Goats VS Sheep... Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SterlingAcres, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Since it's so late in the year already and summer's upon our doorsteps, we're just going to start our homestead off with some chickens and ducks. Next spring, DH and I would like to add goats. I'd done quiet a bit of research on goats prior to deciding that we wanted them, but the more posts about sheep I see, the more I want those! And actually, having both... well, DH might kill me. [​IMG] Well, not kill me, but it took months to get an 'ok' for goats.

    So, my question is... Goats VS Sheep. Which would work better for us? I want a milker. Has to be calm since I have kids that would most likely want to 'pet' them. We use a gallon of milk a day. The new house has a nice big shed that I'm converting into a chicken coop. I'm going to add a section inside for stalls for whatever we decide to get this spring. The sheep/goats will share digs with the chickens at night, but I'll be making the stalls high enough to cover the top with wire, so chickens can't escape into the goat/sheep pen. They will have separate runs.

    There's a logging road (pretty wide) that runs down the side of the property. I plan to fence that in, along with a nice portion of the 'woods'. Which is mostly tree covered pasture with some small shrubs.

    Experienced opinions, please let me know which animal would work best for me ? Please. LOL I just love the look of the sheep so much more, but was concerned about the wooded pasture. Help :|
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    If you're going for milk, goat is your only serious option.
  3. hazelton farms

    hazelton farms Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    I've seen some milking sheep for sale on anothe forum, (PM if you want to know the name) and maybe you could somehow email that person and ask about milk and how that works and how much you get, etc.?

    I personally milk three goats (one is a low producer) and get 1.75 - 2 gallons a day right now. My milk is tastey. I don't have a male around though as we've not got a lot of space. We just have ours bred at a friends' house. [​IMG]

  4. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    If you go thru a gallon each day I would go with a LaMancha goat as they produce alot. I have a doe and she gives a little over a gallon a day. I personally vote for goats and you dont have to shear them either...
  5. midwestmilkmaiden

    midwestmilkmaiden Songster

    Jun 19, 2008
    I, myself have just stared small scale homesteading. Last july bought 3 toggenburg goats and this july am milkin 'em! Havin' so much fun too!. . i think goats would love your land . they seem to love trees and brush more than any pasture you give 'em. I have 2 daughters...5 & 3. they love our girls..(goats).. very gentle and kind. i think its all a matter of how much love you give to them.. they'll give it back!!..plenty of milk too. i'm only milkin 2. once a day for now and thats plenty for a family of 4!... I'll stop ramblin on . Good luck.. [​IMG]
  6. FlockEweFarm

    FlockEweFarm Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    I have a couple of goats, and I have done a LOT of ,"Hit the ground running, crash course, emergency prepardness, OH MY GOD,WHAT NOW?!" kind of learning.
    First off, goats are like little kids when they are very young. They can even take some of the same medications for some of the same issues, including constipation, allergic reactions, stuffy noses, and colds.
    Secondly-They need clean, dry, warm places to sleep and rest during the night. Mine are currently sharing a house with my chickens, and while they are warm and dry, I dont think either party is happy, but getting them seperated is difficult as goats and chickens are creatures of habit.
    Thirdly-If you get goats, and predators are not a concern, get them polled or without horns, because goats will stick their heads through fences and get stuck, and that leads me to the fencing issue. Field fencing is NOT a good choice for goats, they will walk through it like a knife through butter. Hog panels and electric fence seem to work the best, but if they have horns, you have the gettting stuck problem. They also are climbers, and I have come home to find that mine have gone from the back steps to the goat house roof to the barn roof, and there they are antagonizing my hound dog.
    Fourth- They are great fun, often have a great sense of humor, and they love to be in your lap, on your back and they want to play with you. They are like big goofy dogs with hooves. They sometimes step on the chickens, but so far there have been no major injuries. Their hooves have to be trimmed every 3 months or so.
    Fifth- The girls dont smell too bad on their body, but they do fart, A LOT, and they have fart breath. The boys will pee on themselves and they often smell goaty.
    More information, goats are pretty cool critters and they are good for weed control and company and entertainment. Depending on the part of the country you are in, there are some things you have to watch out for in the way of weeds and parasites, but mostly they are easy to keep and cheap and a lot of fun, and you dont have to shear them.
    If you have any questions, pm or email me, I am stuck at home recovering from injuries, so I have LOTS of time to share.
  7. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Songster

    Dec 1, 2007
    Princeton BC Canada
    I've never had goats but I have had sheep. I know goats need very good fencing, sheep need good fencing. I would recommend a little of both, if you like the taste of lamb. Also the wool may come in handy if your willing to try and learn to spin. I have been think about it.
  8. chicken_boy_Kurt

    chicken_boy_Kurt Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    I did not have to read your post. I say goats. Unless you are using them for meat then get sheep. Boots is the best goat ever. His brother died of cancer awhile back so hes a lone goat (he has the sheep but we are his main interaction) but he is such a pet. He will rub up against you if you don't pet him. And he'll look up at the trees then look at you then look up at the trees then look at you, until you pull the branch down for him to gorge. And the sheep, they run away. I don't really like sheep. Get goats.
  9. Western Chick

    Western Chick Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Western MN
    Definately GOATS!

    I too convinced my hubby to let me get some goats. I had been set on sheep for the longest time until I ran into a pair of pygmy goats (and brought them home). We all fell in love with them, the herd expanded and now I have a herd of 20 FB Boers.

    For me the big advantage to goats was no shearing necessary. If you want to harvest fiber from them you can, but it's not a requirement. In my opinion goats are much more intelligent than sheep which leads to the one negative I have for them. Fencing. They do require very good fencing.
  10. bullydog

    bullydog In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2008
    Thats simple for milking Goats. Sheep are more work with there wool. Its getting expensive to get a person to do the whole flock. Goats are better for the family, sheep are most likely to get near to a person if theres grain. Even then they like to be left alone, well with the flock. Sheering a cleanliness becomes annoying and costly. I've had better luck with goats I guess.



    research a good milking goat

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