How much room do goats need

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by firecattx, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. firecattx

    firecattx New Member

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    What is the ideal size pen and fenced area for goats? We are having issues with worms etc and I want to make sure overcrowding is not an issue.

    Also, do most people rotate the pasture their goats are in or keep permanent locations? is one option better than the other?

    If you cant ( or dont want to) move them, what are some other ways that you keep the area clean?
     
  2. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    Smaller dry lots are better than medium size lots that allow some grass to grow but gets eaten down close. I prefer to dry lot with daily turn out to pasture. Then if the pasture is needs rest, you can rest it. Rotational is nice, but logistically more difficult in terms of fencing. I'm not sure size. I eyeball it.
     

  3. I've heard the figure that for each adult goat you have you need a half acre. Therefore, since I have only ten acres, if I feel I'm getting close to my limit, I start to offer some hay in the morning before turning them out to pasture so that they won't require so much nor be tempted to crop too close to the ground. We typically will have about 9 adult goats at a given time and about a half dozen babies being raised up (the rest are sold shortly after birth). That leaves plenty of pasture for the calf we normally pasture-raise for beef.
     
  4. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    I don't think there is any one right answer. I have half an acre of wettish land next door and it will feed 7 dry goats without any supplementation all summer. During winter or in dry lot situations Feeder space and sleeping space needs to be adequate but otherwise I think goats can do pretty well in a limited space. I don't think anyone would argue that more space is better but we each have our own unique situations. I have found that a foot of feeder space and about 20-25 sq ft of barn area per goat works for me. The barn space is pretty important here where we can have snow 5 months out of the year..but even at this amount when the goats actually sleep they all huddle together and most of the space is unused, so its more for when they are milling around in bad weather.

    Edited to add that of course my goats have pens.. :biggrin as well as barns. I make them as large as I can afford. We live on a total of 5 acres but right now only about a third of it is fenced. And during winter they are confined to a limited area around the barn.
     
  5. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    If all you are wanting is an exercise lot, than smaller is better....what Angie was saying. If you allow a small pasture for your goats and they are mowing the grass down, they are just consuming all the eggs and larvae and re-infesting themselves over and over. Putting them into another pasture that has grass above the puddle height of the area, and taking them off of it before they once again eat it down, is the only thing that will work...along with fecals, copper bolusing and making sure their stress level is super low, especially nutritional stress. Otherwise you simply can't break the cycle of parasites. Goats a browsers, they eat with their heads up, underbrush and small forestry are the best thing you can do for your goats....barring that, dry lots are healthier.
     
  6. smithurmonds

    smithurmonds New Member

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    Mine are dry lotted with fairly regular access to woodland browse. We have no grass. For us it is partially out of necessity- we built our house in the middle of the woods on a property with ZERO fencing, so everything is from scratch. But I have found dry lotting works really well and we will continue to utilize it even as we get additional acreage fenced in.
     
  7. dragonlair

    dragonlair New Member

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    I'm like queen of the dry lot. Except for 4 years, everyplace I have had goats has been on a small bit of property so they had the stalls in the barn and an outside area. The biggest outside area they had was probably 200' X 50'. Like Vicki mentioned, keeping track of/testing for worms, cocci and such is of prime importance, especially in the warmer months when we have a ton of rain and everything is muddy.

    As for browse or grazing, I do bring home fallen limbs for them to munch on when I find it, and I will let areas of my lawn grow wild so I can bring them arm fulls of grass and weeds during the summer. Needless to say I have to feed hay 365 days a year.
     
  8. adillenal

    adillenal New Member

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    I also dry lot event though I have some acreage. It is what works for me. Everything they eat comes from me in the form of hay or grain.
     
  9. firecattx

    firecattx New Member

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    How do you keep goat droppings under control :biggrin? Do you sweep stalls/barns out daily? My 3 goats have a three sided shelter and a fairly large grassy area but we find that they stay in the exact same spots day after day so the goat poop always falls in the same place!
     
  10. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    We have 3-sided shelters. They get thoroughly cleaned out a few times a year. We only bring them in the barn to kid or if someone is sick. So those stalls are already clean and we clean them out after they leave.
     
  11. smithurmonds

    smithurmonds New Member

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    With the drought we have had this year I've been able to use the leaf blower to just blow goat berries and waste hay into a pile, then fork it into the compost. When it's not so dry I just use a rake. The dirt in their dry lot is packed down hard, so it's very easy to keep clean. The fact that they don't eat off the ground I think really cuts down on the use of dewormers here, as well as all of their forage being woodland when I let them out.
     
  12. dragonlair

    dragonlair New Member

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    I clean the inside pens weekly, sometimes daily when the weather is bad and they are inside a lot. I clean out in front of the hay feeders daily, with all the dropped hay put in the horse area for them to pick through. The rest of the outside area gets cleaned a couple of times a year.
     
  13. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Goat poop would have to be cleaned up before it dries, the parasites in it is long gone. Now ecoli waits for moisture, like being pooped into puddles around waterers. Johnnes stays in manure and waits to become dried, dried which then sticks to belly hair during milking, teats while being milked or nursed, even breathed in by dust. It's why parasites are so easily spread in barns, parasites are all underneath untrimmed feet that are then standing in feeders, both hay and grain.