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Goats and cattle

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

A question about goats and cattle. I pretty much have the chickens under control and now its time to get into other animals. We are inheriting at least 3 more acres to give us a total of 3 1/2 total. We will have roughly 1/2 acres dedicated to the house,buildings, front yard, back yard,etc. We also have about 100x100 area that we will use for gardening. The rest will be for pasture, roughly at least 2 1/2  or more. We want to get at least 2 goats,3 max to help control hedge and other stuff. We also would like to from time to time raise a couple of steers for meat production. I am pretty sure its enough for goats but 3 goats max and then add 2 steers will this be to little of land?  This is the maximum of land we can get and we are by a creek, have a house on the other side and a tree nursery behind us that I am pretty sure will not  sale any of their  the land.

post #2 of 5
I don't think it's too small, some people keep a cow on an acre, but I think I might keep the goats and cattle seperate and/or make sure the pasture's big enough. But I could be wrong, others who have more experience can maybe chime in
Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
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Kelsey. Massachusetts. Have a 4 year old Black Lab/Great Pyrenees mix named Gator, a 6 year old kitty named Luna, and 8 hens hatched October 26th, 2015. 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers on about 3 acres. 5 more chicks coming this October
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post #3 of 5

If you are prepared to feed hay year round, in theory you could keep a cow in any size pen just as long as they have enough space to be happy. I would say one could keep a cow in as small as 1/10 of an acre, space wise. It would quickly become a mud pit and you would have to feed hay year round, but its space needs would be met. If you wanted to support the cow's forage needs and only feed hay in the winter, you would need more like 1.5-2 acres per cow. You have 2.5 acres, which will be more than enough space wise for 2 steers and 3 goats. I know of someone who has 3 cows and 7 goats, in separate pens, that total up to about an acre. They feed hay year round but they are super happy with their space. If I were you, I would give the 2 steers probably a 2 acre pen and the 3 goats a .5 acre pen. Just because the steers are that much bigger than the goats and their waste totals about 10x a goat's. Just dont keep them together. 

Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, and Welsummers
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Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, and Welsummers
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post #4 of 5

It depends on your region - climate - what forages you have growing...

 

Here in Maryland, we were able to keep a steer on 1/2 acre of GOOD grass pasture, and fatten him from ~300lbs to 1350lbs. He got a local oat & milo mix and hay in the winter only. Hay was not free choice, it was a measured amount of flakes. We DID NOT want the mess that results from free-feeding round bales to cattle. My husband and I both come from farming families, with herds of cattle, and are very familiar with the mess that results from round bales.

 

His shelter was a one-sided lean-to that blocked the winter wind, but let the summer breezes blow thru. We deep bedded it with straw over the winter, and just added fresh straw on top of the old, and then stripped it fully in the spring.

 

He never overgrazed the 1/2 acre, nor did he churn any of it up.

 

Half and acre would NEVER work where we live(d) in Kansas or Oklahoma. That region requires 3-5 acres of grass per "bovine" and you still end up feeding hay 9 months of the year if growing conditions are not *just right*.

 

Talk to your local county extension office to find out what the stocking rate is for your local area.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by res View Post
 

It depends on your region - climate - what forages you have growing...

 

Here in Maryland, we were able to keep a steer on 1/2 acre of GOOD grass pasture, and fatten him from ~300lbs to 1350lbs. He got a local oat & milo mix and hay in the winter only. Hay was not free choice, it was a measured amount of flakes. We DID NOT want the mess that results from free-feeding round bales to cattle. My husband and I both come from farming families, with herds of cattle, and are very familiar with the mess that results from round bales.

 

His shelter was a one-sided lean-to that blocked the winter wind, but let the summer breezes blow thru. We deep bedded it with straw over the winter, and just added fresh straw on top of the old, and then stripped it fully in the spring.

 

He never overgrazed the 1/2 acre, nor did he churn any of it up.

 

Half and acre would NEVER work where we live(d) in Kansas or Oklahoma. That region requires 3-5 acres of grass per "bovine" and you still end up feeding hay 9 months of the year if growing conditions are not *just right*.

 

Talk to your local county extension office to find out what the stocking rate is for your local area.

 

 

Excellent advice. You really need to talk to someone in your area. It's pretty rare to find anywhere you don't have to hay, so be prepared for that if you overwinter the animal. 

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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