Hello from Southeast Tennessee - the land of What the H... is with this weather?

peterpraetoria

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I am new to this Community as evidenced by my starting a thread in this forum. :)

I am an over-the-hill, but hanging on with both hands, wannabe homesteader that lives on 3 acres in the foothills of Tennessee. I tried southeast Texas, but while I definitely found a lot of humidity, I couldn't find the mountains everyone kept telling me were there in Texas. I had to move back where I could actually see the changes in elevation. There's nothing like driving through the mountains and seeing the low hanging fog interspersed with hills, valleys, small farms, orchards,..

Sorry, to the point: I have a mixed flock of chickens, ducks, and geese, along with dogs, cats, brothers... I want goats, sheep, cows, emus, well you get my drift. Again with only 3 acres, I have to think small. I have been researching goats, and really feel like the best option for my situation would probably be Kinders, or other small to medium breeds. I would like to start with a doeling/wether combo as I don't know that 1-2 acres can sustain even 2 goats, poultry, the other critters, and a house with outbuildings. I don't like my animals crowded for their own heath and well-being. So I'm asking advice from everyone's perspective on whether 2 goats is too many for one acre, or for two..?

And just to throw a spanner in the works, opinions on whether you can successfully have an LGD on this small a property. The LGD would be a loner, i.e., only one LGD, that would have to become part of the family including the other dogs, cats, and brothers. I won't have a dog living just with the flock/herd, and not part of the people family also.

Thanks so much for everybody's time and knowledge.
 

Baymule

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Welcome from east Texas. Nope, no mountains in southeast Texas! LOL LOL The closest things to mountains is in far west Texas. Hey! We have changing seasons here!! Hot and MORE hot! Glad you joined us, look forward to hearing more about your farm.
 

Mike CHS

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Welcome to the forum and I agree this has been a winter to be remembered. There are quite a few members on the site that have small acreages but the biggest constraint might be how much you are willing to spend feeding your animals. I know that's not a lot of answer but it's a good place to start your thinking.
 

Mini Horses

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Welcome from VA.

OK, first...you don't need to "do it all"! 😊. We just think we can or should. Sometimes just because it's such a good idea!! With that thought, why do you feel you need a LGD? What plans do you have for goats?

I'm old as dirt and been doing this for a long, long time. Have 15 dairy goats. That will become closer to 35 in a couple months, kidding season. Yes. I milk, make cheese, soap, etc. I sell the kids to help buy hay. Plenty of pasture but, winter arrives every year! Need hay, they eat a lot of it being full sized goats. I have no dogs. 🤷. Yep, that many and no dog. I've considered but predator load doesn't warrant it! Possum sometimes want chickens but close coops, set a trap...SSS the catch.

What's around your farm? Neighbors? Woods? Are you on a road with a lot of traffic?
Is property fenced? (Goats need good fence and so will an LGD....barking & neighbors?). So wanting to rush into this long awaited "farmer life" may be easier with more plans FOR why the long list of "wanteds" are wanted. Their purpose, or just pets.

We are enablers! 😁 We'll cheer you on and give helpful advice....just help us to help you. 🤗👍. For starters, forget cows, not enough room. Emus? I wouldn't. The rest we can probably help you make that a reality for your land size. Keep on getting it going.
 

BarnOwl

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Hello! We are in Southeast Tennessee also! I love the title of your thread. I ask myself that question all the time. LOL. We have a small property--5 acres but only about 2.5-3 acres are properly fenced. We have had chickens, quail, American Guinea Hogs (feeders not breeders, haha), and Nigerian Dwarf goats, not counting our house pets. I started out with chickens and then added new animals as I became more at ease with their needs and daily routine. I ended up giving the quail to friends and just butchered the last of our pigs. I've decided to focus just on goats and chickens for the foreseeable future as I have limited time and those are the animals I enjoy the most. I think I would have been overwhelmed buying all the animals at once. For me it worked really well to add one species at a time, figure out their housing, space, and food requirements (and the expenses involved) before expanding.

I'm no expert, having just started my goat herd a year ago, but I think a couple of acres should be able to sustain a small herd of kinders. You'll want to also provide a good quality hay and mineral, of course. It would be nice to be able to rotate your pastures as the grass is grazed down and for parasite control---(I'm still working on that myself). I ended up getting Nigerians but Kinders (and Nubians) were the other two breeds on the top of my list.

I don't have a LGD yet, but I have been contemplating it...particularly when we start breeding our does. So far we haven't had any predation issues. Depending on your circumstances, it might be an option for you to just make sure your goats are in a predator proof shelter at night. I am kind of leaning toward that option as I already have two German Shepherds (house dogs) and I'm not sure that I'm ready to take on the task of training another puppy.
 

Ridgetop

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And just to throw a spanner in the works, opinions on whether you can successfully have an LGD on this small a property. The LGD would be a loner, i.e., only one LGD, that would have to become part of the family including the other dogs, cats, and brothers. I won't have a dog living just with the flock/herd, and not part of the people family also.

With proper fencing one LGD would be fine on that much property. Most LGDs are at of the family. However, when you say "living with the flock and not part of the people family also" you need to understand the reason for keeping an LGD is to protect your flock. That means that the LGD will spend most of its time outside with the flock, or at least with easy access to them. Easy access can be achieved easily with dog accessible gates or fencing stiles. On your size acreage you can fence off a smaller goat pasture within the perimeter fencing. The dog can protect everyone and everything on the property that way.

When poison was outlawed in the 70's and 80', people began experimenting with livestock guardian dog breeds. People were originally told that they should not have anything to do with their guardian dogs since they would bond with people and be useless for livestock protection. This old theory has been debunked. The original livestock guardian dogs traveled with their human families and worked in partnership with them. We now understand more about these ancient breeds and know that a loving relationship with them does not affect their livestock guarding abilities. They simply extend their guardianship to include their human flock/pack members.

Our 3 Anatolians enjoy inside family time after the sheep are fed and locked up at night. They are very quiet in the house and after about 2 hours they request to go back outside to do their nightly rounds and guarding duties. There is no point to having an LGD if you plan to make it a house dog instead.
 
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