How big of an area to keep goats?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by AussieSharon, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    Sorry if this has been asked and answered.

    Here's the deal. I am looking to keep 3 to 5 small to medium sized goats and possibly 1 or 2 sheep. How much of a fenced area is reasonable that I will need. I know I'll still have to substitute some feed for them and that grazing alone won't be enough.

    I know the bigger the area the better but what would you recommend for 3 to 5 goats and 2 sheep as a "comfortable" living area without completely destroying the ground.
     
  2. Birdman18

    Birdman18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Queens, NY
    i'm also interested in the answer to this question, i will be moving one day to NC and want to know if i have enough room for some livestock, of course getting all the permits and licenses.
     
  3. Solsken Farm

    Solsken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    As big as possible, truly. They get bored and need as much space as you can give them. Just make sure you get electric, or at least 5' high fencing that cannot be penetrated, such as sheep/goat livestock fencing, with boards along the bottom. And get some stuff for them to climb on. They love to play king of the hill.....

    We LOVE having goats, but they are true escape artists. Very smart! Also, they love to go into our coop to eat all the chick feed. [​IMG] Costly, messy and very bad for bloat for them.....

    Good luck!

    I will defer to the more experienced goat folks regarding actual size per head. Regarding supplementing grazing, make sure you make some type of hay rack, as they love to sleep, pee, poo and waste the hay if it is fed on the ground. We also give them a small amount of pellets, because ours are wethers and not milkers or mommies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  4. ThornyRidge

    ThornyRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Truthfully one does not need "acreage" for only a couple goats unless you only want them on pasture and then you need to plan for rotational grazing etc. I have a small herd of about 8 nigerians/pygmy and miniature nubian in a 12x24 stall (end of barn) and their pen is what I could get out of a 330' roll of red brand goat fence. My goats are not on pasture - they are fed strictly hay and goat grain ration along with free choice minerals and baking soda and are very spoiled at that.. they won't eat grass. It is important though to have some "goat" toys as goats like to play. I have large boulders and some ramps covered in shingles to help in hoof filing. As an added bonus they get to go on walks once in awhile and eat some browse down behind their pen which includes a ton of wild blackberries, multiflora rose and several pine trees.

    I personally don't recommend mixing sheep and goats.. although they are ruminants and seemingly could get along they need different nutrients.. Goats absolutely need copper (usuallyfound in goat feed) and also goats need a goat specific loose mineral that contains copper. Copper is toxic to sheep. It would be very difficult to feed/separate this issue if they are penned together. I also know that goats can be aggressive in pecking order and hit/ram into each other.. I don't know that sheep hold up that well there.
     
  5. bheila

    bheila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    I totally agree with the above post! The OP got me thinking so I looked some things up. I read that Pygmies only need 15-20 sq ft per goat. Does that sound right? When we first got goats I just went by how much grass we could fence in. Now I'm getting rid of most of my chickens so I can use their run for more goats.
     
  6. mistylady

    mistylady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohio near Coshocton
    In the winter our goats are in a barn with a paddock about 20 X 10 and it is a big mud pit (at least it is when it isn't frozen). They get hay and sweet goat feed in the winter. During the rest of the year and on the occasional decent day in the winter the goats are tethered out to eat brush and weeds/grass. The only problem we have is the older goats are beating the youngest one up and have hurt her a few times. She now has a stall of her own she can get into and they can't get in.

    Goats are escape artists! They can climb and they will work on knots in rope or pull on chains that are closing gates. I think they get bored.
     
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    2 acres. Supplement feeding in winter and dry summer.
     
  8. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Quote:When looking to add another pygmy to our funny farm a goat "expert" told me a shelter and 8x8 pen would be plenty. I can't hardly believe that.
     
  9. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can successfully mix goats & sheep but ThornyRidge is correct about the need for copper in goats and it being a toxin for sheep. I keep a mixed flock but I have found that some animals(as individuals) simple don't mix well with one another. If you can separate them for daily feeding it is easy enough to keep the nutrition balanced, but if you are planning to breed you MUST keep the does & ewes apart during lambing/kidding. If you are not breeding it has been my experience that wethers of both species co-exist well together. Good Luck to you with your future flock!
     
  10. Thunderhill

    Thunderhill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Alabama
    A safe bet for us is 3-5 Miniature goats per acre. We leave hay in with them 24/7 and we feed a high protein pelleted goat food mixed with whole oats and barley, and maybe some Black Oil Sunflowerseed. We feed this once a day to our Nigerians...they usually get about a cup and a half each per day.
    We also keep their minerals free choice, and alfalfa pellets...pretty much free choice.

    Goats need copper but you can check with your Agriculture Dept and find out how your area does for Selenium. If it is semi deficient to deficient, then you would need to add copper.
    The same of amount of copper Goats need would hurt sheep...I am told.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009

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