Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hello,

Our goats have a fully enclosed 12 x 16 paddock for sleeping and moving about when the weather is not so great and raining.  When its sunny out they spend time out in the pasture for goats (plants, grass) which is 125 x 125 foot area alongside the chickens.  We have 4 NG and 7 chickens.

Now that they've been running around the pasture for a few weeks I'm wondering how do you keep this clean?  between the goat and chicken poop the pasture area is going to need cleaning out.  I've seen pasture sweeping attatchments for tractors but those run 4 - 7k and seem like over kill for our area.

The chickens do a good job picking at the goat droppings to reduce worm / fly activity but that will only work for so long.

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You cannot keep an area that small clean. You have two choices ....

1) start doing rotational grazing

2) create a legitimate dry lot

If you continue keeping the goats in an area this small, you will have parasites problems that cannot be solved with drugs. Basically your goats are eating from their toilet. Worms use the grass as an important part of their life cycle. Worm eggs do not hatch inside the goat. They hatch on pasture. The larvae wind up on the grass, so when goats eat grass, they ingest the larvae, which infect the goat. A single barber pole worm lays thousands of eggs per day, so your pasture will be covered in worm larvae pretty quickly. And they can live on pasture for weeks or even months if the weather conditions are right. 

I guess I should ask where you are. If you are in Arizona or a desert with no grass, then you'll probably be fine. But if you are in most parts of the US with grass, then you are on the road to a big problem. 

If you have my book, Raising Goats Naturally, it has about 24 pages on parasites, which explains everything. 

The chickens cannot eat the goats' intestinal worm eggs or larvae because they can't see it. They are good for eating fly larvae and maggots, which can easily be seen with the naked eye. 

Hello,

Your advice as well as a few others has convinced me that we should probably turn our pasture into a dry lot as its too small to really turn it into rotational grazing and we don't have additional land to expand.  The pasture is 90 X 90 for 4 of our little guys.  Including current pictures.

Given we are going this route, and I do have your book to look at as well, what would you recommend for the following:

  • Killing current grass
  • Type of material to use for the new dry lot
    • Wanting to avoid a big 90 X 90 mud pit since we live in north western washington and will have 4 months of really good rain for fall and winter.
    • Ive read that sand and pea gravel can be used but to me pea gravel wouldn't work because it would be super hard to clean out all the goat poop.  Sand could possible work if we was to rake out the goat poop but thoughts as well on this
    • Wood chips/bark, we have a ton of wood chips from when they cut down the trees for our lot and could easily spread those around but then i run into the same question as the pea gravel and cleaning.
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