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Goats vs Sheep

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Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#1  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed May 10, 2017 1:51 pm


I am big into research..... I will be moving to a farm in 3-5 years... I am currently researching Goats vs Sheep (Hair sheep)

I want a smaller animal, that I can milk & raise for meat
I'm in SW Canada; Winters are damp and cold (couple of months of 10-30 degrees); Summers are hot and humid (80-100); Fall & Spring are rainy and all over the board with temperatures changing 30degrees in a matter of hours.

I would prefer to get my breeding stock in Canada.
I have limited experience having Nigerian Dwarf Goats for 1.5years. (I did not have success milking my goats)

I would love for others to add their Positives vs Negatives for a breed of either a goat or a sheep(hair sheep) to raise.
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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Wed May 10, 2017 2:19 pm


i haven't owned either, but i've also been doing loads of research for the past year or so in preparation for getting both species in the very near future..so maybe some of the things i've learned may help? i also have a bonus of my roommate growing up on a goat dairy lol.

goats are great for milk and meat - but you'll need two different breeds to accomplish both. generally i've learned that "dual-purpose" breeds aren't really worth it. if you want milk, get a milk goat. if you want meat, get a meat goat. a dual-purpose will basically be sub-par at both jobs.

the milk goats on my radar have been nigerian dwarves, lamancha, and nubians. nigerians are smaller, produce less milk, but have a crazy high fat content so their milk is very rich and creamy. i've heard many people say their milk is the best. nubians are larger, have the cute floppy ears, and are good producers with good milk. they tend to be easier to milk since they're bigger. lamanchas are basically the premiere milk goat - they look goofy with little nub ears, but they are large and produce TONS of quite good milk. this is the breed my roommate's family used on their farm. i personally am going to go with nigerians as we don't drink a TON of milk, and the smaller animals will be easier to handle. i love nubians though...but we'll see how much milk i end up using in crafting, etc. there are also mini nubian and lamanchas available too, which are smaller than a standard nubian or lamancha and produce less milk than their parent breed, but more than a nigerian.

as for meat goats, i haven't really looked much into the different breeds because i have family that has raised boers as long as i can remember and they're the most popular meat goat here. i had basically decided on them as soon as we decided to buy property because they're good goats and i can easily acquire quality stock from relatives.

i want to have wooling and meat sheep so i can't make suggestions on hair sheep. i still haven't decided on a breed myself because there's SO MANY and i'm not sure what's available in my area that provides what i'm looking for. they all kinda seem to be around the same size though. milking sheep do exist, but i've never heard if the milk is very good or not.

it's also worth it to consider their lawncare implementation as well. goats are more browsers, and prefer to clear brush and eat just weeds and bushes, whereas sheep are grazers and will mow your lawn for you. goats WILL graze, but pretty much only if that's what's available. they'll much prefer to clear your pastures for you instead. goats tend to be more stubborn and adventurous, where sheep are more herd-oriented from what i understand. goats like to climb, so proper fencing is very important. horns vs disbudded is a personal decision, but horns will make things a tad more difficult as they can injure themselves/others/you more easily and get caught up in things as well so you'll have to take extra precaution with their environment and supervise hierarchy disputes more carefully. overall though they are quite similar in their care.
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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#3  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Wed May 10, 2017 6:31 pm


We had Nubians growing up and we raised them for both milk and meat. I thought they had really good milk (and meat!) but I was also a teenager and what on earth did I know? But I'm pretty sure my father really did his research as he is that sort of guy, absolutely won't make a knee jerk decision about anything and he needs to make sure this animal will fit his needs. He got out of goats once his free slave labor left for college (haha) but has often lamented about getting back into them.

So from someone else who does their research, my dad gives Nubians an A+ for milk and meat. However I do know he never looked into sheep, it simply wouldn't fit his location. (Wooded acreage in the hills, no pasture land at all)
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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Dood » Wed May 10, 2017 9:36 pm


I've had both and prefer sheep

The Nigerian dwarf goats were impossible to keep contained and we kept their horns because of predator concerns but they used them more for ripping apart anything in the paddock :mad:

The Tottenburg goats were not escape artists but they were also destructive and loved to pull apart barns, equipment, feeders, electrical cords :(

We currently have one Nubian whether as a pet and he is quite the sweet heart and not destructuve at all but he also isn't very intelligent and can get stuck on the wrong side of a fence because he cannot find the 8' gate :shock: he also panics easy and is very hard to manhandle for routine care like worming or hoof trims

Our Katadin sheep generally don't have of the above issues, however, they too can be hard to handle, but since they are about 1/3 smaller than the goats and not as nearly as agile, once you've got them it's easier to hold them
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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Dwc77 » Wed May 10, 2017 9:59 pm


Never had sheep so can't say one way or another with them! But I bought my girls 3 young goats last year all does that they named them Molly Brownie and Harry! :lol: the guy told me they were boar alpine cross. Borrowed the ugliest billy goat in Iowa at least he gets my vote :lol: they all kidded one weekend 5 total. They are and I hate to admit this very cute the kids are crazy about them. Im kidda ornery so I tease my twin going to be 5 year olds girls that we are going to eat the little ones. They give me the meanest look and then tell me off :lol: We have had a lot of fun with them even if they are a pain in the rear (the goats). And I'm going to eat one of them maybe try to sell the rest! And I know im no help at all. I like my meat cows :good-luck:
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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Random Rabbit » Thu May 11, 2017 10:45 am


We have raised both...and enjoyed both.
However................
for social interaction... goats are wonderful ! They, especially if hand-raised or handled a lot as very young animals... will become very friendly. The sheep... even bottle raised ones, seem after a year of age to be more stand-offish.

Sheep can take a Lot of cold weather. That wool is tremendously warm . Ours would lay outside the barn...in a sn*w storm... getting up when we did chores...looking like walking sn*w drifts. :D

Any Dairy type goat will probably need to be milked daily. Boer goats are meaty...and don't usually require milking. I have heard that some do not produce enough of their own milk to feed their young... but i have not attempted boer type goats.

Fencing is a big concern. Our goats quickly learned to respect an electric fence. Yet would climb or stand on panels or woven wire fencing.
The sheep would leave the panels and woven fencing alone... but often ignored the electric. ( guess they could not Feel it thu that wool.)

Attitude.... I still feel that One can reason with a buck goat....but after a ram tried to kill me... i would rather not deal with them. Personal opinion on that.

Hope You find what You are looking for. Each of us have different needs on our homesteads. Best of Luck.
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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#7  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Thu May 11, 2017 11:46 am


A BIG Thank you for everyone's input!!

Each story and opinion counts for me.... I am currently leaning toward the goat end of things....


Random Rabbit commented on the Ram vs Buck issues that I have personally had half experience with (I had a Goat Buck that was the BOMB!! he was the funniest, cutest, gentlest boy and made good looking babies!!) I also have a friend that raised sheep and warned me about his ram and the fact that it would try and kill you if it could....

Any other comments would be welcome as well.... Thanks in advance!
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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Ferra » Thu May 11, 2017 1:38 pm


My experience has mostly been with sheep. I personally like Shetland and Icelandic sheep: smaller, easier to handle, and the Icelandic are often preternaturally smart (See: Icelandic Leadersheep) and good milkers. The Icelandic have coarser wool on the whole, but are pretty decent triple purpose sheep. Small tasty carcasses, good milkers, and versatile wool. The Shetland lose some of the milk traits, but have very fine wool.

I've also handled a friend's Finnsheep during shearing. They're a little bigger, and I've never handled her rams solo, though they seemed like laid back gentle-sheep. Their big draw is that, like rabbits, they often have litters of up to seven young. Very prolific sheep with nice wool.

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Re: Goats vs Sheep

Post Number:#9  Unread postby BelleVie » Fri May 12, 2017 10:01 pm


I used to have some Icelandic sheep and I wish I lived somewhere that I could have them again. They were very smart, liked to browse on a lot of different plants (like goats), and are compact enough to handle fairly easily. They also reproduce well and are hardy. Not to mention all of the colors available. :) *sigh* I miss them.

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