Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

mob browsing goats

 
Posts: 76
Location: central illinois
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are moving back to our 53 acre family farm in 3 weeks; a little over half of it is hardwood forest white oak, black and red oak, walnut, cherry, hickory in that order, lots of browse including autumn olive, honeysuckle, blackberry, poison ivy, etc. We're in central illinois. I'm thinking about getting a herd of goats next year to mob browse the brushy edge of the forest. I would set up electric fence and put water tanks on a trailer. I'd appreciate any advice and stories that could help me visualize how it would be, including info on minimizing or eliminating use of chemical de-wormers/parasite prevention, etc. also how to deal with predators, lots of coyotes here.
 
Posts: 57
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you haven't yet, listen to Permaculture voices 105:

http://www.permaculturevoices.com/rotational-grazing/goats-as-restorative-catalysts-managing-goats-for-environmental-regeneration-not-degeneration-pvp105/

Diego has a link to her article further down the page as well as other resources on goats.
 
michael Egan
Posts: 76
Location: central illinois
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thank you
 
pollinator
Posts: 425
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Depending on the available forage you are probably going to want to have another species in with them, cow or sheep. Cow would probably be easier to deal with if it is a fairly tame one as sheep can be very wiled and get into all sorts of trouble that cows tend to avoid by nature. I wouldn't put too much stock in a sheep that wasn't wiled. Pigs would work plenty too and in my experience even big pigs hate horns from even little goats (dwarfs) and avoid the goats.

The problem with goats is they prefer to eat the tops of most things and waste the rest and they are very picky and fussy and if you try to make them eat down the forage they will likely try to break out and likely rightly so because they are probably not getting optimal nutrition. You will need to help satisfy this craving with minerals, the more variety the better and ideally in addition to kelp.

I think in order to make this work in most places you would need to move the fence several times a day. Getting goats that are less fussy (non dairy goats like kikos, angora, pygmy, even boar crosses, spanish or fainting) may likely help. Unless I was living in an arid climate or in a place rampant with goats favorite foods (totally overtaken with kudzu, honey suckle, autumn olive, willow) I wouldn't try to do the goats on a grand scale but rather have them as a small element in a herd of cows, sheep and/or pigs.
 
michael Egan
Posts: 76
Location: central illinois
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thank you for both of your posts, very relevant and informative. I'm thinking of a small herd/group of, say, 6 to 10 meat goats, browsing up to 10 acres from Spring through fall, then butchering them in late fall. At that point I hope I would want to continue raising and caring for goats. My neighbor is a cattle man and I could probably include 2 or 3 cows in the same paddocks. I had been thinking about using machinery to clear the brush to open the areas up for grass and cattle but am trying to go with biological actions over mechanical/fossil fuel intensive ones. Since I have no experience with animals other than dogs and cats it would be a challenge for sure: food, water, parasites, predators, etc. and learning how to manage moveable paddocks. My neighbor knows lots about cattle and is very helpful but I would be pretty much on my own with goats. I think they would like the brush on our land though.
 
No, tomorrow we rule the world! With this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!