We have 1.25 acres in South Auckland and have for the last four years had two beef cows grazing our land. Obviously that's not enough so we have had to use our neighbour's property which they have been fine with us using. But their fencing is rubbish, we need to use their tank water to fill up the troughs and although we do put portable electric fences all around using a portable electric fencing unit, the naughty little beggars constantly get out because the jolt just really isn't much. We have two young children and our own business where hubby does long hours.
Long story short, it's just becoming too hard to use the neighbour's land and we'd prefer just to keep our animals on our land. But obviously we can't keep two cows. We'd like to just keep the one but I'm aware that cows are herd animals and shouldn't be kept by themselves. We thought about getting one sheep to go with it but have heard that sheep are a mission to look after - drenching, dipping, dagging, shearing etc. So we wondered about a goat. It would just be a pet goat really as not that keen on eating goat meat (silly really as we happily eat cows, sheep etc!!).
So is it feasible? To keep one young beefy with one goat? Are goats "easy" to maintain with no experience. We both grew up on dairy farms so know cows but don't know much about other animals! Do goats get out lots? We do actually have good fencing on our property but are they real houdinis?
Any thoughts/advice much appreciated. Thanks, in advance
Simple answer. Yes. Goats make good companions for cattle or horses. Of course they prefer their own kind as do cattle. When we had our first goat, she was on her own, and befriended a big steer we had at the time. He used to spend time washing her which she enjoyed. When I was involved with racing horses, there was a stallion racing that never went to the track without his companion, a goat so, it can be done.
Your own fences will need to be good to keep the goat home. They do respect electric fences if set at the right height however.
I would say No, unless the goat has been brought up with cattle, and the goat does not jump, and the goat has no horns. We have a goat that can jump anything if she wants to, but because she is with her friends she does not want to. Goats have their own boundaries so if you bring in a goat she will try to find where she has come from. We have had injuries to cattle from goat horns.
Introduced when both quite young I imagine they would form a bond. We sent 2 steers to the works keeping the heifer to grow on as she had been bullied and was undersized, she wanted no company despite our efforts rejecting goats and sheep forcefully! She remained on her own and thrived but I guess its down to the individual beast!
This is a little different, but on Friday we put our new ram lamb in with the cow (to keep him away from the ladies till we are ready rather than any other reason) and now they are best buds- he walks beside her like a calf would and she keeps turning to sniff him, they graze happily side by side. I don't think he had a cow friend before, and she certainly doesn't pay any attention to the other sheep when they are together.
So I guess a goat would be similar, but you would have no way of knowing if they would 'click' or not. Or our lot are odd (quite possible).
My steers were much like yours re the escaping part! not sure I could have kept a goat contained TBH....
I did put my adult ram in with the steers so he wasnt alone over summer and he was very very bossy towards them...one would enjoy the rough and tumble and one would run away! I must add that Scotty the ram is normally a very chilled little guy... they did get along well with the ewes tho and would wash their faces so maybe its a boy / girl thing??
the best combination we ever had was using the neighbours old pony..she looked after 2 seperate beasts and they would cry when they were seperated
I think it really depends on the animals character unfortunately!