Sheep vs. Goats: What Small Hooves Win On A Homestead

Sheep and goats are a great option for small farmers because you don’t need much land to raise them. You can have six to ten sheep per acre, or six to eight goats per acre. But that’s where their similarities end. They are actually very different from each other, and it’s best to figure out which are best for your farm before you buy.


Before the invention of the lawn mower, sheep were commonly used to keep the grass down in parks and estates. They eat it in an even, uniform manner, rather than completely decimating little spots here and there. For this reason, sheep are great to have if you’ve always wanted a magic lawnmower to cut the grass while you sit on the porch swing.

Sheep are also relatively easy to keep in if you have a decent fence. They tend to stick together, and not be super adventurous. Just tie some fence panels to an existing barb wire fence, and you’ll be good to go.

With all that being said, don’t rush off to find some sheep just yet. Unless you raise hair sheep, keep in mind that you’ll have to shear them once or twice a year. You’ll need the right tools and the physical ability to do it.


Goats are interesting creatures, to say the least. Chock full of personality, they also tend to be mischievous. Make sure you’ve got an excellent, high fence, preferably electric, with no holes whatsoever. They love to jump, and if there’s a hole, a goat will find a way!

If you’ve got a lot of brush on your place that you want cleared out, then goats are the answer. They’re more browsers than grazers, and enjoy eating the leaves off of shrubs and low hanging tree branches. Only after that will they move to grass.

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