When to allow in pasture?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Blessed Boer's, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. Blessed Boer's

    Blessed Boer's Active Member

    Nov 7, 2019
    Shawnee, Oklahoma
    I have 10 does and 8 are bred. At night I lock them in an area about 1/2 acre with a barn. During the day I open a gate the the pasture and they spend most of the day out in the pasture. I have my first doe due 2/5, then another 2 weeks later, then the rest are due about 2 weeks later within a weeks span.
    My question is, should I make them all stay in the smaller area or still let them in the pasture? I’m worried about the first 2 due wanting to be with the herd and trying to take the babies in the pasture. Is this even a problem? Will mom automatically stay in the smaller area?
    Hope this makes sense.
  2. Moers kiko boars

    Moers kiko boars Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    Hey..I understand. My new moms & kidds stay in the smaller paddock for the 1st week. That gives the little ones time to get their coordination and strength to keep up with Mom. Also gives Mom time to heal up and I can make sure everybody is healthy . But I always turn my new Moms out with other New Moms. They do much better in groups.
    Sfgwife and SalteyLove like this.

  3. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    They won't necessarily choose the small pen, they may choose a spot they feel is appropriate is the large pasture. How many acres is it? Technically from a sanitary aspect, the pasture is less "contaminated" with feces etc. (Not saying you have dirty pens!) But if there are lots of places for them to hide babies or you may not be able to monitor them in the pasture, I would keep them in the small lot on hay.

    I've had some does stay behind in the barn to birth while others were on pasture and others not. It also depends on pecking order, some dominant does will demand other does clear the barn for their birthing, while some low ranking does have been forced to move mid-delivery.

    Typically I let them choose anywhere they want during the day to deliver and move mom & newborns to a small pen after everyone is dry & feeding. I keep them in the small pen a few days until kids are good on their feet then release back to the herd.

    The does in pens may be distraught when the rest of the herd goes out to pasture so I'll keep them in depending. Also some does know to tuck away sleeping kids in the barn and go out to pasture, while others try to call them along.
  4. Blessed Boer's

    Blessed Boer's Active Member

    Nov 7, 2019
    Shawnee, Oklahoma
    The first suggestion is the way I would prefer but I also want to make sure the ones still carrying are getting exercise.
    We have 7 acres with lots of places to hide babies. Lol
    I do plan on moving mommas into stalls when they are close, if it works as I plan but I was only thinking to keep them in the stall with babies for 24 hours. Maybe I should rethink that.
    Thanks so much for the feedback!
  5. Blessed Boer's

    Blessed Boer's Active Member

    Nov 7, 2019
    Shawnee, Oklahoma
    Thank you! I know when all the babies are here it will be easier. As far as that decision goes lol
  6. JML Farms

    JML Farms Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2020
    Booger County Texas
    Ours typically run with the herd until they give birth. It’s been my experience separating a herd animal from the herd causes undue stress unless u can provide her with a companion. We separate the new moms and babies in a small pen or barn stall so we can monitor and give a little extra love to for a week or so then release them back into the herd.
    Blessed Boer's and SalteyLove like this.
  7. littleheathens

    littleheathens Active Member

    Apr 27, 2019
    south central WI
    We let our sheep lamb on pasture but I'd be hesitant to do that with my goats. Our sheep almost always lamb near a wall or building. We handle the dairy babies differently and more. We have a first freshener kidding today and we've been bringing her down to a pen at night and putting her back in with goats during the day for about the last 10 days (we thought she'd have kidded late last week but weren't sure). Nobody seems stressed by it after day 2 or so, and it gives us a chance to train her to lead, get on the milk stand, eat a little extra, etc.