Goats and chickens sharing a yard?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Sundari, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Sundari

    Sundari New Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Denver, CO
    My hope is construct a fenced in yard for 4 chickens and 2 ND goats to share, with a chicken coop and a little goat barn. Is it safe to allow goats and chickens to share a yard? I've been told that chicken food can kill goats (yikes!), and that it's also important to keep the chickens out of the goat food, so I will definitely try to keep the food separate. Other than that, is it ok?

    Many thanks,

    another fun photo from my visit today... :)
  2. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    Our ducks are with our goats all the time though but we don't feed the ducks that are in with the goats though, the ducks eat the cat's food though.

  3. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    That is a very pretty picture.

    It is possible to have them together, but we try not to.
    Reasons being:
    Chickens like roosting, and can soil hay, feed, and water, and also poop on the goat itself.
    Some goats don't like chickens and can actually hurt the chicken, one of our goats broke one of our hen's legs in half, although that was by accident I'm sure.. goats can get pretty heavy!

    You can free range your chickens during the day and they will most likely enjoy the goats pen if they can get in. You can also teach your chickens to go back to their coop for the night, which is what I would recommend.

    Also - most nonmedicated chicken feed is safe for goats, such as stracth grains, but its mainly the medicated stuff you need to watch out for, and vise versa.
  4. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I pretty much agree with what Amos said.

    I don't like having chickens with the goats for the fact that they poop on everything...including water buckets, feed pans, hay etc. If the chickens "soil" something, the goats probably won't want anything to do with it (can't blame 'em). It seems to create a lot more work keeping them together...

    We actually built a small 4'x6' moveable pen that I can put my chickens (4 hens and a rooster) in during the day. I just move it to a new area a couple times each day so they have fresh grass, bugs, etc. It works quite well since we don't really have "free ranging" as an option--we live in wooded area and have issues with owls, hawks, racoons, fox, coyotes, weasels, minks...and the list goes on...lol. At any rate, we found out the hard way that our chickens had to be penned at all times. we have it set up so we can line the door of the moveable pen up to the door of the permanent coop to make transfering them back and forth easier.
  5. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    First off,,,what adorable goats you have! They are beautiful! Ok, now to the chickens...I wouldn't put them with the goats. We've had chickens in the past and finally had to get rid of them due to so much poop around the place. They were free range, but would come in to roost and drink, well they would end up sitting on the edge of trouphs and poop in the water constantly and just made a big mess. It's very unhealthy for other animals when they have to eat and drink around chicken waste as you can imagine. So I would try and make another pen or maybe try free range if they'll stay out of the goat pen.
  6. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    FRF's idea of the moveable pen is a good idea also, we have 5 made, they are fairly lightweight and easily moveable. You talked about nieghbors and permits in your other thread? Our chickens (we start with them in a large pen, but some are lighter weight and can easily fly out) will wander throughout our woods, the yard, etc, so if you have specific neighbors I would suggest having them in an enclosed pen. Most chickens can find a way to get over cattle panels.
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    depends on how many chickens you have. I had one chicken living with my goats and the goats didnt bother her or her chicks she hatched twice a year. I just put a tarp over the couple bales of hay I had in the storage part of the goat shed and she couldnt poo all over it. Thankfully she was a relatively clean chicken and didnt poop in the water or make a mess of it.

    Sometimes the chickens would end up in the goats pen and they goats paid them no mind (they currently share a fenceline anyway. and teh chickens would scratch and loved to eat the bugs out of the hay and around the pen.

    My biggest concerns are the chickens pooping in the goats water or getting it messy any other way, them pooping on the hay and the goats eating the chickens food. If you can make a set up where the food for the chickens is some place the goats cant get to that is ideal. Even the non medicated has a lot of corn in it and goats shouldnt have to much corn.

    To feed my pet chicken and guineas that were hanging around the goat pen I just threw goat feed on the ground outside the pen. Because if I threw it inside the pen the goats would try to eat it -- they are picky about everything else that lands on teh ground but if it is grain they will eat it (and thats not good, great chance for worms and coccidia that way). It never seemed to hurt the guineas or the chicken. But each goat feed is different I feed a sweet feed by southern states, very simular to a horse sweet feed.
  8. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    I have a small chicken tractor http://www.forshamcottagearks.com/ in my front yard area that I move around. I also have a movable goat shed for just the two goats. My problem is while my chickens are out free-ranging and the goats are out in the yard area, they sneak into the chicken coop and eat the organic (and expensive) corn-based chicken feed.

    I am trying to break them of that and mainly just have to watch them. When I move the goat pen, I put chicken scratch where the goats were so the chickens can break up and distribute the goat hay and exposed the nanny berries to the sun and hopefully sanitze the area some.

    My goats sometimes notice the chickens, but usually they can be three feet away and they all ignore each other. When I bought my goats there were exquisite bantam hens and roos with run of the very elaborate pipe-pen goat barn. So I knew my goats were use to chickens. The chickens were not confined to this barn but would wander in and out.

    I think keeping the two classes of livestock confined might cause problems, but being around each other where the chickens can get away is no problem. My predator-turned-protector dog keeps the chickens off my porch. The goats are allowed on the porch (because they are so darn cute!).
  9. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I agree with Stacey in that it depends on how many chickens with your goats. We have two hens who live with our three pygmies most of the time (when the pygmies aren't in the pasture that is). Never a problem with pooping in the water bucket. Where they do roost is not close to the goat's hay feeder or minerals, so. . . . that works for us. But if there were to be a lot of chickens, say five or more, I'd make a separate pen or a "chicken tractor." My grandpa built several chicken pens that are moveable.

    You could also look into a chicken "igloo" I think that's what they're called. They are pretty spendy but very nice. We have one for our three laying hens. It has a place to lay eggs, a fenced in part to scratch around in, is quite easy to move, and the "igloo" part is insulated, keeps them warm in the winter, cool in the summer. Pretty handy. :)
  10. lorna

    lorna Guest

    May 12, 2008
    My 2 goats share a fence-line with my 8 hens. The goats are crazy for the chicken feed and will go to great lengths to get to it. I let them be together when I am out with them (have almost lost some to hawks) and I make sure there is not much of the lay pellets. The goats will sometimes try to butt the chickens and that scares them. The chickens love going in the goat pen, lots of leftover snacks to scratch for. The goats will try to climb into the hen house and will break the eggs and try to eat them. I did have one of my hens that loved to be in with the goats and would find a way into the pen if she could and that was always fine but she went back to her hen house at night.
    My humble opinion is they can be fine together for a little while, hopefully while supervised. But are best housed separately most of the time.
    Good luck!
    Lorna :)
  11. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Well... we have 50 "free range" chickens - we sell the eggs at the back door, kind of thing.

    Anyway, they all need their wings clipped. At the moment there is chicken wire between where they are kept and the barn where the goats are - but they can fly over it at the moment. Which means I have to keep the barn doors shut because they are so annoying. They poop EVERYWHERE. They nest in the goats' hay feeders... and then they poop in there too....

    So - I wouldnt want to keep goats & chickens together :D
  12. dobe627

    dobe627 Senior Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    southeast PA
    I had 2 pet turkeys who lived with and thought they were goats. I had rescued them at about 3 weeks old- Get this there were some college kids who lived on campus and got them from tractor supply, then they freaked when they started growing, they didn't think they were going to get big, DUH!!!. Anyway they all got along ok, they just ate the goat feed and bugs. I also have free range Guineas who will go into the goat pasture(but are always to dumb to figure out how to get out) They haven't pooped in the water or they just go in and eat bugs for awhile then come back out. But I have lost some to a hawk and also fox so if thats a problem in your area you have to pen them at night. I had a peacock in with the goats but he ran away. :shrug: Guess he wasn't happy.
  13. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    i'm sorry your peacock ran away.. he probably wanted a mate.. they need to be locked up during mating season or they leave.
  14. lorna

    lorna Guest

    May 12, 2008
    Warning-the chicken wire fence between your goats and chickens has a short life span. My fence was just chicken wire because it was just to keep chickens in an area protected from above. Got goats, put them next to them. The goats rubbing and climbing on the fence tore it down quickly. I replaced the chicken wire with field fencing that has held up well to smaller goats, oh I had to reset all the posts in concrete....caprine containment can be a challenge!