016, 08:36:22 pm »
That's exactly what I want them to do! Except for some newly planted fruit trees which I'm fencing off.
Everything else - poplar, Holly, docks etc I want to get rid off
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.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2016, 09:32:59 pm »
If you're looking at goats, why not consider a couple of Golden Guernseys?  They're smaller than the dairy breeds but still milk, and as a rare native breed you'd be assisting in the conservation projects.  See the RBST website for more information on the Watch List.  Bagots are also used for conservation grazing but they aren't milkers!  The GGs are also easier to handle.

There are a few GGs for sale on Facebook at the moment too if you're looking.

How big is the garden?  It won't take goats long to strip it back to nothing... what do you plan to do with them once they're finished?  Another alternative may be to get some meat kids, rear them whilst you clear the place then despatch them to the freezer... if you're that way inclined.  It is Goatober after all.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 06:20:42 am »
If your fencing off trees you want to keep make sure it's wide enough, at least three feet from the trunk, goats can reach a long way through.
 My neighbour called them giraffes when he saw them on the newly laid and fenced hedges he'd done for me.  I got hi to put the fences wide from the hedge, the goats trim the sides very neatly and I do the top with a hand held trimmer.
GG are lovely goats and give plenty of milk.

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 09:11:47 am »
I would go for goats - just a couple - female and a wethered male. Angoras nice but need more husbandry due to coat - clip twice a year - treatment against flystrike etc than other breeds.  I would advocate bagots, golden guernseys and boers - these are the breeds I have kept and are all lovely.  If you are not bothered about production then I would go for bagots - you could offer a home to some males.  These are not as big as other breeds.  All the breeds mentioned are easy on the eye.

sheeponthebrain

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Turriff
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 10:21:12 am »
possibly the answers to your question may be slightly biased, since we are in the goat forum!  another option would be to get 3 or four store lambs graze your grass and weeds hard for a month then ship the lambs off to market.  hopefully by that time they'll be worth a little more money, and your ground will be slightly overgrazed, just enough to let the grass out compete the weeds

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 10:33:08 am »
Yes I was thinking of a female and a weather.
Where can i find a bagot wether?
Golden guernsey are one of my favourite breeds but they seem to be quite hard to find.
I still have some time before we decide for sure. For now I need to get rid of the ewe tree and make a massive bonfire on its stump!

Does anyone keep English goats?
I've seen saanen cross guernsey goats on preloved. They were actually 3/4 guernsey. They have two girls and a castrated boy for sale.
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.

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 09:06:30 pm »
Where abouts in the country are you?

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2016, 09:09:31 am »
Where abouts in the country are you?
Bang in the middle - Leicester.
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.

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2016, 11:29:43 am »
Suggest you try Leicester city farm for golden guernseys.  Sheffield city farm (Heeley) might have castrated bagots or contact bagot goat society - they will ask the members for you

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2016, 07:27:29 pm »
Ok. I'll give them a ring in the morning. They actually do have quite a lot of guernsey goats and several bagots!
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.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2016, 10:46:52 pm »
Sorry to bother, could someone possibly link me to threads where it was already mentioned?
Is 8x6 shed enough for a pair of goats to sleep or as rain shelter? They will obviously have quite a large run as well.
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.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Goat or sheep for limited grazing/browsing?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 12:34:51 am »
Mine started off with an 8x6 shed and were perfectly comfortable.

 

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