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Owning a goat?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Not going to happen tomorrow, but I'm considering getting a goat. I live on one acre, not fenced, and won't be. We're on the side of a mountain, with a smallish building plot, where our house is, a small garden, and our chicken coop/run. What I'm considering, is having a goat for the hill section, which is heavily overgrown, with thickets of briar patches and lots and lots of other weeds and stuff. Certainly lots and lots of greens to eat during spring, summer, and fall. Winter will be all the dead and dying stuff, mostly, though still some green. But I have questions about care, and strategy....

1) The idea of briar patch control...I spent days out there clearing as much as possible back in April when we moved in, but wasn't ready for how much it would fill back in all summer. Would a single goat, on about 1/3 acre, have any effect?

2) Feeding...would the goat find the required amount of food by naturally grazing?

3) Can you tie up a goat to a tree? There is NO WAY to fence in the area for him. None. Is there anyway to keep a goat tied to a tree, maybe with 100+ feet of movement? Could switch him weekly/monthly to different trees, maybe?

4) Long tern strategy...way I see it, I could either own one long term, same goat over years, or...get one very early spring, let it feed and clear the area all summer long, and then sell it at a livestock auction in fall, so that caring for it during winter is not an issue. Next spring, rinse, repeat.

5) And lastly, are there any downfalls or benefits of goat ownership that I'm not considering?

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

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2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply
post #2 of 14

People do tether goats out on certain overgrown patches sometimes but I would be concerned about keeping a goat tethered all the time.  Where would the goat be at night?  What kind of predators do you have that could be a concern during daytime when the goat is tethered?

Heather, full-time farmer and homeschooling Mom to two boys, four dogs, 20 layers, and 17 guineas. We recently relocated to Virginia and are anxious to start our farm back up.
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Heather, full-time farmer and homeschooling Mom to two boys, four dogs, 20 layers, and 17 guineas. We recently relocated to Virginia and are anxious to start our farm back up.
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post #3 of 14

1) The idea of briar patch control...I spent days out there clearing as much as possible back in April when we moved in, but wasn't ready for how much it would fill back in all summer. Would a single goat, on about 1/3 acre, have any effect?

One goat can help with 1/3 acre and probably keep it under control, however a goat should never be kept as a single goat.  They are herd animals and stress terribly if they are alone.  So two goats on 1/3 acre might work well.
2) Feeding...would the goat find the required amount of food by naturally grazing?

If the graze is sufficient, they should be fine with little or no supplemental feeding, except in the winter when vegatation died back.  I always feed a little, just to keep them tame.
3) Can you tie up a goat to a tree? There is NO WAY to fence in the area for him. None. Is there anyway to keep a goat tied to a tree, maybe with 100+ feet of movement? Could switch him weekly/monthly to different trees, maybe?

no....you cannot tie a goat in a brusy area.  not only will he get tangled and could die, he is a sitting duck to any passing predator.  He MUST have a fence for his own protection. He must also have shelter from rain and cold.

4) Long tern strategy...way I see it, I could either own one long term, same goat over years, or...get one very early spring, let it feed and clear the area all summer long, and then sell it at a livestock auction in fall, so that caring for it during winter is not an issue. Next spring, rinse, repeat.

livestock auctions are usually a very poor place to buy a goat.  Many are unhealthy.  Goats bring high prices in the spring and low prices in the fall too, so you won't really be saving money by doing this.

5) And lastly, are there any downfalls or benefits of goat ownership that I'm not considering?

Goats are a lot of work.  They are fun and entertaining, but get into a lot of mischief.

Blue Lace Red Wyandottes and Delaware Chickens.  Barbados Blackbelly Sheep and Katahdin Sheep
Several loyal dog and one VERY patient and understanding husband.
Reply
Blue Lace Red Wyandottes and Delaware Chickens.  Barbados Blackbelly Sheep and Katahdin Sheep
Several loyal dog and one VERY patient and understanding husband.
Reply
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well that settles it then, because I don't see us being able to build proper fencing that would keep out predators. Wouldn't the typical predator, the ones we have to fortify our coops/runs so hard against, just dig under or go over a fence though? Either way, for me, the fencing is probably just not viable. Thousands of dollars to fence in a couple goats to keep weeds under control...kind of seems silly tongue

Thank you very much for the detailed reply!

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply
post #5 of 14

Believe me....it's much easier to get a mowing machine in there to deal with the brush.  Keeping goats contained and safe is a lot of work and it's expensive.  In areas where there are lots of predators, a fence alone won't work.  You have to use electric wire outside near the bottom and also a strand on top.  that works MOST of the time.  But if you are in a thick area, even running electric wire can be a problem since the wire needs to be kept free of weeds.  For those of us with more land, we often resort to livestock guardian dogs such as Great Pyranese or Anatolian Shepherds to live with and protect the livestock.   You have to REALLY enjoy the livestock to go to this much trouble! lol!

Blue Lace Red Wyandottes and Delaware Chickens.  Barbados Blackbelly Sheep and Katahdin Sheep
Several loyal dog and one VERY patient and understanding husband.
Reply
Blue Lace Red Wyandottes and Delaware Chickens.  Barbados Blackbelly Sheep and Katahdin Sheep
Several loyal dog and one VERY patient and understanding husband.
Reply
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirl58 

1) The idea of briar patch control...I spent days out there clearing as much as possible back in April when we moved in, but wasn't ready for how much it would fill back in all summer. Would a single goat, on about 1/3 acre, have any effect?

One goat can help with 1/3 acre and probably keep it under control, however a goat should never be kept as a single goat.  They are herd animals and stress terribly if they are alone.  So two goats on 1/3 acre might work well.
2) Feeding...would the goat find the required amount of food by naturally grazing?

If the graze is sufficient, they should be fine with little or no supplemental feeding, except in the winter when vegatation died back.  I always feed a little, just to keep them tame.
3) Can you tie up a goat to a tree? There is NO WAY to fence in the area for him. None. Is there anyway to keep a goat tied to a tree, maybe with 100+ feet of movement? Could switch him weekly/monthly to different trees, maybe?

no....you cannot tie a goat in a brusy area.  not only will he get tangled and could die, he is a sitting duck to any passing predator.  He MUST have a fence for his own protection. He must also have shelter from rain and cold.

4) Long tern strategy...way I see it, I could either own one long term, same goat over years, or...get one very early spring, let it feed and clear the area all summer long, and then sell it at a livestock auction in fall, so that caring for it during winter is not an issue. Next spring, rinse, repeat.

livestock auctions are usually a very poor place to buy a goat.  Many are unhealthy.  Goats bring high prices in the spring and low prices in the fall too, so you won't really be saving money by doing this.

5) And lastly, are there any downfalls or benefits of goat ownership that I'm not considering?

Goats are a lot of work.  They are fun and entertaining, but get into a lot of mischief.


X2

Have wonderful Husband of almost 25 yrs. 25 yr old daughter, 23 yr old son, 2 cats, 4 dogs, 5 goats, and 19 Hens, 3 Roosters and 9 guinea's. My Dh made me get rid of the other 8 guinea's but I will get more. LOL
Reply
Have wonderful Husband of almost 25 yrs. 25 yr old daughter, 23 yr old son, 2 cats, 4 dogs, 5 goats, and 19 Hens, 3 Roosters and 9 guinea's. My Dh made me get rid of the other 8 guinea's but I will get more. LOL
Reply
post #7 of 14

Hmm...Why don't you rent a couple of goats? Here in Portland, people do it all the time. You rent the goats for a $ per hour, the owner comes and lets them eat and then picks them up at night.

You might want to try that if you just want them for briar control.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirl58 

Believe me....it's much easier to get a mowing machine in there to deal with the brush.  Keeping goats contained and safe is a lot of work and it's expensive.  In areas where there are lots of predators, a fence alone won't work.  You have to use electric wire outside near the bottom and also a strand on top.  that works MOST of the time.  But if you are in a thick area, even running electric wire can be a problem since the wire needs to be kept free of weeds.  For those of us with more land, we often resort to livestock guardian dogs such as Great Pyranese or Anatolian Shepherds to live with and protect the livestock.   You have to REALLY enjoy the livestock to go to this much trouble! lol!


It's on a hill, pretty steep. The only real way to do it is what I did in the spring, which is a heavy duty weed whacker with a blade attachment. My calves were in pain for days, LOL!

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toochicky 

Hmm...Why don't you rent a couple of goats? Here in Portland, people do it all the time. You rent the goats for a $ per hour, the owner comes and lets them eat and then picks them up at night.

You might want to try that if you just want them for briar control.


Haven't seen anything like that around, but I'll look into it. Thanks! I might just end up letting grow wild....

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply
post #10 of 14

Can you do electric fencing with a solar charger.  Goats can be tethered but get very easily tangled in the best of situations on flat ground, ask me how I know.  I have 3 goats and I love them but they are a ton of work.  Just when you think they can't escape they prove you wrong, this morning on my way to lunch, guess who was out!  And I have no idea how they did it lol.  As for the predators and fencing if one got in your goat would still be able to run from it, tethered they are "fast food" because they can't escape.

Christine~ Happily Married Montana Ranch Girl with 3 Kids,2 dogs,2 1/2 cats,2 horses,3 goats,4 ducks,lots of chickens and many cows.   www.hermityfarmer-women.blogspot.com
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Christine~ Happily Married Montana Ranch Girl with 3 Kids,2 dogs,2 1/2 cats,2 horses,3 goats,4 ducks,lots of chickens and many cows.   www.hermityfarmer-women.blogspot.com
Reply
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