How does raising sheep for meat compare to that of raising goats?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by tberggren, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. tberggren

    tberggren Chillin' With My Peeps

    450
    0
    149
    Jan 20, 2008
    Ithaca NY
    After reading post about the type of pasture goats like I am beginning if I should switch to raising sheep for our family's meat needs and just goat with the goats mainly for milk?

    How does raising sheep for meat compare to that of raising goats?
     
  2. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    892
    1
    161
    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Don't know, but I thought sheep had more sensitive stomachs so you would have to watch more what they eat and don't eat. (I had heard to much corn? can kill them?)
     
  3. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    I am not sure...but I'm guessing the feed to growth ratio is about the same. The significant difference is feed type. Sheep graze, goats forage. You would have more of a grain diet for goats, I imagine, and more of a hay diet for sheep. Meat goats get hefty quickly. I don't have any personal experience as I raise mini pet goats...so this is just an educated guess.

    Horsechick - a lot of corn will kill a goat, too. Far as sensitive tummies go, sheep and goats are alike. Too much of anything is a very bad thing.
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Goats will cost you more because you have to grain them or provide alfalfa pellets. Sheep can live in grass alone. I would say making lambs hands down is the way to go. Then eventually when you are freshening your milk goats, sire them to a Boer and you'll have some meat goats too.
     
  5. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    570
    1
    151
    Dec 1, 2007
    Princeton BC Canada
    Sheep can be milked like goats, there are certain breeds bred for it. Sheep only breed once a years, sometimes 2 but very rare, while goats can breed up to 2-3 times a year. Sheep don't need too fancy of fencing, page wire is usually good, maybe a electic line. Goats will go through anything and over it too. Sheep like to eat grass that is about 2-3 inches high, goats like to eat stuff that is up high, no low. Sheep do not smell like goats, they don't pee on themselves like billygoats do. Sheep are rarely dangerous, some rams if they are raise wrong they can become dangerous. Goats can be very territorial, watch being around them when breeding. Sheep are flightly, goats can be tamer. Sheepo usually have only 1-2 lambs, goats usually have 2-4 sometimes. Hope this helps, I have had lots of sheep and really enjoy them, I've never had goats but did look into them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. tberggren

    tberggren Chillin' With My Peeps

    450
    0
    149
    Jan 20, 2008
    Ithaca NY
    I have pasture so I think I should concentrate on sheep and maybe just a couple of goats.

    Is there a particular breed of sheep I should look into for meat?

    Also, how easy is it to milk a sheep, and how much milk do they give? Never heard of it before, and I suppose you would have to go with a breed specific for milk and something else for meat, is that correct?

    Know of any good links with info I could check out?
     
  7. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    4,230
    10
    231
    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    As a goat raiser, I feel obligated to pitch in here:

    Goats do not require high grain diets, nor should they be fed such. A good quality hay should be the basis of the diet, grains used as a conditioner when needed. I have dairy goats and the does are only grained when lactating or heavily pregnant, bucks only during breeding season.

    Rate of gain in a meat sheep will be higher than in a dairy goat. However, a meat goat should equal or even surpass a sheep in rate of gain. The real question is, what's your market for goat meat?
     
  8. tberggren

    tberggren Chillin' With My Peeps

    450
    0
    149
    Jan 20, 2008
    Ithaca NY
    Actually this would only be for my family's needs, maybe some friends eventually.
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You will get 100 different answers from 100 different people on which breed of sheep is best. Look around to what your neighbors are raising, that would be the first place to start.

    Unless you get a specific dairy breed of sheep, you are not going to get much milk out of them. Dairy goats are by far the most effective way to be self sufficient in the dairy department. Sheep/lambs are the most effective way to provide red meat for your own use, since they are nowhere near as hard on the land as cows are.
     
  10. tberggren

    tberggren Chillin' With My Peeps

    450
    0
    149
    Jan 20, 2008
    Ithaca NY
    "self sufficient" That is what we are aiming for!![​IMG]

    Thanks for you input, I've found you posts always informative and helpful.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by