Friday, March 9, 2012


Goats near the temporary fence between the chickens and the goats
We were in need of putting some of our feather netting around the garden, as our livestock guardian dog takes great pleasure in romping through freshly turned earth. We realized that by combining 2 groups we could free up enough feather netting to surround the garden.  While we moved a flock of chickens into the goats' space we had to put up a temporary fence to keep the goats from wandering away. . .far, far away.  As soon as the chickens were set up and the perimeter fence put back into place, we removed the temporary divider and the goats are now cohabiting with the Delaware chickens!
Fence removed between the goats and the chickens-- goat house in upper-right hand corner
Goats checking out the chicken yard
It'll be interesting to see how these two groups adjust to such close quarters.  So far, one of the challenges is keeping the goats out of the chicken's feed.  As ruminants, goats eat very little grain and what they are given is specially formulated for goats with minerals to meet their specific needs.  The chickens have grain mixed for the needs of laying hens and it would not be healthy for the goats to chow down on the layer's feed or vice versa.  So far, so good.  Both goats and chickens enjoy foraging--the goats eating browse (leaves, forbs, bark) and the chickens scratching for bugs and seeking out chickweed, an appropriately named favorite this time of year.

The youngest goat, Simon (aka Porky), who is always willing to eat, tried to stick his head in the chicken's trough feeder so we adjusted the crossbar that keeps the chickens out in order to keep goat heads out too.  Goats, who like to climb, quickly saw another use for the feed trough--a climbing structure!  All three of them were on it playing "king of the mountain" by the end of the day.  The chickens were not too happy about the goat's game as it frightened them away from their grain source at the end of the day when they are chowing down for the night.
Simon on top of the chicken feeder

No comments:

Post a Comment