A two season grazing study of mixed (goats and beef cattle) species was conducted in 2006 and 2008 at Sebastian Farms in Breathitt County KY. The objective of this study was to determine if the order of mixed species grazing affected beef cattle and goat weight gain and goat exposure to the barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) in a rotational grazing system. In this study, two co-grazing management strategies were tested. In treatment 1, goats and cattle were rotationally grazed together. In treatment 2, goats rotated through pastures as first grazers followed by cattle. Each co-grazing treatment was assigned a set of four pastures similar in size, terrain and plant species composition. The stocking rate for each treatment was approximately 1.2 acres per animal unit (1 animal unit = 1,000 lbs live weight). Animal performance data was collected every 30 days during the grazing season. In 2007, the study was suspended due to extreme drought conditions. In 2006 and 2008 goat weight gain and FAMACHA scores were not affected by grazing treatment. In 2006, cattle weight gain was slightly higher for cows grazing with goats. In contrast, cows following goats in 2008 had the greatest weight gain. Based on field observations, beef cattle and goats were compatible grazers and no herd health issues were related to mixed species grazing during this study.
Digital Object Identifier
Ditsch, David C. and Scharko, Patty, "Co-Grazing Beef Cattle and Goats in Kentucky" (2012). Plant and Soil Sciences Research Report. 3.