Katahdin pasture size

Xerocles

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AKA "Here we go again".
I think most of you know I'm a newby to animals, and that I ask a ton of questions.
My goal was simple. 6 chickens, 4 rabbits, and 2 goats. I've got the chickens....working wonderfully. The rabbits...some frustrations but getting there. 5 runner ducks....totally blindsided by you enablers who convinced me I needed them for my garden.
But the goats. Original thought. Nigerian Dwarfs. Primary function, brush clearing. Secondarily, meat (yes they're small, but so are my meat needs) and/or milk (ditto on needs).
Now, many people went to a lot of time and trouble to give me help and advice on pasture, containment, and other topics. To you, I say thank you and sorry I wasted your time. But from the headaches that I have read about with goats on this forum, they just seem way to intensive and a general PITA for me to take on.
It was suggested that I try Katahdin hair sheep as an alternative. Eat brush like goats. Parasite resistance, easy birthing. All around easier animal than goats.
Thus "Here we go again". From the ground up. Seems like they are like potato chips to the folks on here. Betcha can't have just one. Herds of 20, 30, hundreds! I want two. Ewes or ?are castrated sheep called wethers like goats? castrated males. I've tried researching this, but nothing prepares me for having just two. The smallest denominator I have found is 6/acre. Does it follow that (good abundant brush forage) 2 could be pastured on 1/3 ace? Are they less difficult to contain than goats? i.e. double strand electric work? Are they as Prima Donna as goats and insist on shelter at all times so they don't get their hair wet? Or is severe weather shelter enough? Toys? (I.e. jungle gyms for climbing)
I don't want to show them, breed them, or pet and pamper them beyond routine care. And "farm math" doesn't work on me. Still 6 chickens, 4 rabbits (not counting kits which I intend to eat) and no desire for more. Yes the ducks were a curve ball, but the 5 will be reduced to 2 or 3 once they reach sexual maturity.
So...if you guys are willing to play with me again.....take me by the hand once again and lead me? Baby steps please. I'm slow.
 

Beekissed

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The smallest denominator I have found is 6/acre. Does it follow that (good abundant brush forage) 2 could be pastured on 1/3 ace? Are they less difficult to contain than goats? i.e. double strand electric work? Are they as Prima Donna as goats and insist on shelter at all times so they don't get their hair wet? Or is severe weather shelter enough? Toys? (I.e. jungle gyms for climbing)
Wethers should work for you....they live a long time, no need for breeding or not breeding, etc. The males are often more personable than even the ewes are, so a good chance they can become special lawnmowers to you....they have great personalities.

Not even close to being as difficult as goats to contain and I'd go with triple strand electric and make it tight...saggy fences don't contain anything. They don't need shelter, they carry their barns on their backs, but they do appreciate some shade and a place to put their backs up against when the cold winds blow~a CP hoop shelter works great, is cheap and you can put one up in less than an hour. They don't need toys but they do like to climb, so if you put a round bale out there they may climb on it....or just eat it.

1/3 acre isn't going to keep them in food for long, so you may want to expand their grazing area to around your yard and such to give their field a break and a rest. Or, once you have it eaten down, you could sell them both and develop the land as you see fit. Could seed/grow some really nice grass there and get a few geese to keep it looking nice after the sheep are gone. Plant some fruit trees, get some honeybees and such.
 

Xerocles

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Wethers should work for you....they live a long time, no need for breeding or not breeding, etc. The males are often more personable than even the ewes are, so a good chance they can become special lawnmowers to you....they have great personalities.

Not even close to being as difficult as goats to contain and I'd go with triple strand electric and make it tight...saggy fences don't contain anything. They don't need shelter, they carry their barns on their backs, but they do appreciate some shade and a place to put their backs up against when the cold winds blow~a CP hoop shelter works great, is cheap and you can put one up in less than an hour. They don't need toys but they do like to climb, so if you put a round bale out there they may climb on it....or just eat it.

1/3 acre isn't going to keep them in food for long, so you may want to expand their grazing area to around your yard and such to give their field a break and a rest. Or, once you have it eaten down, you could sell them both and develop the land as you see fit. Could seed/grow some really nice grass there and get a few geese to keep it looking nice after the sheep are gone. Plant some fruit trees, get some honeybees and such.
YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE! ENABLER! ;) Geese and honeybees right off the bat. LOL
Triple strand electric...katahdins...height and spacing?
"Grazing area" and "their field". I'm sure you haven't had opportunity to read some of my early posts, but the portion of my property they would be in....imagine the hair on a 12 yr old boys head. It's THAT thick. Vines, scrub brush, kudzu, briars. You couldn't walk through it with a machette. Now, granted, I don't know sheep OR goats....but as fast as this stuff grows, I cant imagine them going through it too fast. And if they do....with electric, it won't be insurmountable to move the whole deal to another 1/3 acre, just as overgrown.
Good stuff...and thank you for your help.
 

Beekissed

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YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE! ENABLER! ;) Geese and honeybees right off the bat. LOL
Triple strand electric...katahdins...height and spacing?
"Grazing area" and "their field". I'm sure you haven't had opportunity to read some of my early posts, but the portion of my property they would be in....imagine the hair on a 12 yr old boys head. It's THAT thick. Vines, scrub brush, kudzu, briars. You couldn't walk through it with a machette. Now, granted, I don't know sheep OR goats....but as fast as this stuff grows, I cant imagine them going through it too fast. And if they do....with electric, it won't be insurmountable to move the whole deal to another 1/3 acre, just as overgrown.
Good stuff...and thank you for your help.
Oh....so you have more than that in which they can graze? Excellent! Good idea to kind of move them onto and off the brush area or just include it in their graze area in strips that include grass and brush, if possible....they like to mix and match what they eat and the condensed tannins in the brush help them utilize the grass more fully, keeping them fat and sleek and also helping them keep parasite numbers down. It's a win/win. If anything is too large and woody, you can copice it so it grows back tender shoots they like to eat, but eventually their continued browsing of it will keep the brush in check and may eliminate it altogether over time.

Triple strand~10-21-32 is fine. Keep it hot at all times so they fear it like a predator, as it's more of a visual deterrent than a physical one...and that goes for most livestock. Any given day, if they feel the need to run through a fence, they will do so, but not likely if the fence is more fearful to them than what they are running from. Also, keeping it hot will help deter coyotes and stray dogs more. Greg Judy trains his sheep to stay in a single wire at 10 in. tall and it keeps them in, but his permanent cross fencing is the approx. the heights mentioned. The single strand is what he moves them with every 2-5 days.

Yes....geese are great for grazing grass around fruit trees, ponds, etc. and honeybees....well, you'll be wanting those for your trees and gardens. That way you have down for pillows and comforters, if you wish(don't have to kill them for that, just harvest it every year), and also sweetener that's also good for you in various ways, as well as pollinators for your garden. Two great additions to a small homestead....three if you go ahead with the Katahdins. Bees are one of the only livestock that clean up their own housing, if managed properly you won't have to feed them and you can capture a wild swarm, so you don't even have to buy them if you study up and learn the methods. AND, they can make you MORE colonies if you capture your own swarms or just do timely splits.

If you get interested in the bees, Michael Bush is your man....I have a feeling you'll LOVE the way he thinks about raising bees. He's treatment free, has written a few books on it and speaks all over the nation but is just a down to Earth old fella, easy to talk to and doesn't mind helping folks with bees. Designed my first top bar hive from one of his designs~made it out of a 55 gal plastic barrel.

 
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