First time goat owners - any advice appreciated!

JimLad

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I have Boer Goats, myself. They are quiet until they see me coming. Neighbours don't mind that at all. Mine are not very big but they are tubby so going over the fence is not an issue.
I'm told that they will squeeze under but I have a bottom strand so that stops them.
Their paddocks used to look like the picture but they reduced one acre in a matter of months. You have to help them by cutting up the branches and so on.
So much I'd love to tell you but someone already answered... They have to be content with their living area. Paddocks, housing feeding routine.
Take care of that and they are much less likely to wander but when they do, they will come home 🏠 in due course.
🐐
 

Ridgetop

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We kept about 100 dairy and Boer goats behind fences that were 4" to 5" high. No one jumped out although they were clever at opening gates. LOL

My worry about fence height is always about predators. However, if you are in Australia maybe your predator load is less than here in the US. Where exactly are you located? Do you have predators? You cannot rely on your herding dogs to protect the sheep and goats. They will bark but if you have serious predators, you will need higher fences, and more protection for the goats and sheep.

Wethers will do the job, but if you want to really make the project pay, or be self-sustainable, then getting bred females will be better. You will eventually need a male to produce the offspring that you can convert to meat in the freezer. Meat production goats (Boers) are less labor intensive than milk production animals. While fresh milk is nice, you will have to grain feed to obtain the proper amount of milk, and wil have to milk every 12 hours for about 10 months each year. You will have a 2 month dry off before the doe kids again. You need to determine if this amount of work is worth the fresh milk.

Next, if you decide to have breeding animals, I suggest you decide on either Dorper sheep or Boer goats. Do not get both since you do not have enough pasture to support both species and will need both a buck and ram if you do have both species. With only one species you will need only one male breeding animal instead of two.

Personally, I would go with the White Dorper sheep. I have had many different breeds of goats, both dairy and meat, and many different breeds of sheep. I like the ease of care in the Dorper and the lack of shearing. I like the white variety because they are more docile than the black headed Dorpers who many breeders of both varieties agree are sort of flighty. The reason I would choose Dorpers over Boer goats is that Dorpers graze and browse. Goats are mainly browsers and standard sheep are mostly grazers, but the Dorper was developed to do both.

Depending on where you live, you also might want to check on the availability of both.
 

JimLad

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I agree wholeheartedly on the predator thing but even if you are in Australia or New Zealand you have to be mindful of dogs.
I experienced a dog pack attacking my animals many years ago and saw the same dogs sitting on the doorstep of their owners a few days later.
I have good fencing now but it doesn't stop bears.
There's always something. ☺️
 

Ridgetop

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Not usually allowed anywhere but it happens. Some dogs escape from fenced yards, others belong to negligent owners. Still others belong to city owners who move into a 'ranchy' area and figure with so much open space their dogs should be allowed to run.
 

Ridgetop

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It is why we have kept LGDs for 30 years. Neighborhood dogs came in or fenced yard at night and killed half of DH's rabbit herd. 8 champion bucks and does dead. Others had to be destroyed due to missing limbs. 10 years of breeding and genetics on DH's part gone in a single attack.
 

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