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how many animals on 2acres?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by PuppyBantamCochin, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. PuppyBantamCochin

    PuppyBantamCochin Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    we have 2fenced acres and currently have 6mini goats, 2 sheep & 20 or so chickens.
    The property is a mixture of brush/pasture/woods. Although we don't really plan to add to our flocks & herds soon, we have considered raising a bottle calf for beef. Would having a cow in addition to the goats/sheep too much for 2acres?
    we have another 2.5acres we could use, but it's not fenced. I know we could use portable electric fence to use the rest of the property, but on just 2acres, how many critters could we keep on 2acres w/out it getting run down?



  2. WIChookchick

    WIChookchick Songster

    Aug 25, 2010
    Rural Brooklyn, WI
    I think it depends on where you live.
    Here in WI, some townships allow any number of animals over 2 acres.
    BUT our county that some of those same townships are in, require 10 acres, then as many as you want.
    IF only 9 or so acres, a place I boarded at the chickens were 1 acre, the pigs were 1-2 acres, rabbits in a shed were 1 acre so that left only 4-5 acres so they couldn't have
    the 10-11 horses that were there.
    Some counties are ok with 1 acre per animal. So 10 acres= 10 horses/sheep/cows...

    It also depends on what you have for shelter, grazing, and access to water. OR if you only have dry lots, (no grass).
    Cattle usually are really good with electric fences, sheep not so much. You can keep some cows in with a waist high OR shorter single strand of electric ( I have seen it ALL over the place
    here in WI). Sheep don't care, they don't get zapped.. Goats for the most part don't care, unless you have good goats!!
    And realize a cow kept for milk, will only give milk if she has had a calf, and will only produce for maybe 9 mths.

    I had some folks I knew in TN, many years ago, they had a nice gurnsey cow, and they had her calf and 2 other steer/bull calves that she let nurse off her. They still got the milk
    they wanted.
    SO I would look into what you can have on 4-5 acres for your county and township, and if you are zoned for it as well. Then look into cows, and into your fencing/feed/water and shelter needs
    and then go from there.

    Hope this helps
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    I'm sorry, but there just isn't a simple answer to this question. If I know goats, yours are probably in the process of converting the brush/woods into pasture, but you don't say how much of it is currently covered with grass, nor how good the grazing is. Chickens will scratch and dig; some of the worst damage that has occurred in my pasture was done by my chickens. IMO, you will probably have to buy some hay to keep everybody fed, especially during times when transitioning from one season to another, or anytime when the weather isn't perfect for growing grass.
  4. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Our neighbors have 2 acres and at one point had 35 chickens and 17 goats, although most of those were kids and she's downsized her herd quite a bit. The goats and chickens really only occupied the last 1/4 acre. The rest of their property is pretty much all front lawn--long driveway.
  5. I have 4 acres, out of that about 2 1/2 acres are fenced between 4 miniature horses and a mini mule, 6 goats and the ducks. We bought our horses the first year of the drought and lost the grass so we feed hay all year round.
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Like others have already said it depends on some factors....like where you're located. Where I live it takes between 7 and 8 acres of pasture for a cow/calf pair grazing from May 1 thru the first part of October. Winter we have to feed them hay and silage.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    One thing to bear in mind is, what if you get a dry year. The number of animals your land can support in a typical year can be reeeaalllll different than what it can support in a droughty year -- often in a drought year the carrying capacity will be literally half, or even less.

    So I think the decision whether to add animals depends a lot on what you will do if it should be a bad year... will you be able to buy hay etc to feed them or rent other pasture, or will you be willing to butcher early with much less meat production, or will it be a great big "aaaauuugh!" situation?

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,


  8. PuppyBantamCochin

    PuppyBantamCochin Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    thanks for all the replies. I think we'll try and stay small. Maybe I'll add a few extra meat rabbits instead of a cow [​IMG]

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