sheep or goats?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by ams3651, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    Im thinking next year I may get 2 sheep or goats. I have too much field to mow and weeds to get rid of. I was told goats are smelly and with sheep, do they have people who would come and shear them? We had a pygmy goat when i was a kid but he was mean and that s about all i remember. Is one easier to take care then the other, I dont want to breed them. Plus the low temps in the winter would be a concern. Opinions welcome.
     
  2. vicki2x2

    vicki2x2 Super Chick

    Feb 9, 2008
    Central Michigan
    Well, sheep prefer grass, goats prefer weeds, so I guess it depends on what you need. Perhaps both? There is also hair sheep (don't need to be sheared) if shearing is a concern. I personally love my goats!! They are so friendly and comical.

    If you don't want them to head butt, don't encourage it. Most often kids think it is funny to push on their heads and they push back and play fight with them. Next thing you know, they are full grown and hitting you when you are not looking and can be dangerous. Mine give kisses, nibble on your clothes, etc. Goats can be escape artists and a bit naughty, getting into things, but that is part of their charm!!
     
  3. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    The goats won't mow your grass. They'll eat the taller weeds and annihilate any trees or shrubs. The only time mine eat grass is when I cut it and put the trimmings in their hay rack. I've never had sheep, but I know they're grazers (vs. browsers), so they might be a better choice for you.
     
  4. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    the field is very much weeds and scrub. Its probably about 1 1/2 acres and spraying isnt an option. My son has plowed it all under several times the last 2 years but it just grows back. we would like to plant pumpkins and sweet corn in most of this field but cant do it in its present condition. Also another question, fencing, how strong is necessary or will electric work. Im thinking cost.
     
  5. vicki2x2

    vicki2x2 Super Chick

    Feb 9, 2008
    Central Michigan
    Electric won't work for either. You will need good strong fencing. If you get mini's (nigerians, pygmys, etc.) it will not need to be as high or quite a strong, just because they are half the size.
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I've heard people say: "If water can get through the fence... so can goats!" Obviously that's not true but it certainly gives you the right perspective on how hard it can be to keep goats fenced in.

    Goats do respect electric fences! Sometimes that's the only fence that will keep a goat inside the right area. The electric fence has to be a the proper heights (one low and one high - normally used in conjunction with another fence type) to work properly for goats though.

    It sounds like you need goats who will eat the weeds and other 'stuff'. You could get to wethers (castrated males) and let them help you in that area. You always want two or more goats ... never get just one. They are very social animals and have to have the company of another animal - preferably a goat that is with them and plays with them all the time.

    There are some goat breeds that seem to do a better job of cleaning up weeds that others. I think it's also a personality thing with goats. I believe (not positive) that Boers are considered a really good weed goat.

    I don't know enough about sheep to give you advice on them.
     
  7. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    could they be let into the field to clean up after the corn and pumpkins? sounds like the fencing is the most expensive part. Any photos of your goat pen?

    wow, Boers are huge. I think a small goat would be better if it suits my needs. Lots of great info, keep it comming. Im cruising website also.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  8. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    Only the intact bucks will smell, and mine don't smell to the point that I won't handle and pet them. But the does and wethers are very clean and shed out their winter coat on their own, so no shearing. They will eat weeds and shrub like crazy. You can use hog panels fastened with cable clamps and supported with t-posts. Then it is a movable fence that can be moved when they clear the area and you want to move them to the next area to be cleared. I have pygmies and it keeps them in. They will need an adequate place to get out of the weather and to sleep in a night, and also live in during the winter months when weed duty isn't as needed. Supplement them in the evening with a grain specifically for goats to keep their selenium and copper levels up.
     
  9. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    Oh also once your goats get used to where they house at night they have a tendency to stay close. I let mine out to free range the property and do fallen leaf cleanup. And they stick very close and go back in at night. And also herd up pretty easy if you need to put them away early. I teach mine to come when I clap my hands. Just be sure you don't have rhododendron, mountain laurel or azaleas which are highly toxic.

    ETA: I also happen to have a few girls for sale in NJ! LOL
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  10. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    Quote:thanks for that, i do have a rhododendron behind the house I have no problem getting rid of. its in a corner where its not seen and serves so purpose other than to shade chipmunks. Im thinking about pymgys, someone mentioned getting 2 castrated males, I dont want to breed or milk.
     

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