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Looking into goats, need advise

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I am looking into getting a pair of goats -or sheep?- for my backyard. They would be pets and our official lawn mowers. Our land is flat but there are large rocks everywhere which makes mowing all but impossible. We have half an acre, fully fenced with chainlink. Goats would need to get along with my little boys(ages 3 and 5) and preferably not climb on cars. Any breed recommendations? I am looking at neutered males mostly to keep things simple.
10 fluffy chickens, 2 royally spoiled cats, 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!
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10 fluffy chickens, 2 royally spoiled cats, 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!
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post #2 of 9

If you want lawn mowers sheep are your best bet.  Sheep are grazers.  Goats are browsers. Which means goats would much prefer your rose bushes to the tastiest grass.  My father once rented a house with a large very beautiful lawn. The landlord had a few sheep penned in the yard and they were the only lawnmowers.  Kept the place looking like a park.

The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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post #3 of 9

Goats will eat EVERYTHING, except tires, metal and a chain link fence.  Raspberry bushes, grapes, cedar trees, pretty much everything that they can get to.    We have a 7-10yr old Boer and just got 3 more <yr old Boer.  They are little escape artists.  Have found every hole in the corals and fences that a man can imagine.

 

The big guy we have on a 15 ft rope that is connected to a steak that is 3 feet long.  We steak him out in the tree rows with a 5 gal bucket of water for the day and let him eat.  3 days we usually have a circle that is mowed down to the crowns.  He goes to the barn at night with little guys.  I was hoping to run the little guys in the corals instead of roping them, but that might not be an option if we can't keep them in.  I would prefer to keep my garden this year.

 

We have Boer goats only because that is what was given to us by our friends.  They run them for tying events in HS and College rodeo around the area.  Both their daughters are standout goat tyers, one who is at the College Finals Rodeo this week, and the other at the Nebraska State Finals this week as well.

post #4 of 9

My dad had goats when we were younger, I can't remember the breed but they had big horns and were shaggy. Billygoats maybe?

They were gross, they peed on their own faces and tore down my dads young trees and garden. They were very destructive and annoying. Pygmy goats though are incredibly adorable and I have been considering getting one for a long time. I don't know their behavior very well but I've never had a problem with any that I've come across.

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by RingosGarden View Post
 

My dad had goats when we were younger, I can't remember the breed but they had big horns and were shaggy. Billygoats maybe?

They were gross, they peed on their own faces and tore down my dads young trees and garden. They were very destructive and annoying. Pygmy goats though are incredibly adorable and I have been considering getting one for a long time. I don't know their behavior very well but I've never had a problem with any that I've come across.

The behavior you describe is typical of intact male goats of any breed.  Pygmy bucks are cute but they too can do a pretty good job of peeing on themselves and spraying everything in their vicinity including you if they have a chance. That is why pet buck goats need to be neutered.

The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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post #6 of 9

I think sheep will be your better choice. 

 

Goats constantly try fences. They stand on them, push against them, etc. Sheep are much more likely to keep all their feet on the ground. 

 

Goats love to jump on things. Cars, swing sets, barbecues, porches, chicken coops, anything they think will elevate them a bit and hold them is fair game. Sheep, again, love and obey gravity. 

 

Goats can be noisy. Some breeds not so much, but overall sheep are quieter. 

 

Goats can be pretty pushy, especially with your littles. Goats are designed to head butt and love to bump people. The can be trained not to, of course, but your little guys might have a problem with them. You don't want your children confined to the house unless you can be right on top of them to protect them from the goats, that's no way to live. 

 

And as stated above, sheep are grazers. If you look at most areas where sheep are kept, it is green and clipped and pretty looking. Look at where goats are kept and it's often a barren wasteland. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I am leaning towards sheep now. I found a breed -babydolls- that look like they will fit the bill perfectly. 😊 Thank you for the advise.
10 fluffy chickens, 2 royally spoiled cats, 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!
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10 fluffy chickens, 2 royally spoiled cats, 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!
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post #8 of 9

Post some pictures when you get them.

The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I will. 😊
10 fluffy chickens, 2 royally spoiled cats, 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!
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10 fluffy chickens, 2 royally spoiled cats, 1 exceedingly tolerant DH and 2 beautiful boys!
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