What's best for me?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by allen8106, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. allen8106

    allen8106 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    KS
    I have 13+ acres, 9 acres or so in alfalfa, approximately 4+ acres in yard and small pasture. What would anyone recommend as the best for weed control on the 4+ acres and how many do you think I would need? What methods of containment are best for these animals? If they are getting a steady diet of weeds can they be sold for meat?
     
  2. elly_may

    elly_may Well-Known Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well, I can tell ya, my 6 goats are very selective in their diets, a few weeds they will eat but others they won't touch. They prefer the wide blades of grass over anything in the pasture area. When they are in their pens, I literally have to mow some areas left untouched by the goats and their pen area is not that large (26 x 24) !!!

    Are you also planning on hay and minerals as part of the diet. Without free choice hay and minerals they will not thrive enough to qualify nor will you receive a fair dollar on meat.

    Fencing depends on what you decide. Bucks are terrible on fencing if you have does in the area. They will tear apart welded wire like it was butter. If you get all does, they will be content to be confined moreso. Pygmy's are great jumpers, that's why most refer to them as houdini goats, they seem to know how to unlatch gates and believe in the saying that "the grass IS greener on the other side". (lol) In most books they should tell you that with each goat you need to purchase a mile of fencing material - mile and a half if it's a buck because you will be repairing and replacing a lot. (lol) ! I am sure others will lend their experience and what works best for their situation.
     

  3. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    May 11, 2002
    I have woven wire with a strand of electric around the bottom. Keeps goats away from the fence. My goats are in a wooded area and like to browes on the trees and brush more then grazing on the open, grassy areas.

    I have Boer goats and have yet to make money on them, but then again, I feed them too well :eek:
     
  4. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Dec 4, 2002
    If you want weed and lawn mowers get some barbado sheep and they sell too for meat. they are considered hair sheep not wool and no clipping. Neighbors had 7 in a two acre pasture and they kept it down great (maybe too great) but I am next door on two acre and have to mow the goats pens.
     
  5. elly_may

    elly_may Well-Known Member

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    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    Yes, Sondra I am with you. People visiting see how much grass and weeds that my goats don't eat and they look at me in disbelief when I tell them I still have to mow sections with the push mower and weed whacker. Somehow goats have gotten the misnomer that they will eat anything - possibly from the old cartoons is my theory. Having a goat one soon realizes how picky they can be next to owning a cat (actually I think my cats own me! lol)
     
  6. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    i have woven wire with electric run on the inside, plain electric holds a goat as good as a fog ,
    goats wont eat everything, as has been stated on here repeatedly ,
    they dont much care for a lot of weeds, but then they also eat things you would never expect , i had one doe who LOVED poison ivy, it got so you couldnt pet her, and her mouth looked diseased, yes, she did break out from the ivy, but she liked it, my goats now love black walnut tree bark , they have stripped every one in thier pen ... they love climbing roases, and raspberry brambles too, unless fo course you are gettign them to control the raspberry and climing roses... then they wont touch them :D

    youll have to supplement feed them , but get some boer crosses, they are hardier on less high maintanence feed than the dairy breeds.
    and resale market on kids or adults is strong right now , and has shown no signs of stopping in the past few years .
    B
     
  7. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    CHINA
    My girls like a mix....browse (ash, maple and oak) and fir, pine and cedar (winter). A good clover spot get visited a few times a day in summer. Mine also eat thistle and burdox which is wonderful! They relish blackberry/raspberry bushes as well as blueberry bushes.
     
  8. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    northern Oklahoma
    I have Boers and Boer crosses, along with some milking breeds. They have trees, brush and pasture. They like some of all. I find that the meat animals like to range out on the grass more then the nubians. The milkers seem to go for the browse. Boers are big and need to eat. My Buck weighs over 200 pounds and is a very powerful animal. He's hard on fences, but the boers really aren't jumpers. Some of our fences are just 4 feet high. They never try to jump. They are more likely to try to push it up from the bottom or get their head in and tear it apart. If they can get their head in it, they will try to go through. If they can't go through, they will stay stuck there, at the mercy of preditors. If my buck can get his head in, he uses his massive horns and brute strength to tear the fence up. He's popped the wire off the posts before. We have 8 stranded barbed wire fence made with 2 barbed, red brand wire. The lowest strand is 6 inches off the ground. About 2 and a half feet off the ground we have an electric wire inside the barbed wire fence to discourage the buck from touching the fence. It seems to be working. We had a 7 wire fence before, but redid the fences last Fall when we were forced to search for 4 days over 1000 acres of wild grass, woodlands and river bottoms which neighbor our farmstead. We were quite fortunate to actually find them all and get them all back home. We had some "tamed" feral goats in the herd. They wanted to continue to be feral, and the rest of the herd followed.
     
  9. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    For weeds here the best breed is Cashmere...they eat the "gorse". Our Toggenburgs are good browers and will pick at the gorse, and weeds. I have been tempted to get Cashmeres cos we have a lot of gorse...but they arent people goats so I am put off at the thought of chasing goats....not easily managed goats.
     
  10. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Aug 12, 2002
    If you have weeds, get sheep. My goats only eat alfalfa and grain and a few tasty weeds. If another goat steps on a weed, the other won't eat it. Not sure about cows but personally we don't care for them as weed eaters.
     
  11. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    998
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    Nov 21, 2003
    Location:
    SC Kansas
    I have mostly nubian goats, although a couple are nubian alpine crosses. THey eat everything. They start with and prefer the weeds and leaves. However, the area they are currently in is groomed beautifully. I will have to move them soon. I confine them to a relatively small area ~ 150 ft X 64 ft at a time. I use cattle panels, as they are strong, easy to put and take down if I wish, and too expensive as good fencing goes. My goats are not fed any grain while there is pasture available, only in the winter when there is no available grass. They are healthy and happy.