How many goats?

Sammbalina

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We have a half closed half open shed. The closed in side has wood floor and is currently housing rabbits and is storage for gardening stuff. The open side was originally planned for housing the tractor, but now my stepdad is wanting to close it in for goats. I am hesitant to do this, because I feel it would only work for a year and then we would need an actual barn before kidding spring of 2021, and I'm not sure we will be able to make that happen, as my stepdad is not able to build anymore after an accident he had 2 months ago. The open side of the shed is 12x24. How many full sized goats, I'm planning on La Manchas, can be housed if we closed it in? I was looking online and the top result said 15 sq ft per goat, but that would mean we could house 19 goats, and that seems like too many to try to house in it. We have plenty of browse, so most of the time they would be outside, but even if they are only in it at night, those numbers don't seem right.
 

Baymule

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That does seem like a lot of goats for that space. My sheep barn is 20x24, I have 8 ewes and 10 lambs in it. They also have a small yard to give them more room.
 

Sammbalina

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It's not 3 sided, it only has 1 wall that it shares with the closed in half. There are supporting posts on one side, but no wall
 

YourRabbitGirl

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That does seem like a lot of goats for that space. My sheep barn is 20x24, I have 8 ewes and 10 lambs in it. They also have a small yard to give them more room.
For that big of a barn, I can have around 8 to nice mature goats and around 12 to 15 lambs.. and that will be more than enough for them..
 

Beekissed

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When in doubt, go a lot lower than the estimated stocking rates. You can always increase numbers later but start low and slow so you can see what the space and land can handle and still yield healthy animals.
 

YourRabbitGirl

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When in doubt, go a lot lower than the estimated stocking rates. You can always increase numbers later but start low and slow so you can see what the space and land can handle and still yield healthy animals.
that's right. start low. but how low is low? that depends on how large or small the space is i believe. as for me. we started at around 6 females. and 2 males. and they thrived just fine.
 

Sammbalina

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I'm planning on starting low, as I have never had goats before, but I do plan on keeping any does that I produce. I am hoping to start with a single doe in milk and 2 doe kids, and breed all of them in the fall. If you go by the average 2 kids per doe and 50/50 chance of doe kids, then the herd would about double every year, so I feel we would quickly outgrow the space. PLUS the shed is in a place where I don't really want large livestock, not long term anyway, as it is where I am planning on putting our permanent garden! I have learned since the original post that using it for livestock was his plan the entire time, when I thought it was purely for storage and he didn't think to ask where to put it or if it would work for livestock before he built it, seeing as I have been reading and researching for over 2 years. I did plan on putting them there temporarily to help clear some brush, but it was never going to be a permanent goat area.



Oh, and he mowed down the established blackberry bushes that I had already taken the time to prune and planned on keeping to put in the shed as well...:he
 

YourRabbitGirl

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I'm planning on starting low, as I have never had goats before, but I do plan on keeping any does that I produce. I am hoping to start with a single doe in milk and 2 doe kids, and breed all of them in the fall. If you go by the average 2 kids per doe and 50/50 chance of doe kids, then the herd would about double every year, so I feel we would quickly outgrow the space. PLUS the shed is in a place where I don't really want large livestock, not long term anyway, as it is where I am planning on putting our permanent garden! I have learned since the original post that using it for livestock was his plan the entire time, when I thought it was purely for storage and he didn't think to ask where to put it or if it would work for livestock before he built it, seeing as I have been reading and researching for over 2 years. I did plan on putting them there temporarily to help clear some brush, but it was never going to be a permanent goat area.



Oh, and he mowed down the established blackberry bushes that I had already taken the time to prune and planned on keeping to put in the shed as well...:he
Always start low, We can never be sure what's gonna happen to the flock or herd, so starting low will be your bench-mark. and keep a journal as well.
 
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