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Howdy Y'all!
We have a 50 acre ranch west of San Antonio, Texas, that's full of cedar trees and rocks....and with all the rain we've been getting....full of tall weeds. My DH and I were talking about getting a goat several months back, but didn't have a good pen then. Well, now we do. We have three acres fenced around the houses and a pen inside that area. We'd like to get a couple of goats to keep the grass down around that 3 acre area. They would be pets....not for meat or milk. We do have coyotes around here, but the dog keeps them away from the house area. Our dog is a bit older and has been good around the neighbors calves, cows, and stray dogs.....I think she'd be okay with two goats. So....
Any suggestions on what breed would be best? Anyone know of goats for sale in our area?
Thanks.
 

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Check Craigslist - there are often listings for goats and sheep in your area.
If they are just for pets and weed control, I'd say whatever you can get cheaply would be good. You should be able to find boers or some mixed breed goats.
 

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Yeah, if you are not using them for meat or milk, then any breed would do. You woud probably be able to find wethers pretty cheap. especially pygmy or mixed breed goat wethers. One thing all the breeds have in common... they are ALL great weed controllers. LOL

Laura
 

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you would have to cross fence and have a high stocking rate, and rotate pastures to really "keep it down". otherwise the goats will just eat the choice bits and leave some stuff out of control. it depends on what you mean by keep it down too. if there is some brush trying to make its way into your pasture than they might help control that. if you want to keep the grass short its a little harder. if the goats are eating grass you want it tall to lessen intestinal parasite problems. they really don't make great lawn mowers. horses from my experience and I am told sheep do a better job of that. goats are more understory clearers. if you did it right you could make it worth your while though. you can buy wethers pretty cheap, and there are many needing pet homes. I'll sell you my lamancha wether cheap!!! but I'm up in oklahoma, shucks. you could probably get some free, if you really looked around. you just have to be careful that you are not buying health problems. look for local dairys, check out your classfied ads etc.. I would personally stay away from the auctions at least until you get more goat experience. breed wouldn't matter if they are pets, just get whatever strikes your fancy and is available and healthy. good luck! I'm sure someone from your area will probably see this and jump on the chance to sell some of their boys to someone who is not going to put them on the barbi. many people hate to see that fate befall them.
 

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Howdy back at ya! There should ba plenty of goats in your area and wethers would be a good choice to get started with or a few does that do not have to be milked. The main problem I foresee is your dog. A dog that gets along with cows and calves may still chase and kill goats. Goats will die of shock even if the dog never touches them, they will die if chased too much. Many dogs are triggered to chase goats. Therefore, you may want to test the dog on a few goats that you can safely lock up if it doesn't work out and then decide if you are going to keep the dog or keep the goats. Many of us here have learned the hard way with otherwise "good" dogs and ended up with a breed designed specifically for guarding goats, that is, a livestock guardian dog (LGD) such as a Great Pyrenees or an Anatolian Shepherd and others. These are dogs that do not herd like an Aussie or a Border Collie, but rather guard. A forum member here near me in central Texas is selling both goats and 2 trained Great Pyrenees...maybe you could contact her..."leecofarm"...she has a thread on the goat forum here. Good luck with your venture. BTW, what breed of dog do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your replies. : )

Our dog is a 14 yr old border collie mix. She might chase, but would quit soon. She tends to get tired quickly. I may try "testing" the goats in a small pen w/ her. She tends to stick around the house and cars. I think she'll be okay... you know, like, you stay on your side of the yard and I'll stay on mine. ; )

Thanks again.
 

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My goats are entirely ineffective for any sort of weed control. They strip down trees first and then bushes and finally just eat the tops off of all the clover and weeds. They don't stay in one spot long enough to truly eradicate anything.
 

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Because your dog is a senior and not middle-aged or juvenile, she may be ok, but keep in mind, that any of the herding breeds want to herd. Goats can be herded to death even if they are never touched. Just the stress of a dog like that around can be overwhelming. I know this first hand myself, as do many others. Just trying to help.
 

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we found a combination works best as even though we havent had goats for long they tend to ignore the grass for the most part . the Mini horse keeps the grass down and the weeds he ignores the goats seem to relish.
 
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