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4 years 3 months ago #538871 by HSV_Darren
Hi, my name is Darren and I live in Lower Hutt, I found this site a few weeks ago and found it great for any information reguarding hobbie farming and fence building and now have registered and look forwards to future posts, my main reason for coming here is to gather and ask information about very small scale keeping of a few sheep or goats.
My family has a 10 acre block of land in Featherston which has pine and gum trees on it and also of regeneration native bush under the exotic trees, also grass and weeds where trees have been removed, my plan is to fence off the flattest part of the section (about 1-2 acres) and have 3-4 sheep or goats taking care of any native regrowth and grass, I plan on removing a lot more trees to let more light in and encourage more grass to grow.
The property boarders Tararua Forest Part and has an old broken fence surrounding the section, my plan is to reinstate some of the old fence using a few of the only sound posts to create a corner then build the remaining half to enclose a 1-2 acre area, my thoughts so far on the fencing is to have a 9 wire post and battern fence, since I will be only able to get to the section once a week, I don't want any animals to get stuck in the fence if It has less wires, another decision I have to make and need some advise on is do I get sheep or goats and what breed would be best? I am a hunter and sheep sound like a tasty option but maybe goats do a much better job clearing scrub? Or will sheep eat scrub to? I myself do not know!
I'm not looking at making any money on is hobbie and don't mind spending some money, I spend a lot of time at the section tending some beehives I have there, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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4 years 3 months ago #538886 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Another newbie here!
Hi Darren and welcome. I have never heard of animals getting stuck in a fence, but I guess it happens. Goats probably would do a better job at eating everything. My friend has boar goats I think they don't seem to climb so much and escape, maybe do some research on which type of goats are less escapees. Goat is yummy too. Goats and sheep are good together I think, someone else might have better knowledge. We have 7 wire fencing with a cheaper sheep wire attached. I have just one bee hive at the moment, looking forward to some honey. How lovely to be near a forest. All the best with your endeavours.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HSV_Darren

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4 years 3 months ago #538904 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Another newbie here!
Hi Darren - the thing about goats is that they can be little escape artists, so if you are not going to be there often sheep might be better so you don't turn up one day and find that all your stock have legged it over the fence! Goats are mainly browsers and will eat little grass, while sheep are mainly grazers and eat more grass than shrubs - in general.

But having said that there is a scale, and some sheep are also more at the browser end. For example my Gotlands always preferentially eat bushes/shrubs if they can get to them, but are much happier with grass than our goats, which barely nibble at it and definitely wouldn't do well keeping a paddock down. (Although I'm not advocating you get Gotlands because they are also little escape artists, but more using them as an example of sheep that would eat any forest regrowth.)

So my vote would be for sheep, but maybe a breed that also likes to browse a little. But before you get anything I'd double check on what trees are likely to be producing seedlings to make sure there aren't any poisonous ones in there (e.g. kowhai, ngaio) which might ruin your plans....

Good luck - sounds like a cool wee property you have there!

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.

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4 years 3 months ago #538905 by VioletFarmer
Replied by VioletFarmer on topic Another newbie here!
Welcome to the group Darren. For goats I would go with Boer or Boer X, they will grow a bigger carcass than the average feral breed. Goats will certainly eat the scrub & rubbish, but keep in mind they tend to pick up internal parasites easily & also can require a foot trim from time to time. Seeing as the land is in a generous rainfall area, a rudimentary shelter would be a good idea- a simple wooden pallet construction with an iron roof would do. Or an IBC tank with a door cut in it. Also, do you have a water supply & trough for their water? On the sheep front- do you want the hassle of shearing- or would hair/ shedding sheep like Wiltshire's or Dorper's be a better choice? I have heard that those sheep breeds + Arapawa's or similar are good grazers of scrubby land also. A simple pen/ yards will make life easier for you too- pallets attached to a few steel warratah/s or 4 old gates- similarly attached. Semi tame stock- off a lifestyle block or similar- will be easier for you to 'muster' for health treatment etc. We always have a mineral block out for our stock- $20 ish from a farm store. Fencing- even deer fencing or double height sheep netting- is no guarantee to keep goats in. But so long as they have plenty to eat- it may be adequate. A goat could probably use the 9 wire fence like a ladder to jump over- but maybe an electric top wire could help. Seeing as you won't be there daily- use gate latches & then a dog chain clip + chain as a secondary gate latch. Once your stock 'go bush' I don't imagine you will have an easy time recovering them- try to prevent it happening. Hope some of this is helpful to you :)

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4 years 3 months ago #538908 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Another newbie here!
Hi Darren.
Firstly, with domestic animals, it is illegal to own them and not provide adequate shelter, treatment, and potable water. The area is too small and too unfertile to be breeding anything
So for sheep this means adequate treatment against fly strike, gastro-intestinal worms, mineral supplements, and foot treatment. Your fencing has to be very good for sheep, and unless you have pets they will need mustering with a sheep dog for shearing and treatment. If they are pets then the three that you have (no more and one less occassionly) will be pets
For goats this means the above (fly strike can be a problem with Angoras), and also getting trapped in fences and trees. Horned goats (like Boers) most certainly do push through fencing, and if the horns are the wrong shape they will get caught. I've had about 10 goats with the wrong shaped horns that got regularly got caught in netting, including the hay rack.
With cattle, providing enough water is your main problem. Cattle also need to be in multiples, so your area is too small.
So until you are permanently on the block, I strongly suggest that you don't have stock.

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4 years 3 months ago #538909 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Another newbie here!
Hi Darren, and welcome!
About 50 years ago, we almost bought a similar-sized property up against the Tararuas just south of Featherston...wonder if it was anywhere near where yours is?
I heard alarm bells when you mentioned goats up against the Forest Park, especially if not very closely watched over (I wouldn't be surprised if feral ones aren't already chewing on your regrowth). Perhaps you should run your ideas past the nearest DoC person, and see if they stay calmer than I did.

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4 years 3 months ago #538971 by HSV_Darren
Replied by HSV_Darren on topic Another newbie here!
Thanks for the reply, yes there are already feral goat in the park, I hadn't seen any in the entire time I have been there (8 years) but saw a mob of 15 last week, I managed to sneak up to 10 meters of them, they weren't worried to much and slowly wandered off, there is no hunting pressure in this area due to the density of the bush in this particular part of the forest park, so I thing the goat haven't seen many people.

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4 years 3 months ago #539023 by Coopers17
Replied by Coopers17 on topic Another newbie here!
Hi Darren, years ago in the height of the goat boom I bought about 50 goats which rapidly became about 400 - lived on a crazy piece of land way up north adjoining a state forest park....when the goats all escaped thru not too bad fences I managed to get back about 300. I contacted DOC who sent out hunters who dealt to the remaining goats tho they suggested some inevitably are missed, go deep into the bush, breed, and wreak havoc. My opinion... its very irresponsible to even contemplate goats near native bush without Trumpian fences - goats are lovely quirky even cute ... but as Drump says BAD.

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4 years 3 months ago #539039 by HSV_Darren
Replied by HSV_Darren on topic Another newbie here!
Yes, I do agree, a bad thing, I didn’t really know how much of escape artists goats are even with a good fence, so no goats for me, I like the sheep option better, the wild goats I saw last week were back again on Saturday, I walked up to 20 meters of them and shot one, I nice sized one for the pot, this one was alot different from the goats I’ve shot in the past, this one had what I would say was fur and fluffy down at skin level, not the course hair I’m used to.

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4 years 3 months ago #539045 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Another newbie here!
Perhaps someone's Angora went feral a few generations back?

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