For individuals who choose to keep chickens, there’s no doubt about it that chickens are great for supplying delicious homegrown eggs! For many, people will often consider what other forms of produce they can gain from keeping their very own livestock. Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with rolling plains of fresh green fields or perhaps have a considerably large backyard, but for individuals who are looking to add more to their backyard, dairy goats are becoming an increasingly popular option. Dairy goats make fantastic pets, livestock and are capable or producing a lot of fresh milk. However, the question still remains, can you house dairy goats with chickens? In this article, we will take a look at common situations you may encounter when housing both chickens and dairy goats together, so you can make your own personal decision!
Chickens and their eggs.
One of the most common questions is ‘is it safe to house goats around chicken eggs?’. Keeping chicken eggs around goats can often be a recipe disaster, not only are goats incredibly curious creatures, they are also clumsy and bursting full of energy which isn’t the best news for your chicken’s delicate little eggs, especially if your chicken decides to lay her eggs in the dairy goat’s hay manger. In most cases, you can collect the eggs before the goats accidentally break them, but if you aren’t quick enough you should expect a few accidents.
Goats and their milk.
In order to keep up milk production, dairy goats require milking many times in a single day, and understandably this can create a lot of milk, milk that you may not be able to consume right away, so rather than wasting it, give it to your flock! It sounds a bit crazy at first, but by adding the seeds, leaves, and plant bits from the goats hay to the milk and allow it to ferment overnight, you will find yourself with a cheese-like product which is perfect for feeding your chickens, and the best bit, it’s full of nutrients too!
There is no denying that baby goats can be incredibly lively which can cause distress to chickens if they find themselves in the path of a highly strung goat. Chickens can get jumped on, headbutted, and stepped on. This is not a malicious act of the goat by all means but is simply a result of their behaviour. Smaller chicks are at considerable risk to energetic goats, so it’s highly recommended that they are kept out of harm’s way. Even a playful headbutt from a goat can often be fatal for an adult chicken.
The perfect clean-up partnership.
Goats aren’t the cleanest of creatures and by some standards neither are chickens, but chickens seem to enjoy the task of keeping insects such as flies out of the coop and also away from your goats. This can help to protect your goats from a very nasty parasite that is known as deer worm. As you are probably more than aware, chicken’s aren’t particularly bothered where they defecate, which can often lead to your goat’s hay manager being covered in chicken feces. This will prevent your goats eating the hay, meaning you will need to replace any soiled hay which can often be a huge waste.
Just like many types of livestock both chickens and goats are susceptible to diseases such as coccidiosis. It’s important to note that coccidiosis is host specific, this means that the protozoa that infects your flock are not capable of infecting goats and visa versa. Nevertheless, it’s always important to have both your goats and chickens checked if you suspect any possible disease.