Is there a best goat breed for clearing brush? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 09/18/07, 09:22 PM
 
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Is there a best goat breed for clearing brush?

Ok Ive been a goat owner for a whole 4 days and Im Hooked! I actually spend hours just watching my two bucks eat away at my overgrown fence rows.

Is there a breed that is better suited to this type of work more than other breeds?

I really cant believe I would ever say it, but I believe I will always have goats from now on.

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  #2  
Old 09/18/07, 10:11 PM
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any goat will do a great job of it, pygmies cant clear as much due to their hight they can only reach so far,

dairy does cant work in real dence brush and thorns due to their large bags that can be torn up but other than that any goat can and will do a great job of clearing any patch of brush/weeds/brier/trees/ anything really

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Old 09/18/07, 11:37 PM
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Location: a little farm in Oklahoma, I love it!
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best breed?

A lot of it depends on where you live? Each breed has what's referred to as an 'environment of origin'. So that means that taking a Boer that was developed and bred to survive in an African desert and transplanting it into a wet, soggy climate often leads to parisitical problems.
On the other hand a Kiko was developed in New Zeland and is therefore better suited for the wet environment.

Now that is not to say that you will not find Boers in your area that thrive just fine... but it is to say do some research on what breed would be best suited to the environment they will be living in.

Another consideration would be how much browse do you have?

Goats are not grazers like sheep and need to eat roughage like willow, blackberries, lichen, etc.

Use those little guys to learn from. Get your property and yourself ready for taking on more critters.

All that said when watching my sister's herd of nearly 160 goats, all breeds present--- I see the Alpines as being a more aggressive eater. They will literally climb trees to get to what they want!

And you have to figure out what you like to... what appeals to your eyes and to your heart... I personally find that certain breeds appeal to me based on things like their coloring, their marking, the shape of their faces, the size of their udders and thus and such...

aren't goats wonderful!!! Misty

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Old 09/19/07, 07:29 AM
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I've had Alpine, Lamancha, Nubian, Saanen, Boer and Pygmy. All browse extremely well. In my opinion, the trick is to buy goats that are used to browsing already. If you buy goats who have lived on small acreage and been fed mostly hay their entire lives, then they are probably not going to be your best browsers the 1st generation.

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  #5  
Old 09/19/07, 12:44 PM
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Cross breds! cheap and every where!

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  #6  
Old 09/19/07, 01:40 PM
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Linebacker welcome to the world of goats. I have three different breeds and they all are eating machines. My place looks like a city park thanks to their efforts. Where do you live in Tennessee? Kidding season at my place begins in January....in case you need a couple more goats for next year's landscaping duties....TJ

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  #7  
Old 09/19/07, 03:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozark_jewels
I've had Alpine, Lamancha, Nubian, Saanen, Boer and Pygmy. All browse extremely well. In my opinion, the trick is to buy goats that are used to browsing already. If you buy goats who have lived on small acreage and been fed mostly hay their entire lives, then they are probably not going to be your best browsers the 1st generation.
Tell that to my goats! They are usually fed hay, but when I turn them out in a new area of the yard they :1pig: out. I have Nubians and grades. They all enjoy their pasture time equally.
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Old 09/19/07, 05:20 PM
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Linebacker, you will be pleased to know that poison ivy and dewberry vines are among their favorite foods. Goats clear out things that even the most skilled gardener manning the most high-tech weed whacker couldn't get. They do it neatly, precisely and completely converting it into meat, milk and fertilizer. Organically, no poisons. All very green planet and all that. Goats can turn a mess into a park....well, they could probably turn a park into a mess come to think of it

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  #9  
Old 09/19/07, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goatkid
Tell that to my goats! They are usually fed hay, but when I turn them out in a new area of the yard they :1pig: out. I have Nubians and grades. They all enjoy their pasture time equally.

Good, you got some of the good ones. I have bought five does who came from drylot situations. Three of them thought I was asking them to brave death to take one step outside the barn and eat browse. Took them a year before they would go out in the lush growth and feed their faces. The other two thought it was heaven. But in the long run, they all figured it out and now browse happily.
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  #10  
Old 09/19/07, 06:04 PM
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Someone asked me the other day who I had trim up my evergreen trees so nicely. I was like "huh?", then noticed that yes, every fir and cedar on the property was trimmed up a uniform level, just about right for me to walk under. "That's as far as my goats can reach on their hind legs". So, find some goats that when they stand on their hind legs, are at least as tall as you, then turn 'em loose. Those are the best ones. Half starved is good too, especially if you have a lot of stuff they'd rather not eat, like long grass.

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  #11  
Old 09/20/07, 07:32 AM
 
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Topside I'm in NW TN (Weakley County) about 5 hrs from Knoxville.

I moved my two goats yesterday to a new section mostly honey suckle and within an hour you could actually see through the fence. Maybe this is not anything new to a goat owner, but Im just in AWE! My pygmy stands on his hind legs and just starts at the top of the fence and goes down. The mixed little buck doesnt put that much effort in it and mainly just eats at standing level or sometimes he gets on his knees. But hes still young so maybe he'll get better at it.

thanks everybody for your replies

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  #12  
Old 09/20/07, 08:25 AM
 
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My feedlot goats (nubians) wouldn't leave the shelter for about a week after I opened the door. Then they wouldn't eat the weeds that the goats I had last year just loved.

They are finally coming around but are still very picky and still easily spooked when I take them out of the safety of their pasture. They won't even walk near the muscovies and last weekend spooked and ran all the way back to the shelter when my geese flew within 150' of them.

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