Housing animals together

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by billmac, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. billmac

    billmac Member

    551
    Sep 8, 2008
    I have a 50 acre farm that is not being used at the moment. In the next year, I would like to get a few milk goats, a few sheep, some chickens, ducks, and a potbelly pig (we already have the pig). Obviously these animals have different nutritional requirements from a feed perspective, but I'm wondering if there is any problem with them using the same grazing/living areas? We don't intend to sell the milk or milk products. My main concern is keeping them as warm as possible in the winter.
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    concerns I see

    sheep cant have copper but goats need copper so you wouldnt be able to have the sheep around where you have the goats minerals.

    ducks are MESSY and will make any water turn to mudd it is just their nature. Plus they poop everywhere and it is gross (unlike the berries of a sheep and goat).


    I dont know if you should house a pig and goats together. Pigs can be agressive with other animals even if docile to humans.

    You probably could make it work as long as you are willing to make separate pens and stalls for certain animals. one big pen will more then likey not work for you. you could always try it and see though :shrug:

    not sure if i have seen you around here before, welcome :wave:
     

  3. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I run my goats, sheep, and horses all together (and sometimes the horses with the dogs). The only problem that I have ever had, is that my ram was trying to breed my goats!!! Now that was WEIRD! :shocked:

    I never had an issue with my sheep getting into my goat minerals, but that could be because Blackbelly sheep are undomesticated, so they dont like to be up at the barn or around anyone.
     
  4. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Stacey is right...most of the animals you listed are better off housed separately. It would be too hard to make sure every animal's nutritional needs are being met. You could probably pasture the sheep and goats together, but you'll have to be careful that the sheep don't get into the goat food or minerals...or you could use all purpose feed/minerals, but you'd have to give the goats copper boluses every few months. Chicken food can make goats sick and pig food probably isn't good for them either. Medicated starter chicken food can kill ducks. I think it would cause a lot more troubles than it would solve trying to house so many different species together.

    And, yes, ducks and chickens poop on everything--including in water troughs--which can be very annoying.
     
  5. billmac

    billmac Member

    551
    Sep 8, 2008
    I'm actually most concerned about the pig. My daughter got her as a pet and decided she couldn't handle her and so we've had her for a year or so. We love her, but our house is too small to keep a pig as a pet (she's about 80 lbs or so, not huge) so we're thinking of keeping her in the barn next winter (she spends most of the warm weather outside). The poultry we would probably separate in the barn, but I'm not crazy about fencing off separate outside areas for them.
     
  6. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Pigs can be pretty ornery. I would be very leary of keeping a pig with other animals--especially younger ones. I have seen potbellied pigs in with other animals at petting zoos before...but I have no idea about their regular living arrangements. PB pigs don't need a really huge enclosure so it wouldn't be expensive or difficult to make a make a little excercise yard for her. There are probably some really good websites with more info on this.
     
  7. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I agree with FunnyRiverFarm. I don't trust pigs. One ran all the way across the pasture, knocked my 5-year-old sister over and who knows what else he'd have done if my mom wasn't there to snatch her back up. These pigs were not "wild" either. Don't get me wrong, I like them (especially the babies and the potbellied ones!) but just don't trust them.
     
  8. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I definately wouldn't have ducks w/ my goats, sheep, horses. You will be out all day trying to keep the trough filled and clean with ducks. They jump right in the troughs, clean off, and poop in the water,,,,it is nasty and I know it's not good for the other animals.

    I have 2 pot belly piggies and they do great with my goats. Actually my goats bully them sometimes. My pigs are very very sweet with my goats and even sleep right with them at night. I have to say, some pigs can be a little nasty w/ some animals. That will depend on their personality though. If your pig is nice with dogs, cats, etc. he should do great w/ goats.
     
  9. billmac

    billmac Member

    551
    Sep 8, 2008
    Our pig is fine with the dogs and cats, in fact she's been known to sleep snuggled up with the cats. If we start out with baby goats and sheep,hopefully they would acclimate to her.
     
  10. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Oh yeah, your pig should be just fine with them then. That's how our pigs are...they are just dolls and will sleep right next the goats.
     
  11. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    on the subject of the sheep needing copper and the goats not... the only minerals my goats get are sheep minerals - as you cant GET goat minerals, and they do perfectly fine on it. In fact, i've had one of the goats since 2005 - the others since 2007, and none of them have ever had any problems from eating the sheep minerals.

    I do however give all the animals - sheep and goats included - a 2ml copper injection 3 months into their pregnancy to prevent swayback (copper deficiency) in the babies - due to the fact that our land is slightly copper deficient.

    Anyway just my 2 cent worth - as IMHO I dont think the sheep minerals that important. Or else my goats are special super-goats that do fine without copper most of the year :shrug:

    The goats often go out during the day with the sheep - although I try to keep one field with more grass for them just because they only have hay inside - and then at night (or when it's wet) they're penned up inside separate from the sheep - but in the same barn in the winter.

    LW