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Goats and chickens together?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by seafood, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. seafood

    seafood Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Our plan is to have two Nubian goats and about 8 or 10 chickens. We have a section of barn that is 6’x 20’ for “everyone”. Goats and chickens will have access to a shared outside space of about 400 square feet.

    My question is this. Can the goats and chickens cohabitate together when they are all in the barn at night or should I split up the 6’x20’ space and keep the two separate? Will the roosting chickens “dump” on the goats? Will they be at each other foot bins? Will the goats access to the nesting boxes cause the chickens not to lay? Etc etc.

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    You need to give the chickens a place to live free of the goats and the goats a place free of the chickens.

    While the chickens will eat some of the goat feed the goats will eat you out of house and home and they will never leave any chicken feed for the chickens to eat. The roosting birds will indeed poop on whaever is below.

    Also, the chickens will eat goat poop, too. I don't want my eggs made that way.

    It is okay to let the free range but they do need a place of their own when not turned out.

    I am not one of those who finds it a good idea to just let animals all live together in a big giant mix. You have to think about disease and things being passed around too.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  3. frogdog

    frogdog Chirping

    Mar 19, 2008
    Elk, WA
    Our goats, sheep and chickens are all together during the day. The chickens use a small shed at night, which the 4-leggers are fenced out of with cattle panel fencing (the chickens just walk through the fencing). The chickens are fed in the shed and the milkers are fed on the stand with the door closed. Goats/sheep will eat any and all grain, but so will chickens.

    Having roosts away from the goats is a must.
  4. thornberryvillage

    thornberryvillage In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2008
    I have a small goat dairy with 20 milkers, and 80 free range layers and also raise meat birds (new batch of 25 chicks a week). The meat birds are in tractors, but the layers and goats live together during the day and the chickens go in the coop at dusk...and no problems.

    Yes, the chickens do pick through the goat poop, and eat any worm or other parasite larve that is there...that is why I don't have parasite problems with my goats, and it doesn't hurt the chickens or eggs. It's no different than chickens scratching for other bugs.

    The goats WILL eat all your chicken food if they can get to it, which is why my layers only get what they can scratch up when they are ranging. Their chicken feed is in a feeder in the coop for when they go "home" at night.

    Last, yes, they WILL occasionally crap on your goats, even when not roosting. When your goats are laying in the sun the chickens will climb up on them sometimes, picking bugs and such, and will sometimes poop on them then. A cjicken is liable to poop ANYTIME and ANYWHERE.

  5. We have sheep, goats, pigs, and pot belly pigs and a llama. Our chickens, ducks, geese, and guinea all run together during the day. The peacocks we haven't let out yet.
    When the birds are free ranging they walk where ever they want. Go right in the hay boxes for the sheep. Even seen the sheep laying down with chickens sitting right next to them or even on top of them. We have never lost a chicken to the sheep or anything trampiling them. they all get along great.

    At night the birds are all put into there coop and not left out. that isn't because of the sheep. More because of predators. There have been on occasion times where a bird or 2 were left out over night though, and they were still alive in the morning...

    Best of luck

    Forgot to say that the birds also go in the pens with the pot belly pigs and the llama. They will eventually have access to the feeder pigs pen also. The pot belly's could care less about the birds. The birds will ride on the backs of the pigs.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  6. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    Keep in mind too, depending on where you are, chickens will need a more draft free environment to live than the goats. Goats can be sheltered in a three wall shed open to the south in most climates. Keeping goats in too tight of an enclosure can actually make them sick. Chickens on the other hand need ventilation but also need protected from predators.
  7. living2ride

    living2ride Songster

    Feb 17, 2008
    I have 2 sheep and 1 goat that share a run with my chickens. My coop opens into the run and then the sheep/goat have a stall that also opens into the run on the other side. I feed the chickens from a hanging feeder inside their coop. Since the door to the run is only about 10" x 10", the sheep/goat can't get to the chicken feed. They would eat every last crumb if they could reach it. During the day, the chickens can enter the sheep/goat stall, but they go back to their coop at night for lock-up and leave the sheep/goat alone. I also feed any grain to the sheep/goat BEFORE I release the chickens in the morning and AFTER I lock them up at night. [​IMG] All day long though, they roam together in their run, or in the pasture when I put them out. It's not uncommon to see the sheep wandering around with a chicken on their backs. I haven't yet seen the goat tolerating that, however. [​IMG] The sheep and goat now come running for scratch right along with the chickens when I yell, "HEEEERE CHICK-CHICKS! HEEEEERE CHICK-CHICKS!" It's pretty funny. Anyway, to answer your question... small numbers of sheep/goats/chickens can share some space, but they'll both do best with their own spaces as well.
  8. FarmerMack

    FarmerMack Songster

    Oct 28, 2007
    Stanford, KY
    Quote:Excellent post. Very helpfull as I am buying 2 goats friday and intended on doing the same type of setup up as you. If all goes well, meaning neither goat jump out of the pickup bed on the way here, I'll have a 2 yr old Angora male and a female pigmy 8 years old possibly with kid or kids. Any hints on goat transporting?
  9. Alexis

    Alexis Songster

    Jan 28, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I used a large dog crate to move my two pygoras in the back of a truck. Just threw straw in the bottom to make it comfortable for them and off we went. They almost appeared to enjoy the 1 hour drive. (And their fleece was blowed clean by the time we got home too!)
  10. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Songster

    Jan 9, 2008
    Washburn, MO
    Quote:Excellent post. Very helpfull as I am buying 2 goats friday and intended on doing the same type of setup up as you. If all goes well, meaning neither goat jump out of the pickup bed on the way here, I'll have a 2 yr old Angora male and a female pigmy 8 years old possibly with kid or kids. Any hints on goat transporting?

    you should use some sort of cage or crate to move them. That is the least stressful way. You can also crosstie them. Usually in a moving vehicle goats will lay down. If there is no other alternative, you can hogtie them and secure them that way. If you do this, blindfold them so they will not be as scared of things moving by while they are helpless. But use this method ONLY if you can't crate them

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