Playing with ideas on keeping all of my livestock together.

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by derbosewicht, May 10, 2018.

  1. derbosewicht

    derbosewicht Member

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    So I have 4 acres of green pasture with some trees fenced in. I plan on doing 3 hot wires to keep the goats and dogs from rubbing on the fence. I want to have my 16 chickens, 3 goats, 3 pigs (AGH so should be docile enough to not kill the chickens), and 2 live stock guardian dogs in this fence. I also plan to add a couple blackbelly sheep and geese/ducks. I can keep everyone out of the coop, but I have some concerns. I am new to farming, I only have experience with chickens and bees growing up, so this is all new to me.

    Will the pigs be able to destroy the 4 acres of grass?

    Is there any feed that would be dangerous for the others to consume?

    What are other concerns I'm not considering?
     
  2. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    First thing that came to mind is that the goats should NOT have access to the chicken feed. Also, sheep and goats can't safely consume the same minerals; goats need copper, but sheep do NOT.
     
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  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Good luck keeping the goats out of the coop. They will squiggle through the chicken door
     
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  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    The pigs may or may not kill the chickens and will most certainly eat any eggs they can find. They will also root up a lot of the pasture.

    That's a lot of animals to have on just 4 acres and trying to run them all together.

    Don't count on the LGD's not killing birds too.

    Chickens are fun toys to chase and pounce upon even if they aren't trying to kill them.
     
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  5. derbosewicht

    derbosewicht Member

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    Thats some good points. I have worked with the LGD's since 8 weeks so crossing my fingers that they stay behaved. Would 3 pigs be able to do lasting damage on that much space?

    Hoping the pigs will be the stereotypical AGH and not try anything since they are full grown birds. Would you still say its a lot of animals if I stuck with just what I have (16 chickens,3 pigs, 3 goats(Nigerian Dwarfs), 2 LGD's)? My perception was that it was a lot of room for that amount. Most of the pig and goat areas in neighboring farms was considerably smaller so I was thinking it was quite a bit of room. I can expand if need be, but its just what I was starting out with.
     
  6. derbosewicht

    derbosewicht Member

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    Thats what I keep hearing. Would you still say that if I could effectively separate feeding?
     
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  7. derbosewicht

    derbosewicht Member

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    I plan on making the door just big enough for the chickens to squeeze in. Do you think they really could wiggle in something that small?
     
  8. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Yes, they could.
    They would trash certain areas and then move one to new ones.
    I'd definitely keep them separated from the rest.

    As pointed out, Goats and Sheep have different mineral requirements, and chicken feed often has enough Copper to kill the Sheep.

    If you have a coop and run outside the pastures, the chickens can still go in and out as they like, but the other animals can't access the feed and eggs.
    They typically won't wander too far from the coop and making nest boxes in the coop will help reduce your labor and losses.

    Until you actually have the dogs and chickens together it's hard to say what will happen.
    All the dogs are different.

    I've had some that would ignore birds and others that would eat them given a chance.

    They can be trained, but it can take a lot of time and lost birds during the process.
    They are really meant more to guard herd animals, not birds.
     
  9. derbosewicht

    derbosewicht Member

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    Good to know. That seemed like it was too easy! haha. Guess I'm making a new pig pen.

    I'm probably not going to do sheep right now due to the feedback I'm getting.

    The door to the coop is technically in the pasture, but my plan was to make the door only big enough to allow the chickens to squeeze in. It will be very small.

    The dogs have been with the chickens alot. Everyday I go to work with the chicken's my girls are in there with them and so far no issues.
     
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  10. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    They may do fine together then if they already have the exposure.
     
  11. GTX63

    GTX63 Well-Known Member

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    If you are set on doing this, I'd box in the area your wanting and cross fence from within. Then you can open and shut gates as you see fit.
    Is there are particular reason you are intent on comingling everyone?
     
  12. derbosewicht

    derbosewicht Member

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    Mostly its because I view what I have as minimal and don't want to lose more property if everyone can share. From hearing people say pigs will destroy that much land. Im just going to make their own pen. So now it will just the goats, chickens and LGD's.
     
  13. krackin

    krackin Well-Known Member

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    All the above, plus, all you need is a wild turkey or two to come visit and set off a free for all.
     
  14. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    You won't "lose" any property by cross fencing, and you can rotate them through the different paddocks as needed to help minimize damage and control parasites as well as getting the most production from the pastures themselves.

    Ideally you should be able to rest the paddocks 4-6 weeks before starting over.

    The biggest difference will be the need for more water troughs unless you can design a set-up that allows placing them in a central location.

    You'd also need a few extra enclosures for inclement weather but they don't need to be elaborate to serve the purpose.
     
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  15. GTX63

    GTX63 Well-Known Member

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    ...and some Guineas
     
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  16. derbosewicht

    derbosewicht Member

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    Makes a lot of sense. I will look into how I can split that pasture up. I really appreciate your advice!
     
  17. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Sit down with some paper and pencils, or use your computer if you have a good drawing program, and sketch out different designs that take into account your current buildings and access to water and electricity.

    Eventually you'll hit on one that works and will be efficient.

    Internal divisions can often be done with "temporary" fencing which is easy to move or rearrange, and can be done at a lower cost than a good perimeter fence.

    With the goats you can probably leave some lanes back to the barn that will allow them to go back and forth between paddocks but always use the same feeders and water troughs.
     
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  18. krackin

    krackin Well-Known Member

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    I would just let them in and then section off. Pretty much teat today with elec twine and step in posts.
     
  19. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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  20. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    My 2cents worth from the other side of the world. There is no way I would even try to keep 3 pigs, 3 goats, 16 chooks and 2 dogs in one relatively small area with no boundaries between them. I also question how much experience you have had with any of these animals.

    How much land do you actually own? Is it only the 4 acres or is there more involved? (not including the house, garden, orchard and out buildings). If you own more, bring it all into play, if not look seriously at starting small and growing with experience - and maybe do this even if you do have more land.

    Bearfoot suggested you sit down with pencil and paper and start drawing different designs for your land. It doesn't have to be done overnight, walk around your land, look at the lay of it, the shape of it, sun etc., draw a million pictures and get other people to give input - they can often see what you can't. While you're doing that start off with one thing - say the chooks. Learn about them, decide where their coop and run is going to go, decide whether you want them free-ranging during the day and penned into their coop and run at night. Then go on to the next thing - say the pigs. Learn about them, their health needs, feed, rooting abilities, housing. And so on.

    Fencing, fencing, fencing. I am a great believer in fencing, preferably permanent as that is always going to be stronger, but I also use temporary fencing when needs must but usually for cattle. Fencing will allow you to rotate your grazing as has already been mentioned, to keep different species of stock separate and even give you "hospital" paddocks should you need them - and one day you will. Have you got yards or other holding facilities for your goats and pigs? To my mind, an absolute must.

    There is an old adage - Fools rush in where angels fear to tread - and too many homesteaders and lifestylers bite off more than they can chew. Start small, get to know your land, talk to as many people as you can, do as much research as you can and grow with your land. This is a great forum and you will gets lots of help.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
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