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Old 05/25/08, 11:18 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alvin, Tx
Posts: 1,881
Goats and Chickens together?

I already have a chicken coop and yard. The yard is roughly 30 by 40 or 50. Decent sized. The area we plan to use for the two goats we plan to get sometime in the near future, is right beside the chicken yard and is the same size. I wondered if we could just combine the two yards into one big yard. The coop would be fixed so the goats couldn't get in and eat the chicken's feed, of course. And the goats would have their own shelter.

So, is there any reason I can't have the goats and chickens in the same area?


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Old 05/26/08, 12:15 AM
RiverPines's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,417
Chickens will steal the goat feed and minerals.
Chickens will foul the goats water.

How will the goats be kept out of the coop? It would have to be a small hole for the goats to stay out. Is there light in the coop? I don't think the chickens would want to be inside eating if its dark all the time.
How will the chickens be kept out of the goats shelter?

Chicken poo on goats is yukky too.

I personally dont like mixing the two. Chickens are to messy and get into everything. I wouldn't want to be feeding my animals locked up either.
Gosh, in summer the last thing anyone of them wants is to eat inside.

And the goats only go in shelters in warm weather when it rains. Other than that they are outside 24/7 in nice weather.

Now a few chickens in a pasture setting with goats where all are free ranging...that works out fine.
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Old 05/26/08, 12:26 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central New York
Posts: 203
...Not to mention that chicken poo, if accidentally ingested by a goat can make them pretty sick. Example: Chicken roosts on hayfeeder or water bucket and leaves it's little present for the goats to eat/drink. NOT a good idea in my opinion but some have joined both and have had no problems per say. I personally would not like to take the chance. But that is just me.
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Old 05/26/08, 01:24 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nebraska panhandle
Posts: 147
I had a chicken coop for my gals, but every morning they would be let out to free range all over the property, and would return at dusk to the coop. During "free" time, they would wander over to my goat (who was on a 30 ft. tether to her own "house") and I never had a problem with the chickens and goat. I had a 5 gallon bucket for the goats water, which the chickens couldn't get into.

The chickens actually cleaned up the spilled feed or oats, not to mention the garden scraps the goat let drop and wouldn't eat.

I would never combine the two yards. Too many health hazards. They both need their own living quarters. But thats just my own experience.
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Old 05/26/08, 01:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Redding California
Posts: 1,967
I have both turkeys and chickens in the same area with goats at times. Turkeys seem better at eating the bugs than the chickens, but I have never had a problem with the chickens sleeping where the goats eat.... their roosts are higher than the feeder so the chickens instinctively go to the higher roost. As long as the goats can't eat the chicken feed, I don't see a problem with it... I've never seen my goats eating the chicken poo... but I only have a few birds in with 3 goats in a 20X30.
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Old 05/26/08, 01:48 AM
Dutch Highlands Farm
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
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My goats live together with the chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and peafowl. Of course they have almost 2 acres to range on. Never seen a goat get sick from being with the birds, but it might be different if they were confined together. BTW the kids love to chase the chickens, but walk a wide path around the geese.
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Old 05/26/08, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northcentral MN
Posts: 14,963
My chickens always killed every blade of grass inside their pen but that's probably because of too many birds in a too small area.
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Old 05/26/08, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
Posts: 1,395
My chickens (20) and goats (4) have been living peacefully together for over two years now. They share the same structure, but the goats live on the "front" of the barn & the chickens live / roost / lay in the "back" half of the barn, barn being separated by interior walls. There is about 1 acre of electric fencing for them, but of course the chickens usually leave the fenced in area for better "pickings" outside the area.

As mentioned earlier, the only problem we had was the goats getting into the chicken food, so we just made a chicken "snack shack" just outside of the electric fencing so the goats can't get to it.

Do the chickens sometimes poop in the water? Yes, but not much more often than the goats end up getting their own poops in their water. As for the hay, we have it in a manger with a top so the chickens cannot get in it to lay / roost / poop.

Also, when the chickens do "visit" the goats, it's usually to snack on bugs hanging around the goat area. And my Doe is absolutely in love with certain chickens. She even lets them roost on her during the day.

Just how our place works....good luck on your set-up!
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Old 05/26/08, 08:47 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alvin, Tx
Posts: 1,881
More information

Thanks for all the replies!

Maybe I should describe the layout of the property and tell you what we plan to do. The chickens and goats will not be kept in the pen all the time. Right now the chickens free range most of the time.

We have two acres total and are subdividing so the horses at least have some grazing. Our property is layed out odd because it comes at an odd angle from the road so between the front yard and back yard, and the horse paddock we are about to build, that takes nearly an acre. Then we have an acre fenced with electric rope (how many strands to hold a goat?) In the next week or two, that will be divided in half. The horses (2 of them) spend time in our back yard and front yard. The back is chainlink but the front is mostly hot rope.

We would like to be able to have the goats rotated around once we get more goat friendly fences up. In the meantime, the goats would get time in our back yard to eat the weeds and will probably be staked out some until we get more fence up.

By no means will these two acres support all those animals, which is why I have round bales! But it will at least give everyone something to graze on.

Oh, and for the person that asked about closing up the coop. I have areas that are wire mesh instead of solid wall for ventilation so even if it was closed up except for a hole, there would be light and ventilation. It gets mighty hot here in the summer, and I didn't want it to be an oven.

Oh yeah, we're going to be started a raised bed garden this summer! It sounds like a lot but with proper manangement, I think we can make it work.

What do you think?

Last edited by DaniR1968; 05/26/08 at 08:52 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05/26/08, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
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My chickens and goat share a pasture - have yet to have chickens poop in the water, although they will come drink from the goats water instead of their own on occasion. I keep their feed on top of their coop, out of reach of my Nigerians. My smallest Niggie has a chicken following and on warm spring days can usually be found napping with a chicken or two snuggled up next to her. I think they have made her an honorary chicken since she was the same size as my two barred rocks for a long time.
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