Raising Goat and Sheep Together
Raising goat and sheep together is quite common since they’re both small ruminant animals and are member of the Bovidae family and Caprinae subfamily.
They can both be raised for the purpose of producing milk, meat, wool or cleaning brush and fields of vegetation.
Things to consider when raising goat and sheep together :-
Goat and Sheep can be allowed to graze together even though goats are browsers and they love grass, brush, leaves, trees and shrubs while sheep are grazers and prefer grass and broad leaved plants.
They both require mineral supplements along with quality hay, forage or grain in order to ensure both of them are getting the necessary nutrients.
The major difference in their mineral supplements is the provision of copper, goats require a mineral supplement containing copper while the inclusion of copper in a sheep’s diet can be detrimental.
Goats are very curious animals and will usually climb, explore and sometimes escape while sheep’s are more likely to respect fencing around the farm or pasture.
A strong fence will come in handy either way for both goats and sheep to keep them from wandering and from getting stolen.
A woven or net wire fence is recommended while barbed wired fences are not recommended.
Goats are browsers and as such animals that eat almost everything which they find edible in front of them. Although, they can be picky eaters when it comes to forage.
On the other hand, sheep are grazers and like grass and clover.
It’s a good idea to create an area that you can herd all of the animals into. You’ll need to work the animals at least several times per year for vaccines, pregnancy checks, shearing or general maintenance.
Sheep will easily flock together and can be herded fairly easily into a holding pen. Goats may require a little more convincing, especially if they are not handled frequently.
A geep is the result of a sheep and a goat breeding together.
Sheep have 54 chromosomes and goats have 60 chromosomes. When they mate, it’s usually unsuccessful.
In rare occasions, a geep is born. Geeps don’t usually survive and if they do, they are unfertile.
When raising sheep and goats together, it’s a good idea to keep bucks and rams away from the rest of the herd, at least during breeding season.
Remove horns or have polled animals
It’s a good idea to disbud or have polled animals anyways for safety reasons. Horns can easily get caught in fences and can create an emergency situation. Goats that have horns can inflict serious damage to other goats and sheep hence it is important to separate them.
Goats will show dominance over other goats and sheep by headbutting them.
Raising goats and sheep together
In conclusion, it’s very possible to raise sheep and goats together, especially on a small scale, with a little planning ahead, you can have healthy goat herds and sheep flocks living in the same areas.
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If you made it to the end of this article, don’t forget to check out our other post on “ Nutrition in animals” here.Share