We raise our animals outdoors, letting them have the fresh air and sunshine and eat fresh grass (cows, sheep, goats) or scratch the grass and dirt (chickens) or root in area that they are (pigs). Cows, sheep, and goats especially need to be moved regularly as grass is their food. Sheep and goats also need to be protected from predators. So how do we try to keep this in balance – being outdoors, being moved regularly, being protected from predators?
This year we are using small moveable pens. For the goats we have wooden frame with metal sheep fencing around the outside and wheels in the corners. The kids can and do get underneath, but that is happening less as they get older.
Model 2 is for the sheep. It is a bit bigger, has rough cut wood, and has no wire except at the door. Sheep are more content to stay in a fence and less likely to crawl through the fence, so they do well in this set up.
We can move these pens, giving the animals fresh grass, protecting them from predators, and keeping them in the space where we want them to be.