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Old 02-02-2017, 12:51 PM
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Default Planting weeds and grass for goats and sheep?



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Anyone here have goats and sheep, or one or the other?

What is good to plant for them? I would like something that I do not have to plant every year.

I am looking at getting short haired sheep.

Pasture will be around seven acres. There is a lot of underbrush on the area right now. Lots of weeds, stickers and such.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:55 PM
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Sheep and especially goats can eat anything that is not toxic. They both have upper and lower front teeth and can graze close to the ground. If your pasture is only 7 acres they will impact it heavily.

The best thing you can do is remove the brush, but the goats can accomplish that for you. Then you can over seed with perennial grasses and some forbs. They will not last long.

What kind of numbers are you thinking of?
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:04 PM
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What kind of numbers are you thinking of?
Less than 6 total. Just a few.

The fenced area will probably be around 7 acres, but there is a lot of property they can go on. Lot of wooded areas.
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:43 PM
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This may be helpful.

http://www.anglonubiangoatsociety.co...oat-naturally/

Also know GPS dog collars work well on goats.
(if you intend to let then free/range in unfenced areas)
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:53 PM
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Plan on feeding your goats regularly and letting them browse and graze around your property as a change of pace. There is no way they are going to be able to make it on your 7 acres even with 6 head.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:42 PM
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Plan on feeding your goats regularly and letting them browse and graze around your property as a change of pace. There is no way they are going to be able to make it on your 7 acres even with 6 head.
7 acres fenced, total of 30 acres.

Several hundred acres of timber company land borders my property.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:58 PM
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You can tie your goats out, and let them eat outside you fence too. Or do what I did and get Pygmy goats. They will eat like crazy, but you only need a 4 foot fence to keep them in. They are cleaning up my timbers! I have 4 does and 2 bucks. I will also breed them, sell the bucklings, and milk the does after their kids are weaned.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:49 PM
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While my goats do browse on weeds and trees, I also feed them a grain mix and alfalfa hay, and they have access to a mineral block. The browse alone does not provide enough nutrition (protein, vitamins/minerals, etc.) for their needs.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:58 PM
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You can put 6 goats on 7 acres. The Amish around here have way more than that. You will just have to feed some additional hay.
We have ( so far) 8 goats and 4 sheep ( Katahdins). The sheep eat way more than the goats, the goats like to eat different things ( brush, weeds, grass, leaves) . We feed them a little grain each day so they come when called and go in and out of the barn. They also get minerals, plus I give them some veggies sometime. The goats are much smarter than the sheep, jump over things, climb on top of stuff and eat things you don't want them to eat ( like plastic, plywood, paper, or your jacket if you let them...).
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppine View Post
Plan on feeding your goats regularly and letting them browse and graze around your property as a change of pace. There is no way they are going to be able to make it on your 7 acres even with 6 head.

http://www.sheepscreek.com/rural/pasture.html
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The common rule of thumb is that one acre of permanent pasture can support one animal unit (1000 lbs. of grazing animal) through the grazing season. Other units, such as DSE (Dry Sheep Equivalent) are also used to measure livestock carrying capacity. Pasture productivity can vary widely from that guideline. Lush improved pastures can provide grazing for 10-12 ewes with their lambs per acre. Stocking rates for aggressive rotation schemes, with substantial rests for the pastures after each grazing cycle, can reach 200 sheep per acre on improved pastures. At the other end of the scale, a cow or horse would have trouble supporting itself on five or even ten acres of dry Western native grassland, and one sheep per acre is the rule on some Australian sheep stations.
By paddocking your pasture you can rotate the grazing by letting one part grow while the other is being grazed. We did the same with our ~50 head dairy cattle and we kept them in pasture during the spring-fall months and fed them silage and hay in the winter. Total pasture area was ~20 acres.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:58 AM
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Goats and sheep are foragers. Goats are great for clearing land because they lean towards woody plants. Sheep tend to lean towards weeds. Don't go and seed any specific grass because they aren't like cattle and prefer to forage. There is a nice seed company in Tyler (East Texas Seed Company) that makes a good mix specific for goats and sheep. They are a large operation and have everything. They are knowledgeable too, so ask them questions.

https://www.easttexasseedcompany.com/contactus.php

*EDIT* Be sure to tell them you want perennial so you don't have to seed every year. The hybrids grow fast and thick, but seeding every year can get costly. In my experience, the clover still has to be reseeded every couple of years and I typically do a clover/fescue mix for the cooler season. Fescue I've never had a problem with dying off, even during the years of the heat and drought.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creek Walker View Post
http://www.sheepscreek.com/rural/pasture.html


By paddocking your pasture you can rotate the grazing by letting one part grow while the other is being grazed. We did the same with our ~50 head dairy cattle and we kept them in pasture during the spring-fall months and fed them silage and hay in the winter. Total pasture area was ~20 acres.
Living in the West it is hard to deal with these kinds of numbers. Even on irrigated pasture it is hard to produce more than about two tons of forage per acre.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:41 PM
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200 sheep per acre is only possible with Savory type grazing systems or HRM where critters are being moved constantly.
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
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Living in the West it is hard to deal with these kinds of numbers. Even on irrigated pasture it is hard to produce more than about two tons of forage per acre.
The article covered that or were you not paying attention?
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
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Living in the West it is hard to deal with these kinds of numbers. Even on irrigated pasture it is hard to produce more than about two tons of forage per acre.
That explains why you came up with such a low number. We live in the Appalachian mountains, very wet and green. Our goats and sheep are still eating green stuff in the pasture now, in February, unless it's covered by snow

our 8 acre hayfield ( no animals on that) produces around 40 large round bales of hay a year on average
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:32 PM
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What size bales?
5 thousand pound bales per acre is 2 1/2 tons per acre.
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:57 PM
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Best forage for goats is honey suckle. Need to rotate your enclosure/pasture so the leaves can regrow.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:15 AM
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Sheep and goats will annihilate whatever you plant in a small space.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:43 PM
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Kev, tree foil, red clover, and birds tail are very good to plant and high in protein. Just don't give them to much or they will get the scours.
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