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Goats and Hair Sheep

Discussion in 'Everything Else Goats' started by Jessica C, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Feb 11, 2019
    Jessica C

    Jessica C Ridin' The Range

    Jan 14, 2019
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    North Florida
    Hi all!
    I’ve searched through both sheep and goat forums to learn about the differences, needs and pros and cons of choosing goats or sheep. I’ve learned a lot. I’d still love some input from those in the know. Thank you!
    My property- is 4 pasture/brushy acres with very good fencing (I’ll be getting a LGD this spring/summer.) I have a source from a goat/sheep farmer for not only registered stock but also shelters and advice. She breeds Katahkin sheep and myotonic goats.
    But I’m not adverse to getting Dwarf Nigerians if I go with goats because...
    My needs - I’d love to milk. I may want meat (like either kind.)
    My questions:
    what do they do to the grass/ground? I know both browse and goats eat everything but do hair sheep pull up the roots and create a dust bowl (as my dad said)?
    I know rams are dangerous. How bad does a buck smell on this size property? I understand if he’s separated from the does when kidding the milk won’t be tainted/goaty?
    Is there a cost effective difference in the two?
    How loud are they? I hear that the Myotonic goats are not too noisy but that the Nigerians are! What about the hair sheep?
    Thanks so much!
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  2. Feb 11, 2019

    Baymule Herd Master

    Aug 22, 2010
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    Northeast Texas
    I also studied on goats and sheep. We lived in town and I had plenty of time to study. LOL I decided on sheep, then hair sheep. We moved to 8 acres 4 years ago and I started with 4 bred ewes. My sheep are Dorper/Katahdin mix. I am leaning toward the Katahdin breed and will be purchasing a registered Katahdin ram from a member here, soon.

    I do not want to milk, so that crossed off dairy goats. I wanted a meat animal, small livestock, that crossed off cows. I didn't want to shear wool, so that crossed off wool sheep. I wanted an animal that would browse and help clear brush, then be happy to graze grass, that crossed off goats and I was left with hair sheep. Let me say that goats will graze, but to my knowledge, they prefer browse.

    In answer to your concern about sheep creating a dust bowl, ANY livestock will create a dust bowl if the grass is not given a rest, to grow. You must take them off the pasture, or rotate pastures in order for the grass to have a chance to grow. Even chickens will strip an area bare in no time. If you have more livestock than the land can support, you will have a dust bowl.

    One big open pasture does not work because as the new grass grows in, the animals will snip it off. They like young, tender grass and will cover the whole pasture, eating it off as soon as it shows. So the grass never gets a chance to grow into a full, lush pasture. It depends on your climate, rainfall and season, for how long a pasture needs to rest. It depends on all the previous, plus how many animals, for how many grazing days you have per pasture.

    Sheep versus goats? Get the one you love the most.

    I hope this helps.
  3. Feb 11, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

    Oct 7, 2018
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    North central florida
    Now from a goat owner, lol...we have nigerian dwarfs , love their size, personality, ours are quiet, they have eaten all the brush we had, .....however....because we live in florida, ...a very hot, tropical humid swamp...parasites grow like crazy. I don't like my goats to eat the grass so we have hay available 24/7 and i feed them pellet feed...my choices due to our climate.
    All bucks stink during rut, but smaller goats equal less stink., lol ....I haven't milked ours yet, but having had dairy goats in the past certainly would milk these girls.
    If we needed to, we would also eat them.
    WELCOME to BYH from Florida, and happy critter choosing :welcome:celebrate
    Jessica C likes this.
  4. Feb 21, 2019

    wayneleake Exploring the pasture

    Feb 27, 2015
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    Disbudded bucks seem to have less musk.
    But then, I have only raised 3 bucks.
    2 boers, twins, had one disbudded, as I was keeping him, and one as is, because i was raising him to sell.
    He, the natural horns, did get more obnoxious than his twin, who I kept.
    I was able to lead my keeper, named Sancho, on a lead, because I took both for walks on leads when they were small.
    The one I kept did not get as aromatic as I had thought they got.
    I also, later, raised another BoerX buck, who turned out to be a dwarf. No good, because he was unable to reach high enough to do the breeding, so he got swapped.
    Later, when Sancho passed away from heat exhaustion, caused by him making love in 120+ heat, I got a replacement buck who was polled and had Wattles.
    He managed to breed 3 of the 4 does, but passed away that fall, evidently from rattlesanke bite.
    I could not check him, because he would not let me touch him. Even though he would eat from my hand.
    He got replaced with a 6 month old buck, also polled and has wattles.
    Some of the offspring from both are polled, some not, and some have wattles, and some not.
    The current one is Casper the Friendly Goat.
    Casper is very people friendly, and is a gentleman with the herd.
    He never butts them out of the way, at least not that i have seen, and, unlike the other bucks, will let the does steal food right from his mouth.
    And he does not seem to be as aromatic as Sancho was.
    Seems you can never tell ahead of time.
    Jessica C and Baymule like this.
  5. Feb 24, 2019

    Sheepshape Herd Master

    Oct 19, 2012
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    Well, from a Sheepie who has also kept goats in the past....you could have both. I kept sheep and goats together in the past and they were fine.

    Goats need better and higher fencing than sheep as they can climb so well. Goats generally need copper in their diet, whereas some sheep can have copper toxicity quite easily, but their diets aren't vastly different.

    Baymule is right about the ground needing to recover. Never keep more animals than your acreage can easily support.

    Goats' milk is probably better for you than ewes' milk, but both can be milked.

    Sheep and most goats aren't generally too noisy.

    Both rams and bucks CAN be dangerous, but bucks, especially after he has peed on his beard to attract the ladies, definitely smell worse than even the most testosterone-fuelled tup. I currently have 4 tups, 2 of which are HUGE, and they are calm, friendly, and safe to be around. Horned rams or bucks are potentially the most dangerous for obvious reasons. If you aren't going to breed, you don't need to keep one of these potentially troublesome males, and if you are, then you can borrow/hire a 'man' for your ladies without having to keep him long-term.

    Bottom line is, if you prefer sheep to goats.....have sheep. If you prefer goats to sheep....have goats. No preference....have both.
    Jessica C, animalmom and Baymule like this.
  6. Jun 25, 2019

    MiniGoatsRule Overrun with beasties

    Jun 16, 2019
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    Southwestern Montana
    I have a Nigerian and a pygmy goat, both shown in my profile picture. The goats eating everything is a myth. My Nigerian is picky as crud. The pygmy doesn't cause damage at all, but he will eat anything edible. Good weedeaters, good pets, and get along great with other animals. They do protect each other from out of control horses (not always the sharpest tools in the shed) and our dog when he is being dumb and acts like boundaries don't exist. Small goats do poop a lot. Sometimes they chase cats but I can't imagine goats and sheep are too terribly different. They are different, but not that much, right?
    Jessica C likes this.