Sheep or Goats. Compare and Contrast to see which is better for your homestead.

Are you thinking of adding livestock to your homestead, but can’t decide between sheep or goats? Both have their advantages and challenges, but through a detailed analysis of their traits and behavior, we can explore which one is better suited for your particular needs. Join me as we compare and contrast sheep and goats to help you make an informed decision for your homestead.

Sheep or Goats: Compare and Contrast to See Which is Better for Your Homestead

Sheep and goats are common animals that are raised on homesteads. Although they are both considered small livestock, they have different personalities, dietary preferences, and needs. Choosing between sheep and goats can be a tough decision for homesteaders. In this article, we will compare and contrast sheep and goats to help you decide which one is better for your homestead.


Raising livestock has numerous benefits that can be enjoyed by homesteaders. However, choosing which animal to raise can be a daunting task, particularly between sheep and goats. The decision to choose either sheep or goats largely depends on your homestead’s location, climate, and your personal preferences.

Here are some factors governing the comparison between sheep and goats:

Personality and Disposition

Sheep are naturally social creatures and flock animals, meaning they enjoy being in a herd and stay together. They are less energetic and prefer to stay stationary and graze on grass. In contrast, goats tend to be individualistic. They are curious, active, and love to explore their surroundings. They are also highly intelligent animals, and they care for each other more than most people think.

Food Preferences

Sheep graze on grass, while goats are browsers and prefer to eat broadleaf plants, shrubs, and trees. Grass is not a palatable option for goats, but sheep can thrive on just grazing. Hence, you need to understand the kind of vegetation your homestead has before deciding which animal would be practical to keep.

Climate Tolerance

Goats can easily tolerate dry heat and arid conditions compared to sheep, which prefer cold and rain. The hardy nature of goats makes them more suitable to raise in regions with harsh climates where grass and browse are scarce.

Fencing Needs

Another considerable difference between sheep and goats is their fence jumping ability. Generally speaking, goats are more agile and can leap higher than sheep. Goats can quickly climb trees and escape, and this makes containment more challenging. Therefore, goat fencing must be higher, more secure, and provide panels and electric wire to prevent them from jumping. On the other hand, sheep are easy to contain with just a standard fence.

Feeding Requirements

Both goats and sheep can eat grass, but goats tend to prefer a more diverse diet. Additionally, goats need copper in their diet, whereas copper is toxic to sheep. Therefore, when feeding, you need to be careful and ensure that the right minerals are provided to the right animal.

Running Together

While it is possible to run both goats and sheep together, they are not usually drawn to each other and may form separate herds. However, it is best to have separate pastures and living spaces to avoid health issues since they have different dietary preferences, behaviors, and diseases.


Choosing between sheep and goats is subjective and depends on your homestead’s specifics. The best way to decide which one is suitable for your homestead is to research the environmental conditions of your homestead, your preferences, and the goals you intend to achieve by raising animals.


  1. Which is better between sheep and goats?
    Choosing between sheep and goats depends on factors such as the homestead’s location, climate, personal preferences, and goals.

  2. Are goats better than sheep as pets?
    Goats are known for their friendly nature and curiosity and tend to make better pets than sheep.

  3. What do sheep eat?
    Sheep graze on grass.

  4. What kind of diet do goats prefer?
    Goats prefer to browse on broadleaf plants, trees, and shrubs.

  5. Can you raise goats and sheep together?
    While it is possible to raise goats and sheep together, it is best to have separate pastures and living space to avoid health issues arising from their different dietary preferences and behavior.

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