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532 of 571 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book with just one glaring ommision, October 12, 2009
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This review is from: The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! (Paperback)
A very well put together book with lots of useful information. However there is one area that it is glaringly lacking in information. The author states there isn't room for a dairy animal and suggests pigs instead, but they completely overlook the Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. Two Nigerian Dwarf dairy does take up less space than the pigs, and even some urban areas area starting to allow them as "pets". A good Nigerian milk doe can give 1/2-3/4 of a gallon of very rich milk daily. Just be sure to buy from someone that breeds them for milking and not someone that just breeds them as pets.

Nigerians also get along well with chickens, and can share the same yard space as long as there is separate sleeping and feeding quarters for the chickens. And keeping 3-4 hens with your goats will keep the fly population down to nearly non-existent levels. So the back portion of your lot could be a single large pen, rather than two small ones, thus saving on the amount of fencing needed. A typical garden shed can be divided up to provide housing and feed storage for both goats and chickens, again saving on the cost (and space) of building separate structures.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 11-20 of 22 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 9, 2011 9:10:21 AM PST
I completely agree about Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats! They are the breed I started with after EXTENSIVE research and feel they are perfect for most applications. If folks want more milk, either get another Nigy doe or look for a Mini (larger dairy breed crossed with Nigerian buck)...I now have Oberhaslis and Sables too, but most of the herd is comprised of Nigies. The chickens ride around on the goats, the goat kids hop on one of my horses for a ride, and everybody has a great time. We also have heritage ducks, turkeys, guineas and of course chickens. We don't have much problem with ticks, mosquitos, flies, etc.

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 5:41:35 PM PDT
I would really like to know more details about housing chickens and goats together. I have goats, and they have a large outside pen and a nice little barn, that is open on one side. If there was a way to keep chickens in there and not have them make a mess in the hay feeder and also lock them up securely at night.... that would be ideal. Have you done this? How?

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 5:51:35 PM PDT
R. M. Lozano says:
I would think you would need to keep the chickens and goats separate - for sanitary reasons if nothing else. The chickens will really poo up their bedding, whereas the goats are rather neater. Maybe the same barn, but different stalls or with some sort of divider?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2011 8:26:51 PM PDT
J. Wagman says:
Chicken feed must be kept where the goats can not access to it as it can be toxic to them in large amounts. The chickens will need an area to roost in too. I prefer to just have a separate coop for the chickens that is up on stilts. There feeder is underneath out of the weather and surrounded by cattle panels to keep the big goats out. If if I had kids in there I would probably want the feeder in the coop itself with a hop up for the chickens to keep the little ones out. The chickens get locked in at night, the goats are free to come and go.

Another nice thing about Nigerians is that they cycle year round so you can stagger breedings and pretty much always have a doe in milk.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2011 8:28:16 PM PDT
J. Wagman says:
Yes they are listed, but only a few sentences are given to them when they should have been given much more space in my opinion. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2011 8:29:38 PM PDT
J. Wagman says:
Nigerians run 6-10% butterfat. By way of comparison whole milk from the store is 3.5% and half-n-half is 10%. So yes it is richer and sweeter. So rich in fact that you can make butter from whole Nigerian milk.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2011 8:30:53 PM PDT
J. Wagman says:
Yes they need a separate feeding and roosting area.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 9:43:02 AM PST
If I recall correctly, central America has vampire bats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_bat

In the States the bats are great for insect population control. Rabies is a concern if you see one acting unusual. Bat houses are great ways to encourage bats to harvest insects in your area, but heed how you mount it--a warmer house is needed for nurseries, a cooler house is needed for bachelor pads. And one that isn't usefully mounted won't be tenanted (as witnessed by my house that was up for three years without even a spider taking residence).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2011 6:50:36 PM PST
C. Borders says:
Um, ducks will make divots in the yard rooting around. And if they find an area of soft ground or puddles, they will make haste in mucking it up. I've never had anything destroyed by a chicken, but my ducks make a mess of things quickly. And they are all free range birds, not cooped up in pens. Both types of poultry have benefits and drawbacks.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013 7:56:54 PM PDT
anlin2901 says:
Ensure there is NO place for them to breed. Any amount of standing water (even a tablespoon worth) is breeding ground. Encourage dragon flies, bats & birds (swallows & purple martins eat them).

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J. Wagman
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Location: Oregon, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 51,557