Dairy homestead animals: Cow vs. Goats

  • Dairy homestead animals: Cow vs. Goats

    Posted by voashanks on December 29, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    I am hoping some folks here have some experience they can share. I am looking to add a dairy animal(s) to the homestead this year and my husband and I are split on which to add. We only have 30 acres but the majority is wooded with only maybe 2 acres cleared and the remainder is being fenced to clear as silvapasture. Looking for pros and cons to both. For cow we would get a jersey and goats would be saaunens.

    Baldwin-farm replied 1 year, 1 month ago 11 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • Hanidu-Farms

    Member
    December 29, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    You may want to consider a split-option where you start with goats. They clear out the underbrush and you get experience. Then you upgrade to cattle.

  • Ozark-kat

    Member
    December 29, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    My brother has goats—8 with two more on the way. You need GOOD fences. They are escape artists and smart. We have seen the buck raise up, stand on the top of the fence and let everyone out. He also lifts up the fence to let them out. My brother can’t keep them contained (at the moment). His year-end bonus will be spent on electric fencing.

    They have eaten my garden, flowers, and lounge on my patio furniture. They climb all over our cars and have damaged the paint on all three. The worst is, they love our front porch. Instead of sleeping in their shed, they sleep on our porch. I can’t tell you the mess they make and the smell is getting worse. Heaven help those who come to our front door before we have a chance to clean up.

    On the good side, they are browsers and have cleared all the brush under and around our trees (looks nice).

    Our neighbor’s cows (yrs ago) kept getting out as well. They will test the fencing. These cows ate our corn. But that’s all I know about cows.

    Hate to be so negative, but these are the problems I’ve encountered, but remember the adage, “Good fences make good neighbors”. These are solvable problems.

    Good luck!

  • Raspberry

    Member
    December 29, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    My friend has goats and she has the same problems described by Ozark-Kat. Led by the buck, once they even somehow figured out a way to get up on her garage roof, jumped down on her husband’s truck and escaped. That time a neighbor called the sheriff. According to her, electric fencing doesn’t even always keep them in.

    I’ve decided if we get a dairy animal, it’ll definitely be a cow. They’re big but they aren’t constantly plotting their escape, lol.

  • Countryman

    Member
    December 29, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    I currently have 15 goats, both dairy and meat. They are behind electric netting fence and I have ever only had one very temporary escapee…. she was a new arrival and she wanted to follow me when I left the barn……

  • Ozark-kat

    Member
    December 31, 2022 at 2:22 am

    And….my brother’s goats also like to get on the serving shelf outside my kitchen window, its four feet off the ground. Many times I’ve looked up and seen a goat looking back at me. How do they get up there?

  • EvW

    Member
    December 31, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    I think God gave them springs instead of wigs.😃

  • EvW

    Member
    December 31, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Wings not wigs! Argh

  • Baldwin-farm

    Member
    December 31, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    We have 26 arces in Roan Mtn. We have a jersey cow and a Dexter. Secrets are better for cleaning up but the jersey is the best for milk if you ask me.

  • 1Wise1

    Member
    January 1, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    I love reading your replies….goats are a blast🤣💝

  • RiversEdgeHomestead

    Member
    January 2, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    I love my Kinder goats. They are half Nubian and half Pygmy and are a relatively new breed developed in the 80’s in Washington state. They are the only true dual purpose goat for both meat and dairy. The milk is sweet, delicious, with a high butter fat content. Milking twice a day, I can get 1/2 gallon from each doe during the height of milking season. The meat is comparison with beef but with higher protein levels– absolutely delicious. My husband states we will never eat beef again after having our goats.

    I bottle feed my goats so they follow me around like a pet but are far from a nuisance and they never try and get out of their fenced in areas. I have heard that about other breeds of goats but this has not been my experience with kinders who are more of a medium size goat so maybe thats why.

    We have recently got bucks– so they of course dont follow me around and stay in their fenced in areas which has not been a problem

    Check them out!

  • AnnS

    Member
    January 8, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    My dairy animals are sheep. They eat like goats but stay in the fences.

  • ShoshanaB

    Member
    January 12, 2023 at 2:20 pm

    We have 81 acres only about 10 cleared though. We keep Nubian milk goats, Lamancha milk goats and a cross of those. No escapee issues at all. We use woven wire with a top barbed wire.

    Personally I would start with dairy goats vs a dairy cow.

  • Baldwin-farm

    Member
    January 12, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    We live on 27 arces. We started out with Nubian goats. They are a bigger goat. They are a dual goat both used for meat and milk. The milk is a little richer than cows milk. We now have both goats and cattle. We have jersey and Dexters. Both the Nubian goats and the Jersey,Dexter cows are A1A1 milk whitch is better then A2A2.

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