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Last winter we were relatively new goat owners with four goats that seemed to fare fine on pasture, and only pasture, the entire year... including the winter. What we did (and I know not everyone will appreciate this method) is to tie-out one or two goats and let one (or two) free-range. We rotated which were tied and which roamed. (Our rather large dog was always close by)

They all seemed fine, healthy and well-feed. Spring brought one new buckling to a first time pregnant doe.

We now have 9 goats and a pretty decent amount of electric net fencing. (set up in two or three sections, depending on need) They've done great all summer. I move the fencing about once a week and they are always on new pasture. I focused their feeding on areas that were mostly heavy brush and even partial woods. We left other parts of our property un-mowed and the vegetation is pretty tall and thick.

So my main question is: Will having the goats only have access to a smaller amount of area with more goats in that smaller area be a challenge, if I am able to move the fencing often enough?

Other questions:

Anyone with experience with snow and electric net fencing? Advice?

Their portable "run-in shelters" have been basically only utilized when it rains in the warm months. Any advice in this department? We use dogloo shelters and mini run-ins that I've built.

Anyone have any good idea how to ID the vegetation that the goats don't eat to figure out the best way to eliminate each type?

Any other advice is appreciated.

BTW - I've lurked here for years and really appreciate all the good information! I'm hoping after another year or two of learning I can contribute.

Thanks,
Bruce
 

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Welcome Bruce, glad you joined!
During winter brose isn't real nutritional, they could use hay.
All mine have is a three sided shelter with a car canopy butted up to it & they are happy as clams.
I will let someone else address your fence concerns.
 

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Welcome Bruce, glad you joined!
During winter grass & browse isn't real nutritional, they could use hay.
All mine have is a three sided shelter with a car canopy butted up to it & they are happy as clams.
I will let someone else address your fence concerns.
 

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I used the PremierOne electronetting for several years and always felt it necessary to have a dry lot winter pen made from welded wire goat panels for snow. I guess it really depends on your location as far as winter browse/pasture availability? I suggest you have some good grass or grass/alfalfa hay on hand just in case you notice the land can't support all 9 goats. I would expect you would need at very least 4 acres of good browse to support 9 goats through winter but only if you live somewhere quite mild. Are you familiar with body condition scoring?

As for the plant ID, you can post a thread here with photos and we my be able to help but if you are on Facebook there are some great Plant ID groups & pages you can post photos in!
 
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