Hello! I'm new here and after reading through a few threads (where did the last hour go?) I figured I would join and ask a few questions specific to my situation. I hope this is the right place for them.
I currently have four dairy goats- two dry yearlings who will be bred this season, and two bottle kids. They are LaManchas and Alpines, so full-sized goats. Four is definitely not our number cap as I'm sure there will be doelings we'll keep, perhaps a buck someday, etc.
We have what I estimate to be just about one acre of land on which I can fence these guys. We share a four-acre property with my mom, who owns the majority, and our one-acre parcel is really where the goats need to stay except for occasional trips to the other end. I realize that a mere acre is not enough to sustain them and am happy to continue to supplement feed, hay, occasional tree trimmings from neighbors, etc. However, I don't want everything to turn into a complete dry lot. I've taken a snapshot from Google Earth of the property and outlined the tentative plan.
Paddocks one and two are currently not bi-sected, and that's where the animals are for the time being. Almost the entirety of paddock 3 has been dug up for septic and is now just dirt- mostly a very very fine sand.
1) Will rotating the goats on these paddocks once per week help to keep everything healthy and give the goats plenty to keep them busy and perhaps help a bit with the hay bill? I would also love to add a feeder pig or two to the rotation at some point. They wouldn't be permanent additions, obviously, but it is something I would like to consider. We do keep chickens as well.
2) What should I plant in the paddocks (particularly paddock 3) to help form and maintain healthy soil as well as very happy goats (and other critters, but the goats would like you to know they are the priority)? We are in zone 8b.
3) Will anything actually grow in the poor soil of paddock 3? I was thinking that a grazing and rotating schedule would help it, and it did have greenery before it was torn up for septic. What can I do to help it that won't cost me an arm and a leg?
Thanks for reading!