Mixing Goats and Chickens

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Liz Gipson, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Liz Gipson

    Liz Gipson New Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    I want to introdcue Silke chickens into my goat pasture to help with bug control and to get eggs. Does anyone have any advise or words of wisdom and the merits of this plan? I have a chicken coop in the pasture that is goat proof in theory, but once there is food in there all bets might be off. I'm concerned about the goats--particularly my whether--eating chicken scratch and getting bloat.
  2. TinyHoovesRanch

    TinyHoovesRanch New Member

    I keep Chickens and Goats together, but feed the chickens in there coop, you need to make sure its goat proof, test it out. If it isnt then you need to fix it, if a goat gets in they might get bloat.

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I pen up my chickens.... until I want them out...if I am giving the goats treats....I have the chickens locked up... because.... they think they are goats and have to get right in there and possibly get stepped on...I had them get hurt.....
  4. TinyHoovesRanch

    TinyHoovesRanch New Member

    Oh ya, I guess it depends what breed you have haha cause with Boers the chickens would get hurt....

    Little Nigis though wouldnt hurt them, our chickens get layed on and stepped, on and and get hurt.
  5. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    I'm interested in this too, I'm getting chickens this year, although I plan to have them areound my goat pens rather than in them. What about cross contamination of diseases?

  6. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    Our chickens were free range at our other property....so they didn't get any scratch or chicken feed...they ate grass, bugs, the goat minerals and left over grain. (5 acres, 30 chickens)

    However, we decided against having the chickens free range because stepping in chicken poop can really ruin your day....it stinks! LOL Not to mention they poop EVERYWHERE....including in all of the feed/water buckets so they really make a lot more work in the sanitizing department.
  7. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    We have chickens and let them into the goat pen on occasion but generally try to keep them separate, mostly to avoid injury to the birds. A chicken was stepped on by my Nubian earlier this winter and has a permanent limp as a result.

    I also keep them well clear of the goats hay supply in order to avoid contamination.
  8. logansmommy7

    logansmommy7 New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Mine coexist just fine-I just keep the chicken food locked up in their coop-and the chickens away if a goat is having babies (for fear of chickens pecking on a birthing goat). Other than that-they are great pals-and the chickens LOVE to lay their eggs in the goat's hay feeder...errrrrgggghhh
  9. Mon Reve Farm

    Mon Reve Farm New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Southern DE
    We have both full sized layers/dual purpose and bantams. We tend to keep the bantams in a separate area so they don't get hurt by any of the other farm animals. However, the full size coexist with the goats but I keep them out of the barn. This helps to keep the hay, minerals and water tubs clear.

    Other than that we haven't had any issues and the chickens are good at digging through the bedding and eating bugs, etc.
  10. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I keep mine separate.....I don't want my goaties stepping in the chicken poo and don't want to chance my goaties getting into chicken feed.....and chickens will dirty up your water buckets and then the goats won't want to drink.
  11. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

    What they said. :)
    Yes, unless you have a really good setup, it's hard to keep the chickens out of the goats' water and food, and the goats out of the chicken feed. If you have full size goats, you can give them a water bucket or trough that the chickens can't reach, but that's out for nigis.
    You have to feed them in separated areas, unless you only have a few of each - then you can toss the chicken feed out, and quick feed the goats while the chickens are occupied somewhere else. Even then, it doesn't work all the time!
    The long and short of it is, you can work something out if you have to (like we did), but it would be much easier to keep them separate.
  12. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    One other quick warning..... I recently discovered that on of my boys has a taste for eggs :p :doh:
    I also agree that you want to keep them out of your hay but I've never had a problem with injury despite the fact that my saanen wether has no fondness in his heart for birds. :)
  13. savingdogs

    savingdogs New Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    I have goats, chickens and ducks.

    I find it best to keep them apart. The ducks leave too much poo on the ground and the chickens try to nest in the hay. Mine all get along fine but it doesn't really work out.
  14. imaginationacres

    imaginationacres New Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    Mine all coexist together. I have a flock of larger size laying hens and nigerian dwarf goats. The coop is completely goat proof and the hens get their grain in there so the goats can't get at it and risk bloat.

    The hens love the goats' hay and also are great with bug control. I have never had a hen injured. The poop isn't a problem for me since they free range over a large amount of acreage.
  15. jay13

    jay13 New Member

    Apr 12, 2009
    Central NC
    I also have goats chickens and ducks. I agree, ducks are messy! I have field fence that separates the area where the chicken coop and the goat area is. I cut out two small squares of the fence at the bottom so that the chickens can get into the goat pen but the goats can't get into the chicken pen. At least that was the theory until I saw my large full sized alpine doe squeeze down through the hole to get into the orchard where my chickens have free reign! I fixed it with a wire half way up the opening, the chickens either go over or under, but the goats can't go through. Oddly enough it also keeps my ducks in.

    The one downside to the chickens in the goat pen is that yes, they do poo EVERYWHERE. I have to chase them out at night so that they don't roost over the goat feeders YUCK! My hay feeders aren't conducive to nesting so have not had that problem, they do occasionally make a nest in the corner of the goat pen and the eggs get stepped on. My chickens are good at staying out of the way and have not had any issue with injuries. They do a great job of picking up the loose grain that the girls knock out of their feeders while they fish for their favorite bits of grain, and keep the bug population down too.

    During this last kidding season, I kept them out for the same reasons mentioned by others, and I didn't want the rooster harassing the kids either. Now that everyone is pretty mobile I may let them together again to clean things up.
  16. newmama30+

    newmama30+ New Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    Wabasso MN
    We have chickens, ducks, geese and a turkey, they have free rein of our property, including the barn, it works for us, the ducks and geese refuse to go inside the barn :), the chickens and turkey just clean up after the goats, haven't had any problem with the water tub, other than the ducks and geese trying to swim in it when we fill it.
  17. NannyGoatsFarm

    NannyGoatsFarm Ms Nanny Goat

    Jun 9, 2013
    I got my chickens 3 months ago and got two baby nigerian dwarf does two weeks ago. They all free range and share the open space. I can't keep the chickens from pulling and scattering the Goats hay and bedding all over the ground. They scatter the goat food and minerals too. I keep the chicken scratch up higher where the chickens can get to it but the goats cannot (yet) I would like to figure out how to keep the chickens out of the goats stuff so I can leave goat grain/minerals out at all times. Right now I lock up the goats several times a day with their grain/minerals or I lock up the chickens and feed the goats. Soooo, I'm in the same boat as others. lol