Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

So I have limed all the rest of the property except the goat pastures.  I am trying to find information on if putting lime on the pastures is harmful to wethers (risk of UC?)

Lime is calcium/magnesium, our soil is very acidic, and this helps balance it so more than just weeds and moss will grow.  

I want to renovate the pasture as well, by harrowing and then fertilizing and over seeding.  There's no rain in sight on the forecast to wash it in, and I don't think I have enough hose to reach the goat pasture.  

Should I worry?  

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If you are going to be fertilizing, I wouldn't want any goats on there until you'd had a few rains. However, I'm not sure why you want to fertilize if you have livestock in there. We haven't fertilized in 14 years, and our pastures are in great shape. Joel Salatin says his family hasn't used fertilizer or planted a single pasture seed ever since his father bought their farm back in the 1970s, even though it was in terrible shape back then. We also don't bother seeding. Whatever grows will make the goats happy. Most weeds actually have a lot more nutrients in them than grasses. Joel refers to it as a salad bar.

As for UC in your wether. They have to consume too much minerals on a regular basis to cause UC, such as daily grain. An occasional grain treat shouldn't be a problem. However, for anyone lurking who may not know this, there are different types of lime, so you would definitely not want to put on the one that is caustic because that could cause other problems for your animals.

Thanks so much, Deborah!

I"ll let the goats take care of it.  I did find a goat pasture seed mix that contains mostly weeds that goats love to overseed with.  


Would you share the name of the goat pasture seed mix?  I have 6 acres that we just bought.  It is full of oak, pine and sweet gum trees as well as raspberry bushes and briars.  But for when I DO need to overseed, I would like to do it with something that is beneficial to the goats.  TIA. 


WoodsEdge said:

Thanks so much, Deborah!

I"ll let the goats take care of it.  I did find a goat pasture seed mix that contains mostly weeds that goats love to overseed with.  

It's made by Natures seed, goat pasture mix. What I ended up doing was aerating the pasture and putting down southern states horse pasture mix, and then adding chickory, lespedeza and another seed that was listed in the goat pasture mix. Ran the chain harrow over it. All came up nicely and the goats love it.

I hope you're not going to do anything to get rid of that amazing goat buffet you've got there! The goats will LOVE all of those bushes, briars, and young trees. If it's properly managed, you should not need to reseed.

Cynthia Koscinch said:


Would you share the name of the goat pasture seed mix?  I have 6 acres that we just bought.  It is full of oak, pine and sweet gum trees as well as raspberry bushes and briars.  But for when I DO need to overseed, I would like to do it with something that is beneficial to the goats.  TIA. 


Thanks Deborah, 

With only 4 goats (currently), I can't imagine that 6 acres being eaten down very quickly.  But I do have a 1+ acre pasture that the horses have grazed down to the nub.  I have moved the horses off of it and want to re-seed it with something beneficial for the goats.  It will be part of my rotation.  

On the seed note, I went to the feed store to get barley for my horses.  All they had was 1 bag of barley seed.  I am not sure if it can be fed to the horses.  Can goats eat barley if I seed my pasture with it? 

Cynthia 



Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

I hope you're not going to do anything to get rid of that amazing goat buffet you've got there! The goats will LOVE all of those bushes, briars, and young trees. If it's properly managed, you should not need to reseed.

Cynthia Koscinch said:


Would you share the name of the goat pasture seed mix?  I have 6 acres that we just bought.  It is full of oak, pine and sweet gum trees as well as raspberry bushes and briars.  But for when I DO need to overseed, I would like to do it with something that is beneficial to the goats.  TIA. 


If you have six acres, I'd say graze the goats somewhere that has grass, weeds, and small bushes now, and let Mother Nature take care of seeding that bare soil. They will eat and love whatever weeds decide to grow there. Years ago we had an area that was completely torn up by pigs rooting, and I don't know what weeds came back, but it actually made my bucks FAT! Too bad I didn't know more about weed ID back then. Joel Salatin has a book called Salad Bar Beef, and he goes out into the pasture and pulls up various weeds and talks about the wonderful nutrients in each of them. 

When I talked about managing properly, that means that you don't leave animals in a pasture until they've eaten it down to the dirt. That's especially bad for goats because of parasites. An acre would be more than enough for four goats. You can use ElectroNet or even four livestock panels to rotate them around the pasture. Goats should be moved to fresh grass whenever their pasture grass is 4". When it gets shorter than that, you'll start seeing more problems with internal parasites because larvae are on the lower part of the grass, which they'll be ingesting when the grass is too short.

"...When I talked about managing properly, that means that you don't leave animals in a pasture until they've eaten it down to the dirt...."  --I agree!  Unfortunately, my husband's mare WILL eat a pasture down to the dirt, even when she has access to hay.  I put her in the front pasture to preserve the other pastures during the spring.  After I fell from a young horse  in January and broke L5, I have decided to sell most of the horses and focus on the goats, their product and homesteading.  I am in the process of reclaiming the pastures and making them goat safe...coyote and cattle dog proof.  I am new to goats, so I have a ton of questions.  Fortunately, I catch on quick.  :-) 

I appreciate ALL of the advice given on this site.  It is my go-to source when I have questions.  Your suggestions and experience, Deborah, pique my curiosity and off I go to other sites to do additional research.  I feel like I have purpose again after my 2nd mid life crisis (1st time is when I shattered my left leg doing martial arts).  

Good luck with your goats -- and keeping yourself in one piece! I think we get more fragile as we age, so I am finally learning to be more careful. I tore my patellar tendon three years ago, and I'm still sitting here today with an Ace bandage on my knee.

Cynthia Koscinch said:

"...When I talked about managing properly, that means that you don't leave animals in a pasture until they've eaten it down to the dirt...."  --I agree!  Unfortunately, my husband's mare WILL eat a pasture down to the dirt, even when she has access to hay.  I put her in the front pasture to preserve the other pastures during the spring.  After I fell from a young horse  in January and broke L5, I have decided to sell most of the horses and focus on the goats, their product and homesteading.  I am in the process of reclaiming the pastures and making them goat safe...coyote and cattle dog proof.  I am new to goats, so I have a ton of questions.  Fortunately, I catch on quick.  :-) 

I appreciate ALL of the advice given on this site.  It is my go-to source when I have questions.  Your suggestions and experience, Deborah, pique my curiosity and off I go to other sites to do additional research.  I feel like I have purpose again after my 2nd mid life crisis (1st time is when I shattered my left leg doing martial arts).  

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