Considering mini sheep and goats - lots of questions!

LizzzyJo

Songster
Dec 14, 2018
274
804
162
Northwest Ohio
Hi All!

🐑🐏🐐🐐

I would love to have a few mini goats and sheep to round out my little hobby farm. I am leaning more towards sheep because I have 3 acres of grass for them to enjoy and I know that goats don't tend to enjoy grass. However, goats have the best personalities! I would like to maybe have two of each?

1. My acreage gets a little marshy at times (sometimes under 3 inches of water). They could retreat to a dry barn, but will the wetness hurt their feet? I live in the 'Great Black Swamp' of lake Erie, so water in some form is EVER PRESENT.
2. Could I use movable electric mesh fencing for sheep and goats? Will the goats just hop over it?
3. Will the sheep and goats get along?
4. Sheep prefer a lean-to and goats an enclosed barn - how hard-and-fast is this rule?
5. How much would it cost to feed 4 of these little guys a month? Hay, salt, minerals, grain (does anyone need grain?)
6. What sort of predation in my area should I be concerned with? We have coyotes - does this mean they need to be locked up at night?
7. What do you all wish you'd known before getting goats or sheep?

Thank you!🐑
 

floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
311
527
142
Northern Ca
Goats are the best! I personally don’t love the dwarfs, they’re usually really loud and bossy. It’s up to you! Goats love grass. It depends on what’s growing, but even when hay is available, ours love to graze.
1. As long as you have lots of dry spots for them and watch for hoof rot you should be fine.
2. Yes. As long as the setting is at the right level and the fence is at least 4 feet it should be fine.
3. Yes, but if you get goats and then sheep vice versa you might want to have the newbies in a pen where they can “see but no touch” for a week. Before this, I recommend quarantine for new animals for about 1 week.
4. Never heard of that, we raise show quality dairy goats and have had sheep around, never noticed a difference. A well built shelter is a shelter is a shelter. If it’s low, goats and sheep alike will like to use it as a diving board ;) .
5. A bale of alfalfa hay usually has about 16-20 flakes, depending on where you buy. Each goat should have about a half flake available, even with grass. Usually a bale costs anywhere between $10-20, call around feed stores or locally owned businesses. Get alfalfa hay or an alfalfa grass hay mix. A small mineral block about the size of a brick is $4 dollars at Walmart, get the mineral and a salt lick separately so they have both. If you’re bottle feeding or have a particularly skinny goat, get any calf grain or market goat grain. Sheep and goats cannot eat the same grain, goats need copper and copper is deadly to sheep. If you have a sheep, get a market lamb grain. If you want to milk goats, feed them a half scoop of grain a day after they kid. Look at the YouTube channel “WeedE’mAndReap” for awesome info.
6. Try to get a livestock guardian dog, and make sure fences are extra secure.
7.Disbudding kids! It’s sounds cruel, but having horns is dangerous for animals and people alike. Sure, they’re a little protection, but only a minor roadblock for most preds. They will need to be copper bolused once a year, do some more research on that. Research each breed and their strong/weak points. Find a reputable breeder. Decide if you want dairy does or weathers or both. If you get does, they have to be bred at 2 or they can get false pregnancies and hormonal imbalances like dogs. RESEARCH RESEACH RESEARCH! It pains me to see how many get goats and sheep without knowing what they’re doing. Sheep need to be sheered 1-2 times a year.
 
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CJLR

Songster
Jun 9, 2019
336
402
131
I used to have goats but don't anymore
Maybe one day i will get some more .

First of all goats and sheep cannot be kept together they are very different and have different needs .


Some of the things that i wish i knew before i got goats are
1 goats can get parasites very easily where we used to live there was a swamp right behind our house so we were constantly battling worms and hoof problems like thrush
2 goats can and WILL get out of anything and everything we had our goats in a electric fence and they would go under it though it and over it and they are a lot stronger than you think

3 we had milk goats and they cost a lot of money

4 goats are herd animals and do not do well alone
5 there is no such thing as a goat proof fence

As far as shelter goes as long as they are safe from wind rain and snow they will be fine
There is a book by pat Colby called natural goat keeping and it has basically everything you need to know from feed and minerals to shelter to choosing the right breed you can find it on Amazon and was probably the most helpful thing i got
Good luck :)
 

floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
311
527
142
Northern Ca
I used to have goats but don't anymore
Maybe one day i will get some more .

First of all goats and sheep cannot be kept together they are very different and have different needs .


Some of the things that i wish i knew before i got goats are
1 goats can get parasites very easily where we used to live there was a swamp right behind our house so we were constantly battling worms and hoof problems like thrush
2 goats can and WILL get out of anything and everything we had our goats in a electric fence and they would go under it though it and over it and they are a lot stronger than you think

3 we had milk goats and they cost a lot of money

4 goats are herd animals and do not do well alone
5 there is no such thing as a goat proof fence

As far as shelter goes as long as they are safe from wind rain and snow they will be fine
There is a book by pat Colby called natural goat keeping and it has basically everything you need to know from feed and minerals to shelter to choosing the right breed you can find it on Amazon and was probably the most helpful thing i got
Good luck :)
goats and sheep can be kept if cared for correctly. They have slightly different needs that need to be tended, but they can certainly be housed together! Goats do get parasites, but having them on a regular worming (every 1-2 months, usually once a month) and good care routine is the same wether you’re in a dry area or a wet area. Yes, they will need plenty of dry places, but you can keep them as long as you clip hooves monthly and such. There are electric fences specifically for goats. Most people get the kind they use for cattle, but they will go under it. You will need to get a high quality fence, but if you do it right it will work. I agree, keep 3+ goats at least. Goats do cost money, but so do dogs and cats and basically every other animal. Check out weedem&reap on YouTube, and read storeys guide to goat keeping. We’ve had goats for a long time, and so has my friend who has done it her whole life.
 

CJLR

Songster
Jun 9, 2019
336
402
131
goats and sheep can be kept if cared for correctly. They have slightly different needs that need to be tended, but they can certainly be housed together! Goats do get parasites, but having them on a regular worming (every 1-2 months, usually once a month) and good care routine is the same wether you’re in a dry area or a wet area. Yes, they will need plenty of dry places, but you can keep them as long as you clip hooves monthly and such. There are electric fences specifically for goats. Most people get the kind they use for cattle, but they will go under it. You will need to get a high quality fence, but if you do it right it will work. I agree, keep 3+ goats at least. Goats do cost money, but so do dogs and cats and basically every other animal. Check out weedem&reap on YouTube, and read storeys guide to goat keeping. We’ve had goats for a long time, and so has my friend who has done it her whole life.
Yes i love watching weedem&reap
When we had goats we really enjoyed them and i hope that one day i might be able to get them again . those were just some of the things that I wish I had known before i got goats .
Unfortunately the property we were at was just not the best for goats
I had no idea that sheep and goats can be kept together i had always been told the they could not
Thankyou for the information :)
 

floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
311
527
142
Northern Ca
Yes i love watching weedem&reap
When we had goats we really enjoyed them and i hope that one day i might be able to get them again . those were just some of the things that I wish I had known before i got goats .
Unfortunately the property we were at was just not the best for goats
I had no idea that sheep and goats can be kept together i had always been told the they could not
Thankyou for the information :)
:) That stinks. I couldn’t imagine not having goats around! Sheep I could do without, they’re kinda dumb :p
 
Dec 31, 2019
943
2,533
186
I don’t know about together but I do strictly my goats and chickens no other animals to breed. My goats are very funny and they sometimes nibble grass but usually just eat alfalfa and the pregnant does and mamas and babies get a handful of grain each I also give the does a salt block they eat it very fast. The goats hate rain also so barn is a good idea. They do need dry ground but don’t mind the mud. It never hurts my goats feet just makes them softer for trimming. They LOVE to jump on things so I put stumps out for them. Good luck
 

LizzzyJo

Songster
Dec 14, 2018
274
804
162
Northwest Ohio
How much does the vetting cost for a goat or sheep? Vaccines etc? How frequent?
Are goats ‘worth it’ ? I know they’re cute but once the novelty wears off has anyone regretted them? They’re so much more trouble than chickens that I want to see how many people regret getting them.
 

Duckfarmer1

Crowing
Jul 23, 2019
1,677
4,341
301
Kane,Pa
You can do vaccines yourself..buy them at TS..we buy hay from farmers..not feed stores..cheaper..but we do buy feed in bulk from feed stores...and get a discount. Mineral blocks are not good for goats teeth and tounge..use wind storm and rain ..free mineral red bag at TS in the cattle section. It has everythin. The ground might be tricky...you’ll need to watch their hooves. Yes, you need grain. Until kidding time, then alfalfa pellets. Goats are MUCh harder than peopl prepare for. Read and do research for...keep notes..in a binder...have calendars for when you deworm, give bits, shots, do hooves, etc. they are the best...I love my Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy breed...they are about to kid. The fence should be at least 4’....we have two barns...one for summer...more of.a goat shed, then the real barn for winter...we are in NW. PA...not that far from Erie...if your barn is sturdy enough to withstand our winters....great!! I don’t have sheep...can’t help you there. With the pasture...you need to rotate it because of the worms...we have already rotated due to mud issues with this year’s rain. There’s a ton of great YouTube info on how to trim hooves. I recommend making a goat stand for that, giving meds, etc. you can even make one out of pallets...it’s on YouTube...Goats are not cheap. They are very picky with the hay and waste a lot. I repurpose the waste as bedding for ducks..it only lasts a day with ducks so I don’t worr6 about it not being straw. If your pasture is not ideal for grazing then will require more hay. Goats don’t mow don’t like people think...they walk around and chew off the tips of what they want. Very picky...but loving and wonderful!! I defagree with getting debudded. They will need a copper bolus too. Wethers need different grain than does because it can cause urinary issues. I don’t have them so I don’t know about the grain..I just know it causes urinary calculi. A great forum also is BYH...this sister forum....a lot of good goat people who won’t freak you out. There are other forums out there...beware.
 

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