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What would be the impact on the land of 300 goats grazing as opposed to 300 sheep?

Land is brushy, lots of cedar, much underbrush, some oaks, rough hilly type terrain.

The only experience I have is with goats which I ran 300 head many years ago and had them sheared for mohair. Got out of that business because mohair got too cheap to be profitable.

Have not done this since the early 70s. No experience with sheep at all. I am thinking about how best to get this land back into some kind of productivity.
 

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:D Use Goats and Sheep together. :D

Buy Cheap Grades, Culls, Seconds, and thirds, not sick ones.
Cheap young stear goats, good buy, fatten them up on brush. Sell latter. Make Money and profit.

Goats with big udders get scrached and cut bad in brush. Be carefull there.

Buy brush goats with horns, better protection.
No horns will be ok.
Buy a Grade Boer bucks, to bread with. You do not need the best, for brush.

Buy sheep with hair, not wool, and you won't have to shear them. Baredoe Sheep.

Do not feed grain or they will not work, at eating brush.
Fat goats on grain will not work, they are lazy.

Brush only will streach the goats gut so they can hold more.

I only use a little Whole Corn scatterd like you feed chicken, to call them with. Use it like a treat. They will pick it up of the ground.

Works nice if they get out of pasture. Call and they come running back, for treats. But I do not tease them with it.

If I call I always give them a Hand full or two.

Worm them when needed, not every other week.

Keep them hungry but not poor.
They clear brush 7 days a week, and don't charge you for overtime. No Strikes or Union Headaches

There's more than one way to make money with goats and sheep. Rent them out to others, provide a service.

Get paid a little money and free feed and water to boot.
And the customer is happy.

Beware of the competition this will catch on quick, in a depressed economy.

And You Can Sit Back And Whistle While They Work :idea: :D
 

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A good book which talks about this subject is "Simply Goats" by Garrick Batten (Garrick is the actual developer of the Kiko Goat in New Zealand). Goats can utilize the right brush as a food source, they can control brush and open up areas for sheep, and/or they can eradicate brush for pasture development.
I used to have a lot of brush (poison oak, wild roses, blackberrys, etc) and it was a good food source for the goats; but I overstocked and my brush was eradicated, so now my home place is all pasture. Problem is in these drought times the pastures dry up fast and the only green foodstuff around is brush on neighboring ranches. Good thing is lots of them want that brush opened up/eradicated, so it's available rent free if I fence it with portable electric fencing. Think it through. MAC
 

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My opinion is goats. I see the goat market continuing to grow and prices rising.

You received some good but, also some VERY bad advice above. Without grain at all, don't expect very good numbers at breeding time and also heavy losses with your does.

I certainly WOULD not buy culls, seconds and thirds?! You will pay for it dearly in the end. You get what you pay for! There are some very good deals to come by from larger produces who don't wish to keep all of their grade doe kids. (Say 50% Boer, unregistered 2 month old doe kids for $50-$75) Find someone who will sell you dairy/boer or dairy/kiko crosses from good foundation stock. You will lose your shorts cutting corners to build your herd!

Quality stock = quality offspring = higher prices at market time.

Please come down and post this question on the dairy goat thread or the other goats thread and you'll get some posts from others who are also in the business now. :D
 

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The impact on 460 acres if stocked with goats is (from what I've heard) what MAC says, they will open up a lot of the underbrush. Sheep will strip out the leafy low branches of most brush but not all. Sheep will, if pressured, take the grassy areas down to dirt. This kind of range farming/ranching is out of my experience unless you're going to fence sections and use some MIG principles. "More Sheep More Grass More Money" by Peter Schroedter ISBN 0-9682772-0-9 would be a useful book to read. Typically sheep are higher maitenance regardless of the wool or hair than goats, without knowing more details as to what you're hoping to accomplish or can contribute time and material wise it's too hard to pick one over the other. Stocking both is tricky sheep need and use grain differently than goats, they require a copper free mineral, where goats need that copper. I'd choose one or the other to simplify things and grow which ever will sell locally and fits the available time (labor) and resources.
 

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Sheep are more grazers than browsers and goats are more browzers than grazers.

I certainly WOULD not buy culls, seconds and thirds?! You will pay for it dearly in the end. You get what you pay for!
I agree with this as by buying others problems you are just incressing yours.

Brush only will streach the goats gut so they can hold more
It don't work like that

I only use a little Whole Corn scatterd like you feed chicken, to call them with. Use it like a treat. They will pick it up of the ground.
That is a real easy way to cause a heavy worm overload

Worm them when needed, not every other week
You need to be on a worming program by doing fecals

Keep them hungry but not poor
Let them eat the browse as much as they want as a overly hungy animal can over eat and cause problems


Joe
 

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:D To many people are hung up on high dollar live stock. :D

A goat can live on grass or brush alone, and do real good, without your help.

I know a man who guts his grass with goats only. He has done it for 20 years. He only feeds them common grass hay and very little grain in the winter when their is no grass.

They get No grain in the grass season. and they are healthy, fat and they work. They don't just stand around and look cute all day, and pose for pictures.

If you keep any livestock in real small areas they will cause more problems. More worms, get sicker, need more shots etc.
That is why they are all the time working on their health.

You can buy young steer goats from 15 to 30 dollars, and they will do good on brush, and make a good profit. Eat one you may like it.

I have seen Small Pygme Goats eat more than Large Goats.

If you pay High dollar for Brush Goats you profits will be small.
Meat Goats sell by the pound, not by the bread.

Most people do not know what profit margin means.

Being a Homesteader does not mean you know how to run a business and make it profitable.

That is another story.

Running a dairy farm, or purebred stock farm is all together different, business.

It's like comparing apples and oranges :!:
 

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just an idea, if you are going to run hair sheep you might consider a big horn variety like mouflon or texas barbadoe. start w/ good breeding stock sell the ram lambs to game ranches to raise (they already know how to feed for maximum horn growth). you might consider the same w/ goats raise ibex or hybrids for the game ranchs. call around and pitch the idea figure out how much it'll cost you to produce yearling ram lambs. right now the ranches are running ewes & raising their own so the cost of hunting is higher. if you can figure out a way to increase their profit by cutting their overhead (& make a profit yourself) you might be able to sell the idea. and it's a small community so once you're up & running w/ one ranch you might be able to expand.
 

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I've cleaned up land with goats,am doing it now,but like you
said they eventually kill all the brush,bushes,mutiflora etc.I
put cows in rotation with goats and it works good for me. I
would buy some good grade meat goats as the cost of keeping
a good animal is no more than a poor one (usually less).The goats really relish a Cedar tree being cut down for them when the snow is one the ground.Nothing to do with your question
but looks like their might be a bumper crop of home grown over
in WVA this year.
 

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bumpus said:
:D To many people are hung up on high dollar live stock. :D
Not at all. I'm actually hung up on quality. I started with a few "junk" goats! :rolleyes: Biggest mistake I ever made. See the does to the left?

High Dollar?...Nope!

Boers - You Bet!

Quality? Absolutely!



Bumpus...how many goats do you have on your place?


bumpus said:
Running a dairy farm, or purebred stock farm is all together different, business.

It's like comparing apples and oranges :!:


From what I can see, you were the first to mention "purebreds"! And, I think we're comparing and contrasting goats and sheep?!

bumpus said:
Being a Homesteader does not mean you know how to run a business and make it profitable.
:rolleyes: :D :D You aren't serious! Really?! :D :D :rolleyes:

Being a very successful business owner doesn't mean I know how to be a Homesteader either! :idea:

8O Certainly didn't mean to offend you so by pointing out a different point of view from the trenches!
 

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:D Just because some of you don't know how to make a good profit, off of the goats I'm talking about does not mean I don't know.

People were making money and profit on these grade, culls and mix-up goats long before The meat Goat Boers every hit this country.

Yes Boers Bucks can improve some stock. I have already said that. If you would read some of my other posts, you would know that. :D
 

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andrew3d, I think the simple answer to your question is that IMHO goats would be more suitable, maybe switch to sheep later once the land is in better shape.
 
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