Jeff & Monica's Journey

BaBaaHMonica

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Hi all
I thought I would start a journal when I am about to add some new animals. I grew up on a farm--my first pet was a pony of all things! We raised cows, ducks, chickens, geese, sheep, goats. I learned a lot from my Dad and a lot of trial and error. Now that he has passed on, my Mom still has 35 acres--she rents about 28 acres to the neighbor and he grows corn, beans and wheat. The remaining land is mostly grass and pasture, which takes forever to mow.

I have been looking on craigslist for a couple months for sheep to graze some of the grass and goats to help with brush control, but I want to maintain a low investment. And I think I found some best of both worlds: Pygora goats! They eat grass, brush and produce gorgeous fiber for me to knit. The ones I found are born fairly black, but fade to a light grey as they get a little older--I can see hats and gorgeous sweaters.

I will need help trying to configure a fence to keep them safe
  • from escape
  • predator
  • durability
I do have 3 electric chargers for fence that run off a 6 or 12 volt battery, range is 5 miles.
Also to consider is that we will need to have a pasture at my house that is on a slope for their winter home. My yard is only 2/3 of an acre, but nearly half of it is woods on a steep incline. Our winters are such that I don't want to go 10 miles to tend them daily, but they will have a nice area to spread out in the woods. If we get a ram, he can probably stay here fulltime unless he is needed to do his business. I have concrete pad to put a little shed on for them for the winter, which will make cleanup easy.

I will post more as details get worked out. I tried to post some pics but my phone not cooperative.
 

misfitmorgan

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Congrats and your soon to be new goat friends. I dont think anyone on this forum has pygora goats so it will be fun and interesting to see them and how things come along with your infostructure!!

I will mention there are a lot of things a goat will not eat and they will not make it look "mowed" like other livestock do. Would also say you have to have them fairly dense population and rotate grazing for you to notice a big difference on much of the land with goats as they pick a bit here and there. On the roughly 7 acres you have, you would need minimum 80 pygora goats to keep it looking grazed down. This is my assuming you are in a place that has 1 animal unit = 1 acre and in the north since cold winter. I dont imagine you plan to start with all 7 acres fenced off so just make sure you make small enough pasture sections that whatever number of goats you have can keep it ate down to your preferred level/look. Typically 6-8 full size goats(12-16 pygora??) per animal unit.

As far as the daily tending part, if you got a LGD you could feed round bales and use an insulated heater auto-waterer, that could/would cut your trips down to once a week to check on them in the worst of winter.

For fence many like the goat/sheep woven wire fence often with electric wires run on the inside and/or around the top to keep them of the fence and from jumping it as well las to keep predators from coming in. The LGD would also help with predators. The electric is to make the fence long lasting, otherwise the goats will destroy it. We use page wire fence with electric on the inside and top.

I'm sure others will have suggestions for fencing or anything else you need ideas for.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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I am a little disappointed and confused though...I offer to pay a deposit to hold them til we can get the fence and the seller is telling me she got burned on a deposit and is now going to leave the posting on craigslist up until we pick them up. I offer to pay deposit so that they know we are interested, and now she is thinking we are going to give runaround. :confused::hit

We need a good sturdy fence and a shelter QUICK! She sent me some pictures of what they have for pasture and I know my Dad has some of those panels and gates like what she has. We just have to get into the barn that is rapidly decaying to get them out. I already have the electric fence chargers, I just need the wire, connectors and at least one battery. I like the idea of using wire panels and put the hot wire at the top. I know they don't want a tight, closed airtight shelter for right now, so we can probably use pallets and tarps for windbreaks and suncover. Cold is still a few months away, so a proper barn is not needed right now. I would like to combine our chicken coop into the goat shed to keep each other warm and company. We have shed that needs to be taken out (keep the concrete pad it sets on though for a base for the new shed) and the coop for my layers is a haven for termites. Jeff had to replace about 5 feet of a 4X4 beam early this spring and the termites are returning for more.

We have appointment on sunday at 2, and Jeff is bringing the trailer. I have seen this breed of goat at the fair and I would be so happy to have some of my own!


Tommorrow is a big day! The cornish rocks are going to the butcher! I think I will put them in a water trough and let them out in the sun to dry so i can clean them up a bit. We had a lot of rain the past couple days and i feel as though I would be contaminating our food if I left poop all over them. I could say it is mud, but I know it is poop LOL. I gave them food and water today, but only water. I have a chicken crate that Dad had put up in the haymow and Jeff brought it back down. That crate seemed huge when I was little! Jeff is going to let me use his truck, so I won't get poop everywhere in my jeep. I don't think I would have enough room for the coolers and the chicken crate anyways. I think I will put the bigger ones in this batch and there is a couple that seem to be struggling more. They have dark poop for the one and the other chicken has almost no color at all and it is very watery white--like paste glue. I might see if I can give them some of the antibiotic chick starter and take them in a couple weeks if they are better.

Jeff is still on the fence about pigs, but I think he is close to accepting that i am a FarmGirl. I have seen on pinterest that people get the round bale feeders and put them on their sides so they are like an arch and then put fence panel over and gate on both ends. I have been looking at idaho pasture pigs and see that they do well on pasture.

ahh ok i am tired and starting to ramble.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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I like the idea of growing alfalpha on a section of the land that is currently old pasture. I can cut it and save some for later, as well as allow them to graze. I don't want to buy a lot of hay when I can just grow it myself, especially when I can cultivate an area and avoid mowing it. For the pasture at my Mom's, I would like to keep the goat pen portable. Being able to move them increases their food supply and allows us to spread fertillizer to where it is needed most. So even if it is pasture one day with goats on it, it will get mowed the next time.

My Husband Jeff is still concerned about the pigs becoming a problem. If they follow the goats in rotation, the grass will not interfere with the hotwire close to the bottom meant to prevent them from digging. If the pig pen is slightly smaller, the grass will be clipped short. He keeps talking to Big pigfarmer that raise on concrete slab with 100 pigs at a time, which is much different than 2 on a rotated pasture, which i think he is beginning to see.

I am concerned that the pig will not be ready for the freezer when it gets cold and its needs will be more complex. Perhaps we should wait til spring?
 

misfitmorgan

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I am a little disappointed and confused though...I offer to pay a deposit to hold them til we can get the fence and the seller is telling me she got burned on a deposit and is now going to leave the posting on craigslist up until we pick them up. I offer to pay deposit so that they know we are interested, and now she is thinking we are going to give runaround. :confused::hit

We need a good sturdy fence and a shelter QUICK! She sent me some pictures of what they have for pasture and I know my Dad has some of those panels and gates like what she has. We just have to get into the barn that is rapidly decaying to get them out. I already have the electric fence chargers, I just need the wire, connectors and at least one battery. I like the idea of using wire panels and put the hot wire at the top. I know they don't want a tight, closed airtight shelter for right now, so we can probably use pallets and tarps for windbreaks and suncover. Cold is still a few months away, so a proper barn is not needed right now. I would like to combine our chicken coop into the goat shed to keep each other warm and company. We have shed that needs to be taken out (keep the concrete pad it sets on though for a base for the new shed) and the coop for my layers is a haven for termites. Jeff had to replace about 5 feet of a 4X4 beam early this spring and the termites are returning for more.

We have appointment on sunday at 2, and Jeff is bringing the trailer. I have seen this breed of goat at the fair and I would be so happy to have some of my own!


Tommorrow is a big day! The cornish rocks are going to the butcher! I think I will put them in a water trough and let them out in the sun to dry so i can clean them up a bit. We had a lot of rain the past couple days and i feel as though I would be contaminating our food if I left poop all over them. I could say it is mud, but I know it is poop LOL. I gave them food and water today, but only water. I have a chicken crate that Dad had put up in the haymow and Jeff brought it back down. That crate seemed huge when I was little! Jeff is going to let me use his truck, so I won't get poop everywhere in my jeep. I don't think I would have enough room for the coolers and the chicken crate anyways. I think I will put the bigger ones in this batch and there is a couple that seem to be struggling more. They have dark poop for the one and the other chicken has almost no color at all and it is very watery white--like paste glue. I might see if I can give them some of the antibiotic chick starter and take them in a couple weeks if they are better.

Jeff is still on the fence about pigs, but I think he is close to accepting that i am a FarmGirl. I have seen on pinterest that people get the round bale feeders and put them on their sides so they are like an arch and then put fence panel over and gate on both ends. I have been looking at idaho pasture pigs and see that they do well on pasture.

ahh ok i am tired and starting to ramble.
The deposit thing happens, we have had a person in the past pay a deposit on a butcher animal then when it came time to fork over the rest they backed out. Always with the...oh I didnt realize it would be that much cant you give me a discount?

If the panels is what they are in now sounds like they should work fine, be prepared you may need electric wire around the bottom still so they dont find a way out.

Make sure if you put the goats and chickens "together" they are separate where feed is concerned. Chicken feed can kill goats. Goats are like mice/rats they will fit thru holes and get into places you didnt think it was physically possible to do. Also plan for some kind of roof or cover over your hay feeder or something to block chickens from going into the hay, poultry will poop on hay, try to nest in it, and lay eggs in it.

Your pallet and tarp idea sounds great for a temporary shelter, we used an old truck topper on T-posts/sticks for our goats shelter until their barn is built.

Hope your chickens that are sickly get better or butchered.

I hope you enjoy your piggies when you get them, they are goofballs when they are little and a lot of fun to watch so I'm sure you would both enjoy them so much. I have never seen round bale feeders used for pig houses, I have seen just panels arched over and covered with a tarp or sheet metal as houses often. @Baymule make a pig shelter of that sort of design with the gate and all.
 

misfitmorgan

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I like the idea of growing alfalpha on a section of the land that is currently old pasture. I can cut it and save some for later, as well as allow them to graze. I don't want to buy a lot of hay when I can just grow it myself, especially when I can cultivate an area and avoid mowing it. For the pasture at my Mom's, I would like to keep the goat pen portable. Being able to move them increases their food supply and allows us to spread fertillizer to where it is needed most. So even if it is pasture one day with goats on it, it will get mowed the next time.

My Husband Jeff is still concerned about the pigs becoming a problem. If they follow the goats in rotation, the grass will not interfere with the hotwire close to the bottom meant to prevent them from digging. If the pig pen is slightly smaller, the grass will be clipped short. He keeps talking to Big pigfarmer that raise on concrete slab with 100 pigs at a time, which is much different than 2 on a rotated pasture, which i think he is beginning to see.

I am concerned that the pig will not be ready for the freezer when it gets cold and its needs will be more complex. Perhaps we should wait til spring?
How old are the pigs you are looking at?

Planting and growing your own alfalfa sounds great......have you looked at the cost of seed? Do you have a plow, disc, planter, haybine, hay rake, hay baler, storage area and tractor? Also goats dont need alfalfa so if you want to just make grass hay it would be cheaper, you still need to either hire it out, do hay shares or own a haybine, hay rake, hay baler, storage area, and tractor.

I don't believe you or the goats will enjoy a portable pen. If they dont have space to run around and play you are missing most of the fun of owning goats. They would basically just be standing or laying there all day, boring life. I have seen people use portable pens for bucks/rams when not breeding but never for a 24/7/365 situation.

@Baymule
Oh yeah...I didnt realize the idaho pasture pigs take 10 months to raise to butcher size. Definitely to late this year to get them finished before winter unless they are coming 7 months old. I don't think it is going to be possible to ever finish those pigs without winter being involved. If the pigs were born in say january, you wouldnt be butchering until november at the earliest and most people in the north dont have piglets in january.
 
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GardnerHomestead

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I am a little disappointed and confused though...I offer to pay a deposit to hold them til we can get the fence and the seller is telling me she got burned on a deposit and is now going to leave the posting on craigslist up until we pick them up. I offer to pay deposit so that they know we are interested, and now she is thinking we are going to give runaround. :confused::hit

We need a good sturdy fence and a shelter QUICK! She sent me some pictures of what they have for pasture and I know my Dad has some of those panels and gates like what she has. We just have to get into the barn that is rapidly decaying to get them out. I already have the electric fence chargers, I just need the wire, connectors and at least one battery. I like the idea of using wire panels and put the hot wire at the top. I know they don't want a tight, closed airtight shelter for right now, so we can probably use pallets and tarps for windbreaks and suncover. Cold is still a few months away, so a proper barn is not needed right now. I would like to combine our chicken coop into the goat shed to keep each other warm and company. We have shed that needs to be taken out (keep the concrete pad it sets on though for a base for the new shed) and the coop for my layers is a haven for termites. Jeff had to replace about 5 feet of a 4X4 beam early this spring and the termites are returning for more.

We have appointment on sunday at 2, and Jeff is bringing the trailer. I have seen this breed of goat at the fair and I would be so happy to have some of my own!


Tommorrow is a big day! The cornish rocks are going to the butcher! I think I will put them in a water trough and let them out in the sun to dry so i can clean them up a bit. We had a lot of rain the past couple days and i feel as though I would be contaminating our food if I left poop all over them. I could say it is mud, but I know it is poop LOL. I gave them food and water today, but only water. I have a chicken crate that Dad had put up in the haymow and Jeff brought it back down. That crate seemed huge when I was little! Jeff is going to let me use his truck, so I won't get poop everywhere in my jeep. I don't think I would have enough room for the coolers and the chicken crate anyways. I think I will put the bigger ones in this batch and there is a couple that seem to be struggling more. They have dark poop for the one and the other chicken has almost no color at all and it is very watery white--like paste glue. I might see if I can give them some of the antibiotic chick starter and take them in a couple weeks if they are better.

Jeff is still on the fence about pigs, but I think he is close to accepting that i am a FarmGirl. I have seen on pinterest that people get the round bale feeders and put them on their sides so they are like an arch and then put fence panel over and gate on both ends. I have been looking at idaho pasture pigs and see that they do well on pasture.

ahh ok i am tired and starting to ramble.
We have two IPP X KuneKune gilts. They are such cool pigs. minimal rooting. Get along with my goats and chickens. Very friendly. they are about 6 months old almost and close to 200lbs each. I've been trying to convince my husband to breed one and eat the other but no luck so far lol. The plan has been so far to eat both. I like the rotating pasture idea, and want to incorporate it into our property but we only have 2 acres.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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sigh ok. :confused:

I got a ton of work to do today. GRRr but first I must answer.

My portable goat pen will be huge--Like 16'x 4' goat and sheep panels and a gate on either side so they move to the next plot. Jeff found some neat corkscrew looking things for corner posts: Wire connector panel hinge. I have a tractor ,but it is not usable. I have been pulling the chicken/turkey run with my jeep. We have a yartcart that we use at the campground that has a hydraulic dumpbed on the back with a hitch, and Jeff has a Sierra truck that can pull a nearly 8K camper It is mostly level land at Mom's. I would like it to be portable so they help with mowing and brush control...they will have plenty to look at. The space at our house is very small, but we will be feeding them mostly hay, leftover produce from a distributor and pellet type food. Even that area, I can section it off into 2 areas. This area will be mostly so that we can have them close and be able to keep an eye on them. I would never buy an animal with the intention of leaving it for a week at a time--even with a heated water bowl and LGD. Just the thought makes me upset. Who will feed the LGD?

As for the pigs...I can get 2 of the idaho pasture pigs in about 6 or 8 weeks. We will figure it out. we are Not eating frog legs and tofu...Jeff works long days in the summer heat and winter cold...he needs real food. I am committed to pigs, just getting it all together is a chore in itself. Both of us went to school with people that own butchershop, so we even get a discount because we remained friends over the years..

The chickens are going to be sharing a shed, but they will be completely penned away. they only contact they will have will be through a fence. I don't think they will even share a waterer. I see a shed with 2 openings to the sides for them to go outside, and a big opening for us to go in to care for them. The chickens can have 3 levels to go up and down inside with roosting poles and nest boxes, Each level will have its own door with framed poultry netting. I have only 4 layer hens and a rooster at the moment, but I think with adding another level that they can actually use--I can win at chicken math.

Please respect that this thread is MY journal of our experiences. I truly appreciate the advice, but some of this already figured out, I am just writing some of it down. Please correct me if I am absolutely wrong, ask a moderator to edit my post, I don't want to spread misinformation,but as in anything else in life, we are going to make mistakes, but that is how we learn.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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Please lock this thread. Delete if you have to. This journal is not what i had in mind at all. This in my mind MY musings. IT really makes me upset that the people that i read their posts for advice are the ones that are now putting their 2 cents in telling me not to. If I wanted advice I would have asked in a similar thread, not my journal.

And I would prefer not to eat sick, diseased or injured animals. That is why I am trying to raise my own. If I want to eat unhealthy animals I can go right to the grocery store and buy a pack of styrofoam. FOR REAL.
 
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