U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-17-2011, 09:39 AM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,546,660 times
Reputation: 2499

Advertisements

We are looking for something to clean up the brush and brambles on our land,as well as potentially provide a little income and/or meat.

Thought of Kiko or Boer goats,or just plain brush goats as long as full size to do this but the fencing issues with goats worries me.

Looked at Black belly sheep,it seems like they might work out too.

The plan in regards to fencing is to periodically move the fencing(or ideally,have two paddocks fenced and just move the animals) as the animals eat down the brush.We are looking to use cattle panels and T-posts and simply fence in an area.

Thoughts?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-17-2011, 03:07 PM
 
373 posts, read 555,990 times
Reputation: 243
Default Goats eating brush

Quote:
Originally Posted by oz in SC View Post
We are looking for something to clean up the brush and brambles on our land,as well as potentially provide a little income and/or meat.

Thought of Kiko or Boer goats,or just plain brush goats as long as full size to do this but the fencing issues with goats worries me.

Looked at Black belly sheep,it seems like they might work out too.

The plan in regards to fencing is to periodically move the fencing(or ideally,have two paddocks fenced and just move the animals) as the animals eat down the brush.We are looking to use cattle panels and T-posts and simply fence in an area.

Thoughts?
I know a famly who has a biz where they take the goats to and area that needs to be cleared and let them have at it. Sometimes they are teathered like dogs. In between customer they will harvest a truckload of giant weeds for them. They claim to be cheaper then humans for clearing brush.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2011, 11:09 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,070 times
Reputation: 14
If you use goats I suggest go with any breed that has been polled (de-horned). Coming home and having to pull a goat back through the wire fence because it got its head stuck gets old real fast. We had 4 dairy wethers we picked up from a nearby goat dairy. They obviously don't have the frames that meat goats do and yo get less meat off of them. We still ended uo with 30-40 lbs of meat off of each. Which we ended up selling most of to friends and co-workers. They did very well on broadleaf weeds. They prefer most any brush over grass. Meat goats do the same. They may be harder to get ahold of and do cost more than a dairy whether would.

We have 6 (soon to be 5) American blackbelly sheep currently. Unless they are bottle raised they are very skittish. They will come to you if you have grain and will even eat it out of your hand but any sudden moves and they bolt. They can clear a 4ft fence but generally won't. They have a much smaller body than most wool breeds. Those are the downsides.

The pluses are they require no shearing, worming is not usually necessary, they lamb very well on their own and will do so twice a year is you let them. With no lanolin in the hair the meat is very very mild in flavor.

I would use sheep fencing for both. The cattle panels would really have to be secured well. In any case a hotwire is helpful. A solar unit works very well and will kep them from getting any funny ideas about escaping. And keeps coyotes and dogs from getting in.

Most areas of the country have ready buyers of both sheep and goats, especially with ethnic markets. You just have do some legwork to find them. Also check with your local ag extension to find out what the recommended stocking rate for goats and sheep per acre is. Some kind of feeding is required in wintertime even in the southern states. If your overstocked you will have to feed them sooner into the winter and for longer and that pretty much wipes out whatever money you might gave made off of them
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2011, 01:41 PM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,546,660 times
Reputation: 2499
We would have 6' T-posts every eight feet or so for the cattle panels.

I like the idea of a hardy,self reliant breed,and was raised eating a lot of mutton(Australia) from merino sheep so the taste should be okay.

Found the local Butcher will process a sheep for $90 start to finish.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,807,731 times
Reputation: 22404
Quote:
Originally Posted by oz in SC View Post
We are looking for something to clean up the brush and brambles on our land,as well as potentially provide a little income and/or meat.

Thought of Kiko or Boer goats,or just plain brush goats as long as full size to do this but the fencing issues with goats worries me.

Looked at Black belly sheep,it seems like they might work out too.

The plan in regards to fencing is to periodically move the fencing(or ideally,have two paddocks fenced and just move the animals) as the animals eat down the brush.We are looking to use cattle panels and T-posts and simply fence in an area.

Thoughts?
Goats are easier to raise and will eat *practically* anything. They are, however, much harder to contain than sheep.

Sheep on the other hand are not as noisy (I am told), and do not smell quite as bad. (I am told).

Personally, I'd go with sheep because I just like them better. Also, since I spin wool, I would pick a primitive wool breed such as Shetlands or Jacob.

20yrsinBranson
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2011, 10:18 AM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,546,660 times
Reputation: 2499
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Goats are easier to raise and will eat *practically* anything. They are, however, much harder to contain than sheep.

Sheep on the other hand are not as noisy (I am told), and do not smell quite as bad. (I am told).

Personally, I'd go with sheep because I just like them better. Also, since I spin wool, I would pick a primitive wool breed such as Shetlands or Jacob.

20yrsinBranson
No wool,it isn't worth the trouble sadly.
Going with a hair sheep like this:
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2011, 11:26 AM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,339,180 times
Reputation: 15083
In our experience, goats are much more difficult to keep contained than sheep in fenced areas.

Especially the Boer goats, they will work a fence very aggressively until it fails, and then travel some distance away for no other reason than the ability to do so. The Boers are strong, determined, and aggressive, even with the more tame ones that we had, they love to roam. The big advantage we found to Boers was that they have a high twinning or triplet rate for lambing, and a ready market for their meat. After 4 years with Boer goats, we found they were simply way too much work for the value of what they provided for us. We still raise fiber goats, but the returns on these area minimal and it does take a lot of work to shear them for quality fiber for handspinners ... it takes my wife and I about an hour to shear the average Angora goat with commercial equipment but done to a much higher level of shearing quality than any commercial 3-4 minute shearer will produce. Our standards are full staple length, no second cuts, and no injuries to the goats ... after having several goats killed by the rough handling of pro shearing outfits, never again for us. But Angoras don't eat enough weeds and such to use for that purpose ... unless they get into the vegetable garden, where they can destroy a row of lettuce or ____ in minutes.

So now we've only been raising meat sheep breeds, and have used a Suffolk ram on our medium sized sheep hoping to increase their slaughter weights, although the size difference on free-ranged pasture grass (or weed) fed lambs compared to grain fed is dramatic. We typically see 55-65 lb 11 month old lambs vs the 125 lb lambs from the grain feeders, and our increase for the Suffolk ram lambs was only about 8 lbs over breed specific rams. From what I've seen, the meat sheep breeds are better for weight gain and flavor ... try Suffolks, Hampshires, Dorsetts, or look into breeds such as the Polypay which yield both meat and fiber production. If you are taking your lambs in at 11 months, then shearing is almost optional for your purposes although the breeding flock will need to be sheared.

For the most part, docility and easy keeping are the result of how you handle your sheep. There will always be a few that will not have good temperaments, and if you value your herd docility, you'll cull those ewes. My wife does a great job of bucket training most of our ewes, but rams are another story. IMO, you'd best not run your rams with your ewes unless you want a bunch of year-round lambs on the ground which makes the lambing more difficult for you and flock management a nightmare. Best, too, to band your ram lambs and band all the tails within days of birth. You only need one ram for a sizable flock of ewes.

Keep in mind that if you are planning on legal sales of your lamb meat, you will need to have them processed in an inspected facility, not just some "local butcher" shop. At a minimum, you'll need a state inspected/licensed facility for in-state sales, and if you are selling to a restaurant or re-seller, or out-of-state sales (as we do at our farmer's market), you'll need a USDA inspected processor.

You'll also need to check out your state's livestock requirements/record keeping/tagging/brand inspections. Here in the Rocky Mountain West, scrapie tagging/identification tagging, and brand inspection paperwork/vet health certificates are essential to moving your livestock off of your property further than your county, or even for taking a lamb in to be processed. Given the litigious nature and increasing health safety requirements in our society, you may also want to be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage for your operations as well as product sales.

For example, we must have a state issued food producer's license which also has us under an annual on-site inspection for our food storage (freezers) to comply with food health/safety requirements ... and another $50 license fee. Since we sell our meat products from our operation, as opposed to a sale directly from the USDA processor to the hands of the buyer/consumer, we have a farm products liability policy, which adds a couple thousand dollars per year to our farm policy costs ... expensive overhead until the day that somebody might claim a food poisoning from our product. Yes, all acknowledge that the liklihood of an e-coli or similar food borne illness originating from a free-range organic pasture operation is miniscule, but that doesn't stop the potential of somebody not correctly handling/cooking our properly raised/processed/stored and labeled with food safety instructions product from making a claim ... valid or not. Once a claim is filed with your state food authorities, the costs to defend yourselves are staggering ... and I've seen entire flocks wiped out for no other reason than to perform the tests to verify that the flock was "clean" (some of the tests for illness require the animal to be put down for the sampling).

Perhaps your state has a much lesser level of enforcement, but you need to be an informed food producer these days lest you get caught up in a regulatory situation with financial repercussions far more expensive than the value of your operation. The time to do your due diligence is before you get into your livestock ownership.

If you've got the opportunity, I'd suggest you visit with the established producers in your area already. With this being county fair time, perhaps you can find a gathering of folk with livestock who can give you guidance about local breeds and opportunities.

Last edited by sunsprit; 08-19-2011 at 11:47 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2011, 11:30 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,807,731 times
Reputation: 22404
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Keep in mind that if you are planning on legal sales of your lamb meat, you will need to have them processed in an inspected facility, not just some "local butcher" shop. At a minimum, you'll need a state inspected/licensed facility for in-state sales, and if you are selling to a restaurant or re-seller, or out-of-state sales (as we do at our farmer's market), you'll need a USDA inspected processor.

You'll also need to check out your state's livestock requirements/record keeping/tagging/brand inspections. Here in the Rocky Mountain West, scrapie tagging/identification tagging, and brand inspection paperwork/vet health certificates are essential to moving your livestock off of your property further than your county, or even for taking a lamb in to be processed. Given the litigious nature and increasing health safety requirements in our society, you may also want to be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage for your operations as well as product sales. For example, we have to have a state issued food producer's license which also has us under an annual on-site inspection for our food storage (freezers) to comply with food health/safety requirements ... and another $50 license fee. Since we sell our meat products from our operation, as opposed to a sale directly from the USDA processor to the hands of the buyer/consumer, we have a farm products liability policy, which adds a couple thousand dollars per year to our farm policy costs ... expensive overhead until the day that somebody makes a claim of food poisoning from our product. Yes, all acknowledge that the liklihood of an e-coli or similar food borne illness originating from a free-range organic pasture operation is miniscule, but that doesn't stop the potential of somebody not handling our properly raised/processed/stored and labeled with food safety instructions product from making a claim ... valid or not. Once a claim is filed, the costs to defend ourselves are staggering ... and I've seen entire flocks wiped out for no other reason than to perform the tests to verify that the flock was "clean".

Perhaps your state has a much lesser level of enforcement, but you need to be an informed food producer these days lest you get caught up in a regulatory situation with financial repercussions far more expensive than the value of your operation. The time to do your due diligence is before you get into your livestock ownership.
Or you could relocated to someplace that is still truly free. Ecuador is looking more and more attractive by the day.

20yrsinBranson
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,546,660 times
Reputation: 2499
If we did sell any offspring,it would be selling 'off the farm' so to speak...Craigslist is great.

We have a processing facility close by that people could use if they so desired...could even set up some sort of deal into the pricing maybe.

I would think the biggest market here would be the ethnic buyers.

We do not want wool of any sort,too much trouble.We want hardy,self reliant livestock of all sorts,not just sheep.

Boers looked good to me,but the issues of fencing are worrisome....our first foray into large livestock should be as pain free as possible....

Thanks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2011, 11:52 AM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,339,180 times
Reputation: 15083
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Or you could relocated to someplace that is still truly free. Ecuador is looking more and more attractive by the day.

20yrsinBranson
The thought of a couple thousand hectares and several bands of sheep has crossed the mind in years past ...

But the reality is that it takes that much land and the thousands of sheep to make a decent living there.

We only got into livestock production for our own supply, but it's grown into a much bigger business than we ever anticipated. Gotta' pay the property taxes and insurance, and the scenic value of the place doesn't cash flow ....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:56 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top