Chris Stelzer wrote:
Brian Mallak wrote:Jerry,
I have a somewhat similar situation with my land. While I have more acreage, I cannot afford to actually fill it to its capacity nor do I have the infrastructure to support that much livestock over winter.
So, what I am doing is using portable poultry fencing to create paddocks. Then I lead with goats (6 of them), and follow with a flock of chickens. I have also been planting buckwheat after the chickens. Looking into planting other weed suppression like crops (mighty mustard, barley, winter wheat etc).
Next year I will get some more live stock for a more complex lead/follow system.
The goats are clearing a paddock (120m) about every 10 days, but the most recent paddock has a heavier stocking rate and it is taking them quite awhile to mow it down.
Had to move the chickens to a new paddock as a result (19 of them).
+1 on the Dexters! I plan I getting a few of them in the next 2-3years.
Hope this helps!
Brain, that sounds awesome, how is that working out for you? Does that netting work for fencing goats? I've heard horror stories! haha
Renate Haeckler wrote:Look up how to do the FAMACHA test. You use the color of the skin in their eyelids to see if they need to be wormed. Combining that with just checking their overal body condition should be all you need. I don't use anything for flies and my goats are rarely bothered by them. We do have chickens in their area, tho.
If you use ivomectin you risk killing dung beetles. I think it takes a couple of days to get out of their system but it might be worth keeping them in a dry lot and bringing them branches for a couple days after worming them with that (or on a rainy day shutting them in their shed - they won't want to go out in the rain anyway).
Some of my friends have reported good results using copper boluses to prevent parasites. The key is to only do it if you're in an area that has low copper. If you look it up the US Geological Survey has maps online that show which areas are high/low in the different minerals.
Because parasites are developing resistance to many dewormers, it's always better to take a stool sample in to the vet or learn how to do your own than to just deworm on a schedule. In some areas there are different dewormers you use different times of year, because there are some parasites that may get killed in sensitive areas (like near the spinal cord) and cause paralysis or other problems.
There are home recipes you can use to prevent parasites too. Feeding cloves of garlic, hot pepper, pumpkin seeds (they go over way better than the hot pepper!), and others are supposed to help the goats naturally deworm themselves; in addition if their pasture includes wormwood, black walnut, etc. they can eat it as needed.
R Scott wrote:If they truly do not see the same ground for 6 weeks+, you should have minimal problems. That means you can't have a permanent shelter or water commons area.
Our solution was to stop worming altogether and cull the herd. Any that got worms got treated and then sold. It took a few years but we got to a herd that had no issues with no shots. There are lots of goats out there that are genetically weak and only alive because of the medications and simply can't survive naturally.
The chickens take care of most of the fly problems.