Assessing Your Room
Do you have room for goats to keep? You will need space in your backyard for a goat pen and a goat house to raise happy, healthy goats, as well as storage space for the goats’ food and other goat-related supplies such as straw. And you have to wonder what you’re going to do with all that soiled goat bedding that you’re going to sweep up at least two or three times a year.
Planning Your Farm Backyard
How much space you need depends on how many goats you’re going to have. Each goat should have adequate sleeping floor space, generous feeder space, and access to an outdoor enclosure. Keep in mind that your herd can double or triple each spring if you breed your goats. “(See “Backyard Goat Housing” further along in this article for more details.)
It is also a significant decision to put the goat enclosure within your backyard. The location of the enclosure is determined by convenience rather than science in a farm setting; it may simply be a fenced pasture attached to the barn. You will have to think more carefully about where you are going to set up your goat area in a smaller environment, giving thought to your goats, your neighbours, and yourself, of course.
The pen of a goat should have both sun and shade areas that can be created by an overhang attached to its housing or a large tree.
It ought to have protection against strong winds. The pen of the goats should be attached to the house of the goats, where they would also seek protection from the elements.
The goats’ pen should be free of native grasses and ornamental plantings. Other plants that are poisonous to goats are ferns, rhododendrons, azaleas, and mountain laurels. They should be well covered (that is, fenced) if there are young trees in the enclosure; otherwise, the goats would make a fast meal out of them.
For a variety of reasons, plants may be poisonous or cause harmful effects, and the degree of toxicity depends on a number of factors, including the stage of plant growth, which part of the plant was eaten by the animal, how much was ingested, and for certain plants, at what stage of decay the plant was consumed.
The Threat of Poisonous Plants
The ability of the blood to carry oxygen is interfered with by cyanogenic plants such as milkweed, mountain laurel, pit stone fruits, and leaves. Typically, death is very sudden. For animals with areas of unpigmented skin, photodynamic poisoning is usually more of a problem. Rape and St. John’s Wort are plants that are photodynamic. Once they are consumed in large quantities, when exposed to sunlight, sores form on the skin. Other plants, such as ferns, can cause internal haemorrhaging when ingested in large quantities.
For a list of poisonous plants in your state, contact your local health department or agricultural extension agency.
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