Raising Sheep and Goats Together

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Picture this lovely scene: lush green fields where fluffy sheep and playful goats roam together, enjoying each other's company as they munch on tasty grass. It's not just a picturesque sight; it's actually a smart and fantastic way to farm! Yep, raising sheep and goats together isn't just about aesthetics; it's a win-win situation for both the farmer and the animals.

In this article, we're going to explore why having these two cuties side by side is a great idea, what to keep in mind while doing it, and how to make sure they're happy and healthy.

pexels-roman-odintsov-7691365 (1).jpg

The Benefits of Mixed-Species Farming​

1. Biodiversity and Pasture Management​

Having sheep and goats chomp away on the same pasture is like inviting a diversity party for plants! See, sheep and goats have different tastes in food. Sheep are like the grass grazers, while goats love to munch on taller plants. So, when they graze together, it's like a buffet where everyone gets what they like. This diversity is excellent for the land because it promotes healthier pastures and supports a broader range of plant species.

2. Complementary Foraging Habits​

It's like they planned this ahead: sheep graze closer to the ground, and goats are the high jumpers! Together, they make sure the pasture is used efficiently without overdoing it. That means more grass and plants get to grow back and less damage is done to the land. So, it's like an eco-friendly lawn mowing team that keeps the place looking nice and healthy.

3. Increased Farm Productivity​

Guess what? Having sheep and goats as buddies can boost productivity on the farm. With their diverse diet and foraging habits, they make the most of what nature has to offer. More food options mean more milk and meat production, which is great news for farmers. Plus, because they're helping each other out with pest control and pasture management, it saves farmers money on stuff like chemicals. Win-win!

pexels-griffin-wooldridge-4939977 (1).jpg

Considerations for Raising Sheep and Goats Together​

1. Fencing and Shelter​

As cute and friendly as sheep and goats are, they're also a bit mischievous and crafty when it comes to escaping. So, farmers need to set up strong and secure fences to keep them from wandering off to who-knows-where. And let's not forget about shelter! Giving them cozy places to hang out when the weather gets tough is a must.

2. Feeding and Nutrition​

Even though they share the same space, sheep and goats have different tastes in food. So, it's important to make sure they both get the right nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. Fresh water and a balanced diet are essential for their well-being. You wouldn't want a grumpy goat or a sad sheep, right?

3. Herd Management​

It's like a family reunion when you bring sheep and goats together. But, like any family gathering, there might be a bit of drama. They have different social structures, so it's important to introduce them gradually and give them enough space to get along. No one likes to be crowded, right?

4. Healthcare and Disease Control​

We all want our furry friends to be healthy and thriving. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and keeping an eye out for any signs of trouble are essential. So deworming and disease prevention are key.

pexels-serena-koi-11010645 (1).jpg

Conclusion​

Who would have thought that having sheep and goats together could be such a brilliant idea? From making the land happier and healthier to boosting farm productivity, these two buddies are a match made in farming heaven. Of course, it takes a bit of planning and care to make sure they get along and stay in good shape.

But with the right fencing, food, and a little TLC, you can create a beautiful and sustainable ecosystem where sheep and goats live happily ever after! So, here's to the perfect farming duo and the magic they bring to our fields!

Do you raise both goats and sheep? Share your experiences below.
 
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farmerjan

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Don't know where you sourced the article, but that is way too much of a "pollyana" outlook on raising them together... Sheep and goats have different requirements as far as minerals go, namely copper for starters.
The social structure is very different and billies and rams do not "play well together" when there are females coming in heat.
The internal parasite thing is definitely not as stated. As @Baymule said, barber pole worm is very destructive and both get it and can pass it into the soil for the other to pick up. I would say that sheep may be a little more susceptible to it.... it can kill a lamb or a kid before you know how sick they are. External parasites affect both... lice, ticks, etc.
The do eat some different plants, sheep being more grazers and goats being more browsers. If you have wooled sheep, you do not want them to graze first, or graze together... the lanolin in the wool makes the plants left behind unpalatable to whatever comes behind. In a situation where there are both cattle and sheep on a farm, it is often suggested that cattle are followed by sheep since they eat some different species of grasses and then to let the pastures recover and the lanolin to wash off the grasses. Cattle will not eat plants/grasses that sheep have been on first unless they are very hungry.

Sheep may like to go through smaller holes but goats are the epitome of being escape artists... through small holes, over and under anything they think they can get out of. Sheep are a dream to fence in comparison....
Ask any of the goat people on here in comparison to the sheep owners.

Mixed species farms are fine, but it is much more correct to follow one species after another in rotation, so that the different grasses and woodier material are eaten and utilized and then the pasture has a complete rest period. The idea that goats and sheep are not bothered by the same types of parasites is not accurate.
 

Show Sebright

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Picture this lovely scene: lush green fields where fluffy sheep and playful goats roam together, enjoying each other's company as they munch on tasty grass. It's not just a picturesque sight; it's actually a smart and fantastic way to farm! Yep, raising sheep and goats together isn't just about aesthetics; it's a win-win situation for both the farmer and the animals.

In this article, we're going to explore why having these two cuties side by side is a great idea, what to keep in mind while doing it, and how to make sure they're happy and healthy.

View attachment 100745

The Benefits of Mixed-Species Farming​

1. Biodiversity and Pasture Management​

Having sheep and goats chomp away on the same pasture is like inviting a diversity party for plants! See, sheep and goats have different tastes in food. Sheep are like the grass grazers, while goats love to munch on taller plants. So, when they graze together, it's like a buffet where everyone gets what they like. This diversity is excellent for the land because it promotes healthier pastures and supports a broader range of plant species.

2. Complementary Foraging Habits​

It's like they planned this ahead: sheep graze closer to the ground, and goats are the high jumpers! Together, they make sure the pasture is used efficiently without overdoing it. That means more grass and plants get to grow back and less damage is done to the land. So, it's like an eco-friendly lawn mowing team that keeps the place looking nice and healthy.

3. Increased Farm Productivity​

Guess what? Having sheep and goats as buddies can boost productivity on the farm. With their diverse diet and foraging habits, they make the most of what nature has to offer. More food options mean more milk and meat production, which is great news for farmers. Plus, because they're helping each other out with pest control and pasture management, it saves farmers money on stuff like chemicals. Win-win!

View attachment 100746

Considerations for Raising Sheep and Goats Together​

1. Fencing and Shelter​

As cute and friendly as sheep and goats are, they're also a bit mischievous and crafty when it comes to escaping. So, farmers need to set up strong and secure fences to keep them from wandering off to who-knows-where. And let's not forget about shelter! Giving them cozy places to hang out when the weather gets tough is a must.

2. Feeding and Nutrition​

Even though they share the same space, sheep and goats have different tastes in food. So, it's important to make sure they both get the right nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. Fresh water and a balanced diet are essential for their well-being. You wouldn't want a grumpy goat or a sad sheep, right?

3. Herd Management​

It's like a family reunion when you bring sheep and goats together. But, like any family gathering, there might be a bit of drama. They have different social structures, so it's important to introduce them gradually and give them enough space to get along. No one likes to be crowded, right?

4. Healthcare and Disease Control​

We all want our furry friends to be healthy and thriving. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and keeping an eye out for any signs of trouble are essential. So deworming and disease prevention are key.

View attachment 100747

Conclusion​

Who would have thought that having sheep and goats together could be such a brilliant idea? From making the land happier and healthier to boosting farm productivity, these two buddies are a match made in farming heaven. Of course, it takes a bit of planning and care to make sure they get along and stay in good shape.

But with the right fencing, food, and a little TLC, you can create a beautiful and sustainable ecosystem where sheep and goats live happily ever after! So, here's to the perfect farming duo and the magic they bring to our fields!

Do you raise both goats and sheep? Share your experiences below.
The biggest problem with having the 2 together is that goats need copper in their diet and sheep can not have it what so ever.
 

farmerjan

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Sheep can have copper. They do not need and cannot utilize it, in the quantity that goats do. Too little copper in a sheeps' diet will make their wool a rusty color instead of a nice black. It is the difference in the requirements. It also does affect their general overall health. But, they can get most of what they need from grass and hay and whatever grain you might be feeding. We feed the same grain to the cattle and the sheep here. We do not supplement with copper because we do not have goats, but the sheep have access to the same mineral the cattle get.
 

Show Sebright

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Sheep can have copper. They do not need and cannot utilize it, in the quantity that goats do. Too little copper in a sheeps' diet will make their wool a rusty color instead of a nice black. It is the difference in the requirements. It also does affect their general overall health. But, they can get most of what they need from grass and hay and whatever grain you might be feeding. We feed the same grain to the cattle and the sheep here. We do not supplement with copper because we do not have goats, but the sheep have access to the same mineral the cattle get.
Wait what really? I was told that any copper is deadly to them. I have been raiseing my sheep next to the goats in fear of cross contamination. He has his own feed scooper for sheep feed only.
 

farmerjan

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Many feeds are high in copper for some reason.... ours is not that high... it is a custom mix, with 15 (maybe 17) % protein.... a commodity mix that is pelleted that we use for the cattle and DS's rams all have access to it when we feed... I do not have the exact formula in front of me. BUT..... we also do not feed alot of grain/feed. That could very well be why there is a warning on not feeding sheep copper... because of the excessive amounts of feed/grain mixes that people feed to their animals...
It can be deadly in excessive amounts. They do need a small amount of copper in their diet to survive...

I believe that @Baymule feeds the same feed to her sheep and her horse....
 

Baymule

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I use Martindale all purpose pellet 14% protein. It is 5-15 PPM. My sheep do well on it. I have fed it to sheep, horses, feeder pigs and even laying hens. It lacks lysine, an essential pig nutrient, easily supplemented with boiled eggs.
If black sheep are always a burnt brown, they lack copper. I also keep out Dolomite lime, it’s said to neutralize the effects of copper.

IMG_4809.png
 

SageHill

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Wait what really? I was told that any copper is deadly to them. I have been raiseing my sheep next to the goats in fear of cross contamination. He has his own feed scooper for sheep feed only.
Before I found out about the copper difference my sheep were on the same mineral block as the (now long gone) horse. Once I found out I switched over to a general mineral block that said "sheep", and now have switched to the Purina mineral bag for sheep and they also have a plain salt block. But the point is they did fine on the block that did have the copper. I feed alfalfa, alfalfa pellets with no additives, and cracked corn, and anything they grab in the pasture or grazing.
 

Baymule

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Horse mineral has a high copper content, too much for sheep. It takes time for it to accumulate in their liver , so your sheep might not have got too much. A little is good, too much and one day they die and you don’t know why.
 
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