goat or sheep? Help, please

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by leigha, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. leigha

    leigha Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2003
    I'm going to post this in both goats and sheep forums. My dh and I just got our place. It's five acres, four acres, fenced and cross-fenced with 5" x 5" woven wire, with a 20' x 20' barn in one fence and a 12' x 12' hog shed in the other. The front "yard" is a little over an acre which we will be fencing in 2" x 4" woven wire the April. We want a small amount of livestock to keep the grass down although we will probably bush hog too if it needs it. We want something that is good for our children to begin with, they're all still small at home. We're dedicated to our animals, this is not just a whim. I used to be a vet tech, so I am hoping this will come in handy. We are not in a hurry. This may be an enterprise for spring of 2005 even. I really like goats, I love their personalities, but also am considering sheep becaue they seem to be more in line with keeping the pasture down. I am skeptical of sheep though and have gotten the impression that sheep are not as hardy as goats and more trouble with parasites. But also, I don't want our back pasture to be shredded of all trees and vegetation because of goats. I have researched nigerian dwarf goats, they seem to be in line with what we are looking for also southdown baby doll sheep. I'm not sure what our pasture grass constists of, we will find out once we get on it. We'll be moving there in April. Can you all give me some advice? I know we will make lots of mistakes, but we would like to make some good decisions in the beginning. Thanks.
  2. Redeemed98

    Redeemed98 Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    a few years ago I bought two sheep to try keeping the grass down in a small overgrown pasture in the front of my property. I honestly thought that I would just stick them out there and let em be and not have to fool with them - or cutting the grass. Not long after, we had our first lamb, and now have 5 total. We just have them as pets now and they bring us alot of joy. Me and my wife and daughter really enjoy the time we have to spend tending to them now. I don't know about goats but the sheep have alot of personality and have good temperment. Anyway, I just figured I would share that info with you. It seems some on this board are full of good info about both sheep and goats to help with your decision. Greg

  3. JerseyLightning

    JerseyLightning Well-Known Member

    Nov 17, 2003
    New Jersey
    One problem with sheep is that they need to be sheared, regardless of whether you will be using the wool or not. If you get sheep, and are not interested in learning handspinning, you might want to look at the hair sheep breeds like Barbadoes or Katahdins so you won't have to shear!
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Did I already answer this on the main board? I'd rather fence in rhinos that goats but as long as you are aware of either's requirements then you should be fine keeping which ever you prefer. You might enquire locally about wool sales. Direct marketing wool can pay very well and offset some of your costs. I would gladly trade hay or grain for local,* good coloured fleeces even if I had to shear it off.
    *(before anyone 100 miles away takes me up!)
  5. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    May 11, 2002
    Now in Virginia

    Ahh ...the sheep or goats question. I find sheep are just as hardy or hardier than Goats. Many sheep breeds are not as sensitive to parasites as goats can be.

    Like all livestock, great care, feed, clean water will go a long way to keeping your animals healthy.

    You might want to try to find breeders in your area to talk with, see their animals in person. Find out if the breeds have the temperament you want to deal with. This might help you decide on wither to go with Sheep or goats.

    Some very hardy sheep are..
    Cheviots , in any size
    Golf Coast

    You can take a look at these web sites to find breeders in your area.
    For sheep..

    For Goats...

    And for both....

    Have fun looking and let us know what you decide!! Oh,, and pictures. :O)
  6. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    May 11, 2003
    Male goats really stink BAD. Our neighbor had a small herd of them, and when I went by on the 4 wheeler, I didn't breath and floored it past them. SHOOO!
  7. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    The St. Croix sheep is another hair sheep that is resistant to parasites. It is pure white and grows to about 120-150 pounds.