• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Goats for Brush Clearing  RSS feed

 
Meagan Cundiff
Posts: 4
Location: Northeast Georgia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are purchasing a property that has an existing chicken run and coop, measuring around 3000 sq. ft. It appears to have been neglected for at least a year and is quite overgrown with weeds and brush. There are 2 mature honey locusts that are fervently spreading their brethren, as well as tons of wild blackberry and other thornies. I can't get to most of the run how it is. I had the idea of putting a couple of goats in to get some clearing started and following with chickens after a few months. I have some other overgrown areas on the property (at least another 3000 sq. ft.) and about an acre and a quarter of pasture that I can rotate them to in the future, but would have to invest in fencing. So my main question is: is it a worthy venture for both the goats and me? I'd like to harvest the meat, not able to milk, but can't get a reliable timeline on how long that would take from my internet searchings, considering the variables of breed and forage. I'm new to livestock but like the idea of starting with these smaller critters. I haven't found a "rent-a-goat" service that will come out for less than 2 acres. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!
 
Cody DeBaun
Posts: 89
Location: Denton, TX United States Zone 8a
14
dog fish forest garden goat hugelkultur tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy Meagan!

Well as you say, there's pretty large variations that affect the number of goats (or any livestock) that would be suited for an amount of land. For 1.25 acres of pasture and another 6000 sq ft of brush, I would take the conservative estimate of 2-4 adolescent to adult goats.  That way they can get to work as soon as they arrive taking care of the thorny mess. If that number turns out to be on the low side you won't have impacted your pasture too much and can scale up your herd naturally. If that number turns out to be high, let them chomp out the brush then fill your freezer =].

With goats one of the biggest concerns is fencing, you mentioned the need for that in other areas of your property but as far as the run and coop do you have that infrastructure in place already?

I would also keep an eye out for any limping, as I'm sure I don't have to tell you those honey locust thorns are HUGE. Even if every trace of the tree is gone, I would very carefully go back through that paddock and comb the ground for honey locust thorns. Takes exactly 1 instance of stepping on one to never want to do that again!

Hope this is helpful!
 
Meagan Cundiff
Posts: 4
Location: Northeast Georgia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very helpful! As far as fencing, I have to do some clearing around the outside of most of the run to make sure, but it seems pretty sound from where I can get to it. I anticipate some reinforcement before I put goats in there, but it's 4ft welded wire fencing. As far as putting them in other areas, I'm researching the best way to implement the paddock shift with reliable temporary fencing. Does anyone have experience with the electric netting for goats?
 
Cody DeBaun
Posts: 89
Location: Denton, TX United States Zone 8a
14
dog fish forest garden goat hugelkultur tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I... Do not.

But lots of people have, and their contributions can be found here:

General fencing thread

Goat electric fencing thread

Another goat fencing thread with thoughts on electric

Thread with lots of info on the challenges goats present, and solutions to them

 
Meagan Cundiff
Posts: 4
Location: Northeast Georgia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Super information! Thanks!
 
Taylor Cleveland
Posts: 37
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have two Saanen/pigmy crosses. we use elecrtonet portable fencing(both the goat and poultry versions). Our goats are short, so we have good success with the electric fencing. No problems yet! I would suggest looking into the Tennessee fainting goats, or some sort of cross. I know people think they are just a pet goat but I did quite a bit of research about them and a lot of people are using them for meat production. They are also short, which would help with your fencing situation. Our goats have been really great for clearing places, I hope it works out for you!
 
Fredy Perlman
Posts: 90
Location: Mason Cty, WA
4
bike books fungi
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am hoping to do the same thing very soon. I expect to acquire 8 acres most of which was irresponsibly logged (no replanting) and has a 20 year growth of alder on it, with an understory of some himalayan blackberry and many more less awful things.

I plan to selectively clear it by tethering goats in it as a first step. This link has some helpful information on that that I've used as the base of my plans, but I'd like to hear what permies think. The most important thing is having a goat of a suitable emperament. Then, e.g.:

"Post To Post Run Length Line
This is the system I have had the most success with. Many years ago I employed this method to leave my Doberman and Weimaraner dogs on. What I recommend for this system is to mark two spots (A and B) on the terrain you wish to let your goat browse. In my case, I run 100 feet between point A and B. At each point, dig a fairly deep hole - for smaller goats, a hole deep enough to completely cover a large coffee can; larger goats, a hole deep enough to completely cover a five gallon bucket. There are variations on each of these which I will discuss further."

I'd add to the helpful info here that a farmer I know tethers and leashes his goats including short hanks of inner tubing. Chains have some innertubing at the end for tethering and leashes are ropes with innertubing at end. He said the goats respond well to the gentle, giving pull of the innertubing. I can't wait to try it. I have loved goats since I was a kid (lol) and am really looking forward to this.
 
I want my playground back. Here, I'll give you this tiny ad for it:
Book Review Grid
https://permies.com/wiki/31762/Book-Review-Grid
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!