I am thinking about goats or pigs any advice or information?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by ocaw, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. ocaw

    ocaw Hatching

    Nov 8, 2010
    Hi, My family and neighbors were thinking about going in on some pigs for meat and some goats for milk. Im just poking around at this idea so you dont need to pile on a bunch of tales of misfortune, we know the predators around here, we dont have wild dogs, and we dont have any wild expectations. Were just trying to become a little more independent.
    A little information about my place i have 25 acres of land. Theres probably a fair football field of backyard grass (currently being grazed by Chickens, ducks, and geese) by our house and the guy who lived here before us raised horses in a area that im not sure of the total area but when its cut they get about 35 bales of "sweet grass" and alfalfa. Pretty much the woods are behind my house and the field is in front of my house which i overlook because were kind of on a slope on the hill. We have chain link fencing that we picked up from construction sites that could cover about a 100ft by 100ft area. We also have some shorter fencing that probably stands about 4ft tall which has squares in it that are about 4" by 4" Im pretty good with wood and my neighbor is a machinist, So together we could make quite a bit, like a shelter. With this information do you think we have the capabilities and area to handle pigs or goats? I was thinking just a few goats and not sure how many pigs. Were trying to be more self sufficient in our neighborhood so any advice on breeds or where to get animals would be great. As well as any things to watch out for like common sicknesses and such. Oh i should also mention my other neighbor has a relative that works at a corn mill so thats what they bring to the table, also we have experience with beef and poultry so this is a new field but we plan on doing our full research, starting with talking to people who know about it, aka you! Thanks!

  2. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Songster

    check out backyardherds.com I believe is the site.
  3. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    You can do quite a bit with 25 acres. With pigs and goats, good fencing is important. You would be suprised by how much grass a pig can eat in a day. Look up pasture raising pigs online.
    You don't say what state you are in. The weather will dictate the kind of shelter you would need.
    Good Luck on your new venture.
  4. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Sounds like a great idea. I think everyone should try and raise more of the food they eat.
    First make sure you have good tight fencing, pigs and goats are both escape artist, if there is a way to get under, over or through a fence they'll find it! Depends on your area what kind of shelter you need... you might want to add that info to your profile. Both pigs & goats are very easy to raise compared to many other animals in my opinion.
    Sounds like you have plenty of land to raise them. Good luck!

  5. Hound

    Hound Songster

    Apr 25, 2010
    Not sure whether you were planning to, but don't count on using the grass for the goats. They're not grazers they are browsers so eat leaves and brush. However you won't want to drink the milk from brush goats, certain plants will taint the flavor of the milk. Dairy goats are usually fed hay or hay pellets and grain.
  6. la dee da

    la dee da Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    *I do not own hogs(pigs) or goats, but have researched for my own interest*

    With both goats and hogs many, many owners will suggest using electric fencing (as well as wire is best) to keep the animals in. Goats aren't browsers, so they'll like brush more than grass if you wish for them to forage part of their diet. They will eat grass, they'll just prefer browse. You will want to keep the hogs away from the poultry, they are known for killing and eating them. Corn isn't very nutritional; the hogs may do well on it (if you breed them a better diet is advised) but for dairy goats you want to get better feed. Have you considared getting sheep? Sheep eat grass and there are hair sheep that you don't have to sheer if you don't want to deal with that.
    Hope that helps!
  7. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Ijust got two goats!!!!!!!! Yup, electric fencing and no problems yet!!

    Two rescues frm a slaughterhouse, Bonnie & Clyde. They have so warmed up to me.

    You couldn't take them away from me now that you coldn't put a crowbar between us

    They don't eat grass, though? Only leaves, (fall clean up here was a breeze! They ate everything)
    And love raisins.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010

  8. Livinzoo

    Livinzoo Songster

    Mar 2, 2008
    Statham, GA
    I have both goats and pigs. I also have a jersey cow and of course poultry.

    The pigs, goats and cow share the same pasture for now. We have 7 acres and are slowly getting it fenced off. We use field fence for the perimeter. Once the perimeter is done we will be adding two strands of hot wire inside the fence to keep the animals off it. We will also use hot wire to divide the pastures into smaller sections so we can control the grazing. I will eventually be separating my ruminants (cows and goats) from my hogs. The only reason for this is my male goat trys to breed the pigs (both male and female). The pigs love pasture as much as the others. In the winter they all eat hay. I also supplement with dairy for the pigs for lysine and a bit of pig food. The goats and cow get a bit of goat feed. My goats are meat goats and truthfully I have been thinking of getting out of goats and spending more time on hogs. Mt hogs are registered Gouchestershire Old Spots. They are a rare breed. They are very mellow compared to many other pigs. I can go sit in the pasture with my boar and scratch his belly. He will lie down while I do this. LOL They also root less than many other pig breeds. If you are just looking for meat pigs, find someone in your area selling piglets raised the way you are planning on raising yours. If you are looking to breed pigs you could do the same or help save one of the many rare breeds. Just depends on how much money you want to spend.
  9. ocaw

    ocaw Hatching

    Nov 8, 2010
    Thanks for all the answers! Sorry i did not add that i live in Southern Minnesota, so in the pasture they would be in the local farmers call it "Sweet Grass" which grows about 2-3ft high and has a mix of alfalfa, clovers, some thistle, burdock and some other things i cant identify. Does that count as grass or brush? Do goats eat nettles, thistle or burdock?

    Also a lot of you mentioned fencing is important, which was my first thought to, thats why i was wondering if you thought chain link fencing would work for pigs or goats. As i think on it though i remember seeing a funny video of a dog walking up a chain link fence and getting out of his pen. Goats might figure that out to, so maybe a hot wire on the inside?

    Oh and another goat question. what would you want to feed a goat to get good milk?

  10. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Some folks feed good hay such as alfalfa to goats when they are milking and not letting them eat the brush.

    As for pigs, I'd not put penned pigs close to the house (preferably down wind) and I would expect them to do some major demolition of any turf. That info comes from growing up on a farm. Ours stayed around the barn and small pond and didn't venture very far on pasture.

    Good luck.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by