Sheep and goats

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by vickiesmom, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. vickiesmom

    vickiesmom Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    I am a city girl who is planning a homestead by the time I turn 50 (3 years). Do you graze sheep and goats together? Do they get along? Pros and cons?
  2. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Jun 8, 2004
    Hey, Vickiesmom! I'm not a city girl, but I'll be hitting 50 in three years too! Woohoo!

    I've had goats for several years, and added sheep this spring.

    After some initial sparring, they settled down pretty well. A lot of confusion at first, because their sparring/greeting/playing methods are so different. Now, they pretty much ignore each other. The only issue I've had is the sheep picking on the newborn goat kids. The goat moms fixed that by bedding the kids down with a nesting turkey for a guard. (The turkeys like the goats, hate the sheep, and will attack the sheep when they come near a nest.) After just a few days, the goat kids were plenty fast enough to avoid the sheep, but they still sleep with the turkey. :rolleyes:

    Now, my goats are dairy goats, so they get their copper requirements on the milking stand. All the minerals that are out are sheep minerals. And of course, baking soda and salt out for all.

    I don't keep a buck, so I don't have issues between the males of the two species. I'll be able to separate everyone out at breeding time into separate flocks, as I can put different groups in different pastures...and they'll be pasture bred as that's easier for me right now.

    I do want to say, however, that I couldn't do this with a larger group than I have. With lambs and kids right now, I'm only running 10 sheep and 6 goats. I can manage the goats needs with so few. I'd not be able to maintain, say, a herd of Boers and a flock of sheep together, because I couldn't keep up the copper with the goats. Two goat does, and four barbeque destined kids are easy, though.


  3. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 12, 2005
    East central WI
    The goats might grab a mouthful of wool now and then.
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    When squabbles come up, the sheep give as good as they get. The goats can get pushy, but the sheep are perfectly capable of sticking up for themselves.

    I currently have 4 goats and 2 sheep - they all get along just fine. The only complication is the copper issue. Goats need to have it supplemented, it's poisonous for sheep. So you have to figure out some way to get the copper to the goats and not the sheep - separate feed areas, copper boluses, copper sulfate cookies for the goats..... It takes some doing, but it's totally possible.
  5. Hawkfamily

    Hawkfamily Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2004
    BC, Canada
    Our two goat girls live fairly happily with our two sheep girls. The goats were here first and definitely "ruled the roost" for a while in the beginning, and will still chase them out of the barn during feed time, etc. We have had to develop distinct feeding stations to prevent the competition, but they are actually starting to play together in the field now. They all sleep together at this point, too.
    Good luck with your retirement farm!!
  6. MommaSasquatch

    MommaSasquatch Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2005

    This is suddenly becoming relevant to us as we're getting goats now - TOMORROW!

    Where does one get the separate copper supplement? I admit I haven't checked the feed store yet 'cause I feel like such an ignoramus when I go in there. I didn't find anything like that at TSC. All the books make goats sound so much more complicated than sheep and not just the copper issue. Oh well. We'll cope I guess.
  7. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

    Sep 10, 2005
    We run Boer goats, a few dairy goats and Hampshire sheep together, 25 head in all and in our pasture the sheep rule the roost. They're big giant awnery cotton balls, but the goats get their fair share of the food. The copper is definitely a problem as the only ones that are fed seperate are the dairy goats, but we haven't had a problem with that yet. We could probably just give the goats a copper supplement by paste. But they get along fine except when grain is thrown out.