Sheep vs goat. Which one should you choose? Well, raising a certain livestock species requires a lot of factors. Well, if you are a small backyard farmer, then it is advisable to go for the easy ones. Also, goats and sheep are indeed very easy to raise.
Apart from this, being a small farmer, you will have a lot fewer resources. It is imperative! Setting your goals and acknowledging all the help you have.
This article brings you evident insight into this dilemma – sheep vs goat!
SHEEP VS GOAT – HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
I know how stupid this sounds. You must be thinking, “Who the hell doesn’t know about telling these two animals apart?” Well, I don’t think so. Moreover, young sheep and goats look very alike.
If you are new to this, you will feel lost. However, sheep and goats differ in anatomy, genealogy, and their behavior.
So, now the question is, what is the difference between the sheep and the goat?
Here are a few tell-tale signs that will help you out.
Sheepskin Vs Goatskin
This is the first factor when it comes to the difference between the skins. Moreover, goats have a fur-based coat. Also, sheep have warm, cozy wool, although there are some exceptions to it.
Firstly, when it comes to goats, they have a short tail. The tail points straight up. However, most sheep which provide meat have long tails. Apart from being extended, these tails are always in a downward direction.
Apart from this, some breeds have a rat-like tail. These tails are fat and store energy fat deposits. Moreover, breeding of sheep can also have some hygiene issues. It might also bring in some parasites that might cause disease in livestock.
This is one of the most eminent tell-tale signs ever. Sheep graze. Whereas, goats eat from trees. Sheep like to feed at feet-level. In addition, goats also feed on grass but not too often. On the other hand, sheep are helpful as they keep your lawn neat and tidy.
Apart from this, rotating your livestock is a good idea. Why? Well, if you own an average size farm or even a large one, this will help you out. It will help you distribute manure evenly. It keeps your land fertile. However, this is also beneficial for your livestock. It exposes them to a diverse foraging range and is an excellent exercise for them.
Moreover, the climatic conditions also matter if you live in an area with heavy winter seasons, then you better buckle up! Since the winter months have less availability of food, it is advisable to switch to hay.
SHEEP VS GOAT: WHERE TO GROUND THEM?
Apart from feeding needs, there is one more factor that needs your immediate attention. Fencing. Well, Isn’t it the same for both of them? It is where most of you are wrong. Well, keeping these animals in a suitable environment is pivotal.
Apart from this, sheep fencing is usually smooth and has electric wires. Sometimes, there are non-electric woven wires.
Goats are usually jumpers and climbers. Well, they might challenge your novice fencing. What to do? Well, to keep them from running away, you need something strong. Goat fencing often consists of high tensile electric wires.
Moreover, other fencing strategies might work as well. They include wooden fences, stockade panels, chain link fencing, and so on. Whatever you choose, make sure the goat shed is not near the fencing.
Apart from this, another pivotal factor for raising livestock is to keep predators away. We don’t want their numbers going down like what happened to pandas. It includes coyotes, dogs, wolves, bears, etc. Your fencing should also cover these concerns.
Housing is an essential factor when you dive into animal husbandry. Why? Well, you cannot just let them suffer now? Moreover, you must consider yourself as well. You will work and spend most of your time there. So, it is pivotal to consider your comfort levels as well.
Apart from this, the shelters should have an efficient drainage system. Moreover, we must build it on a well-elevated area.
Also, indeed, goats and sheep do not need any living housing or shelters. A simple construction would suffice. The main thing to look after is their comfort along with yours. They must have enough space, security, and so on.
Also, Your need for space will be much different while raising livestock. It is advisable to have facilities for pregnant sheep or goats. Moreover, they should also have isolation structures for sick animals.
It is an additional concern when you are breeding sheep. However, shearing depends on the breed. Some raise sheep for its fur. So, if you are raising sheep for its fur, it’s time to know this!
Moreover, shearing is essential. Shearing will provide comfort to the sheep. It will keep them cool for the summer days. One of the most efficient methods of shearing is the shearing of ewes. Shearing of pregnant ewes a month before lambing is a good practice. It promotes them to take shelter and seek warmth. However, this also benefits the unborn lamb. As the mother looks for heat, it also starts to eat more to stay warm. It provides essential nutrients to the lamb.
It is often a common notion that shearing is only applicable to sheep. Sorry to burst your bubble! Goats need shearing too!
Not all goats need shearing. For fiber, certain species of goat raising is essential. Moreover, to increase fiber content, we often shear Angora goats. We shear them twice a year during early spring and early fall.
If you are a rookie, well, head’s up! If you think that raising goats and sheep is unicorns and rainbows all day, then maybe you should think again. Even though they do not require a posh lifestyle, they indeed have some needs. You need to prepare yourself. There are needs that you need every day. If you have determination and seriousness, then this indeed your cup of tea! Do extensive research and plan it through.
RESEARCHING AND SETTING GOALS
First of all, before you head out to do all of this, just stop and think! Consider your area of interest. Which livestock do you have an interest in? Farming is a 24/7, 365-day job. It requires sheer dedication and concentration. And of course, hard labor and effort! Some days are worse; some days are sunny. You need to prepare yourself for everything. If you want success in farming or husbandry, you first need to like these animals. Bonding with them will motivate you more than anything.
Apart from this, are you raising livestock for commercial purposes? Well, if so, you need to do an extensive market search before setting goals. The demand for the product you want to raise will give you a clear insight into the recent market trends for the product.
Goat meat is a popular product. Goat meat has a global demand. Apart from this, they are a part of niche markets. They also produce cheese and milk. So, research will immensely help you to cope up with the demands. When it comes to sheep vs goat, both of them are of high demand, especially during religious events.
HOW MANY IS TOO MUCH SHEEP?
While raising sheep, overcrowding is a bad idea. Well, you might think the commercial profit is more, but you are wrong! Space matters. If you have an area of one acre, it will fit six to ten sheep. However, if you own land of thirty acres, you can have as much as a hundred sheep. Moreover, bigger the ground gets, rotation becomes a necessity. Overcrowding also makes the sheep prone to diseases.
HOW MANY GOATS ARE ENOUGH?
When it comes to raising goats, you should have a different strategy, although the numbers are similar. In a single acre of land, you can fit six to eight goats. However, if you have a land of thirty acres or more, you can check more goats.
However, more does not necessarily mean profit! If you have a space limit, try to have a lesser number of animals. It will only strain your resources and livestock.
Also, sheep are much more durable. They can withstand harsh weather. On the other hand, goats tend to stay dry.
SHEEP MILK VS GOAT MILK: WHICH IS BETTER?
Feels like a showdown, isn’t it? Well, let’s find out who is the ultimate victor!
The goat’s milk is almost remarkably similar to human milk. It almost has a similar structure and has smaller fat globules. It has a lower intolerance rate. Studies show that about 93% of the people were okay with it! It has 35% of medium-chain fatty acids, which makes it extremely easy to digest. Goat milk has less amount of lactose content. It makes it tolerant and has no effects like lactose intolerance. Apart from this, the milk composition is alkaline.
Although, despite its advantages, there are some demerits. Some people do not like it all. Some species of goat indeed have a musky taste in their milk. It discourages the masses. Moreover, it is unfit for commercial use. Why? Well, goats are small animals. It means that the yield is much less. You need a hell lot of goats to run an actual business to serve the masses!
Sheep milk is one of the creamiest milk ever! The milk is famous for its cheese, and feeding habits do not require much. They just need raw grass to produce, rich and creamy milk! They have naturally homogenized milk. Similar to goat’s milk, they have lesser fat globules. Also, they are abundant in medium-chain fatty acids. It eases the process of digestion.
However, they have certain demerits. Sheep are always open to predation. It makes them sensitive to any stimuli. Also, they have emotions. They release “letting down” hormones. It affects the production of milk. Apart from this, milking them is a nightmare! They are fearful and easy to scare.
SHEEP VS GOAT CHEESE: WHICH IS THE ULTIMATE CHOICE?
Well, sheep cheese is better than goat cheese. Why? It has more nutritional value. However, sheep cheese has twice the fat in comparison to goat cheese. Goat milk contains less casein. It is a protein that curdles. Hence, goat cheese is generally crumbly. But, sheep cheese is cohesive and creamy.
Apart from this, sheep cheese is rich in nutrients. It has higher amounts of carbohydrates. Also, it has vitamin C, vitamin B12, folate, calcium, and magnesium.
WHICH IS SMARTER?
So, this might sound crazy to you, but sheep and goats are smarter than you think! However, they are often used as wrong examples to exemplify weakness. Still, this isn’t the case.
Goats are curious and intelligent animals. Apart from being livestock, they are ideal as a pet. Similar to dogs, they can form bonding with their human parents. Also, they are curious. Their constant investigation of the surroundings proves this. They also communicate, and bleat to communicate among themselves. They have a high sense of the activities going on around them.
On the other hand, sheep are also extremely intelligent. They have fantastic memory skills. They also have recognition skills. Yes! They can recognize you. Apart from this, they have emotions. They feel sad, as well as happy, and can build relationships. They also stand by each other while fighting.
Sheep Vs Goat – Who won? Well, in terms of nutrition, sheep takes the trophy! However, it is still up to us. Now that you know all about raising a sheep or a goat, I believe you can now make the decision! If your intentions are purely commercial, it is advisable to research and plan it through.