So New I Don't Even Have Herd Animals Yet

Aunt Angus

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
28
Points
48
Hi, everyone!

Total noob here, just trying to learn best practices for raising goats and possibly llamas. I really am clueless, so I'm here to learn!

I live in Nevada County, CA. I have a very small 3-acre property that I am looking to homestead.

I have a grad total of 9 gateway drugs... er... chickens. 4 ducks are expected in a few weeks. 3 goats (2 Nigerian dwarfs and a rescue of some description) are headed out here in spring. Currently working on a new barn and better fencing. I'd love to keep goats for dairy, but I'm still unsure because of the time commitment. I'm willing to give the time, but might not be able to with my current job situation. Right now goats will be pets with possible dairy in the forecast.

I love llamas. Always have. I used to work on a ranch as a youngster and loved the llamas. There's a llama rescue that has a couple of females that need new homes. I've been in talks with the breeder and her vet, and all systems are go for later this year, provided I can give them enough space and proper care.

Lots of predators here. I've only seen coyote, but mountain lion attacks have happened (a handful of livestock kills over the past 3-4 years). I don't mess around. I want safety, and I won't move forward with my lil farmstead adventure unless I can give my animals enough protection to afford me to sleep well(ish) at night.

The other animals that share my little slice of heaven in the making include 2 little dogs, 3 crazy cats, 1 grumpy husband, and 1 adult son who is on the Autism spectrum. Besides wrangling those yahoos, I am a high school teacher/counselor.

Looking forward to learning!

And please be nice to poor, naive Auntie...
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,900
Reaction score
16,804
Points
548
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
:welcome:frow:frow from the Shenandoah Valley of Va. Read up on the journals of those with goats as I am not much help with them. We run a couple of llamas with our sheep and they can be very helpful. Fences are essential so glad that you are attending to them first. Coyotes are pretty plentiful here, and are a problem; don't have to deal with mountain lions, but we do have bears that will get into the feed and stuff but don't usually bother the animals much.
:yesss::highfive:

Word to the wise if you are building new fences.... put in gates if you remotely think you might want one.... and put in 16 ft gates so that you can get in and out with a truck, tractor, possibly a truck-trailer.... and to allow room for any wet ground where you might slide .... gives you some wiggle room to not hit the gate or the post.... if you need to have someone come in and bush hog or anything, there is nothing worse than a gateway that is too narrow.
 

Aunt Angus

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
28
Points
48
😆:welcome:frow:frow from the Shenandoah Valley of Va. Read up on the journals of those with goats as I am not much help with them. We run a couple of llamas with our sheep and they can be very helpful. Fences are essential so glad that you are attending to them first. Coyotes are pretty plentiful here, and are a problem; don't have to deal with mountain lions, but we do have bears that will get into the feed and stuff but don't usually bother the animals much.
:yesss::highfive:

Word to the wise if you are building new fences.... put in gates if you remotely think you might want one.... and put in 16 ft gates so that you can get in and out with a truck, tractor, possibly a truck-trailer.... and to allow room for any wet ground where you might slide .... gives you some wiggle room to not hit the gate or the post.... if you need to have someone come in and bush hog or anything, there is nothing worse than a gateway that is too narrow.
Excellent advice about gates!!! Thank you!

We are installing 6, maybe 8ft woven wire field fence with hotwire down low and up high. We will start construction once the weather is a little drier.

We had a mountain lion kill 2 llamas about 10 miles from here back in 2016. It's rare, but it does happen. For them, 12 ft fence is recommended. I don't know that I can install 12 ft myself. I'm only 5'7". 😆

An animal rescue in the next town over uses 6 ft with electric and hasn't had a problem. I'm hoping that using that AND locking the goats/llamas up at night will help. But I hear llamas prefer constant access. I have such limited experience with llamas...

Don't wanna feed the local wildlife!
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,900
Reaction score
16,804
Points
548
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
I cannot imagine putting in fence that tall. :ep:th The only place that has tall fence around here are the deer farms that are grandfathered in, as they will not issue any new permits to "farm raise" deer in Va anymore. And the vineyards are putting up 8 ft perimeter fence to try to keep the deer out. We have white tails, and they are plentiful here. SW Va has some elk in areas.
I think that the hot wire will really help in most cases...it is really useful in most all places. We use it along the top of the fences for the bulls to keep them from riding the fence tops.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
21,344
Reaction score
54,028
Points
823
Location
Northeast Texas
Welcome from Texas. Mountain lions are nasty trouble, we have them here. Last year, one wiped out some goats about 2 miles from us. It was near our place, screaming for a week or two. We have 5 Livestock Guard Dogs. Their barking warned it away.
Read, read, and keep reading! There is tons of information here! Come up for air and ask questions. LOL
 

Aunt Angus

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
28
Points
48
Welcome from Texas. Mountain lions are nasty trouble, we have them here. Last year, one wiped out some goats about 2 miles from us. It was near our place, screaming for a week or two. We have 5 Livestock Guard Dogs. Their barking warned it away.
Read, read, and keep reading! There is tons of information here! Come up for air and ask questions. LOL
*GASP* (that's me coming up for air)

That's my plan.

I'd get LGD, but hubby is dead set against it. Llamas are a compromise. I'm still toying with the idea of just getting goats. I'm still not sure, and I have a tendency to overthink things. Lol!

Thank you for the response!

Now back to reading....
 

Latest posts

Top