Hello, I am a long time reader (first time poster) of these forums and I was unable to find the answer to this question with the search feature. Are three goats (male and two females) sustainable on half an acre? Me and my wife are in negotiations to purchase a home and are somewhat dismayed to find out that the area we could realistically use as pasture is only half an acre. We both really wanted a dairy source on our small homestead but we are adamant that while we may not immediately start off with a sustainable system that we are at least able to work towards one.
Hard question to answer. First off I would say no, but with proper rotation possibly. Also depending where you are, the winter months will require extra feed. Also remember that goats would rather browse than graze.
Two females can quickly become 2 females and 2-6 kids. You need have a plan for the kids.
Where do you plan on housing the male? This will probably require an additional area, with constant supplemental feeding.
I had a plan for the kids but I was not aware that you had to keep the male apart from the two females. I had planned to surround the pasture with shrubbery that the goats could browse through the fencing and divide the pasture at least in half (most likely quarters) for rotation. There is a lot of research I need to do on them, but if it is not a realistically sustainable option I would rather spend that time researching something that is (if there is something that is).
Charles, what area are you in and what type of grasses grown in this pasture? Depending on the amount of protien in the grass, they may not have to eat as much (even though they will want to). Also, is there more land, or just the half acre? I have 4.5 acres and probably less that one acres is pasture/only grows grass. We let our goats free range so they nibble on a bit of everything from cedar, oak, bushes adn other trees I don't know the name of... If you're worried about half of an acre being too small, can you broaden that?
Also, something we do in the summer and fall, we'll stop on the side of the roads where the grass hasn't been mowed by the city and we'll cut it down and feed it to our goats. I'm not sure if anyone would have a problem with it, but no one has stopped us and a cop has even driven by us. It allows plenty of extra grass in times of drought or lack of food.
I'd also like to know how much land you have that isn't pasture. We have 3 goats on 4 acres, by none of it is really pasture. There's lots of grass, but also lots of shrubs, bushes, and trees. And honestly, our goats prefer the areas that have lots of trees and only a little grass.
Also, if you only have 1/2 an acre available for goats, consider getting into the landscaping/tree-trimming business. Your goats will love all the grass clippings, leaves, and branches that you bring home. And you'll get paid something for the time spent gathering their food.