goats and chickens?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by trixiwick, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

    Jun 9, 2004
    Southeastern PA
    We have a bunch of young Buff Orpington hens which we're keeping in a big wire-and-wood coop at present, but which I am thinking about putting into the goat pasture. My hope is that they will help keep the insect level down and also keep our two pygmy does company once we sell off the last of this year's kids.

    Is there a downside to this, healthwise, for either goats or chickens? Would chickens fly right out of a 4' fenced area unless we clipped their wings? If they flew out, would they come back? Are the goats going to want to eat the chicken feed, and if so, how do I deal with that? Any input from more experienced folks would be greatly appreciated!
  2. rainedaze

    rainedaze Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    This is just our experience and it may not be the same for everyone. Our chickens would roost on 6-8' fences as we did not clip their wings. My husband ended up capping the tops of their pens. Yes, our goats did try to eat the chicken feed every chance they got. I had to give the goats their feed first and then feed the chickens while the goats were eating. I still had one that was very sassy and would come running to eat the chicken feed.

    This is just what my vet said about chickens and goats going together. The chickens can at times get different diseases such as semonila and this comes out in their poop. This could cause the goats to get sick. Many people I know do it though so I am not sure how often this happens.

  3. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    The short answer is yes, goats and chickens are fine together. As with all animals (including humans) it gets down to management. If you have 20 chickens and three goats sharing an acre of pasture, it's a very different situation than if you have 200 chickens and 50 goats on that same acre. Somewhere in between those two models it becomes a health issue for one or both of the species, as well as a pasture management issue. Finding the balance in stock densities where multiple species benefit each other is an inexact science. Take a look at what you are trying to achieve and blend species of animals to complement your goals while not degrading the pasture/food supplies.
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    I currently have 24 chickens in the pasture with the goats (soon to be 10 chickens when the roosters go to freezer camp). They get along fine.

    Keep the chickens enclosed in their coop for a week after you move it into the pasture. Then they'll come back to the coop at night - or come close to the coop, I have to scoop up the occasional chicken roosting somewhere stupid. I have to remove the chicken feed before I let the goats out to pasture, otherwise they'll get into the coop and destroy things getting to the feed. I set the chicken feed back out in the coop in the evening after the goats are back in their barn for the night.