Pony· Premium Member
I used to run both dairy goats and hair sheep, until a few years ago, when I sold off the last of the sheep and went to just goats.I know this is an old thread, but in regard to the original question, a lot (not all) of the answers comparing the work of goats to sheep are comparing milking goats to meat sheep. I run both meat goats and meat (hair) sheep. I do keep a couple milk cows so my dairy is covered with that species. Sheep and goats are ran on open pasture as a flerd (flock/herd) all year round. During this last extreme cold blast, I did give them access to a barn with pine shavings for bedding.
Goat kids sell for more per pound than lambs do, BUT, the goat kids tend to be much more fragile and die easer. goat mamas are not the best (that's boer for you) but gets better every year as I cull the worthless mothers. Sheep (so far) have been excellent mothers and lambs are up and RUNNING with umbilical cords still wet. (had to chase after one last spring and couldn't hardly catch it!)
So, goat kid's bring more money, but I have more lambs that survive to sale making up for lost price per pound. I will continue to raise both critters though because the sheep are not people friendly and can't even be brought over to the dark side with grain. The goats on the other hand will try to trample me down if I shake a bucket with rocks in it. This makes the times I need to catch them a lot harder without the goats. Goats are just naturally so much friendlier. (or grain hogs).
Goats do need feet trimmed regularly (mine will get hoof rot at the drop of a hat) and copper. Sometimes I will give the goats a copper bolus. All animals have the mineral block I give the beef cows. I like lamb meat better, but I am the only one in my family who does.
Almost out of sheep in the freezer, and really, I miss the boring little ovine buggers.
I agree that goats are MUCH friendlier. Well, rams can be friendly, but that's just a ruse to get you to trust them so they can kill you.