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Goats missing

 
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So I'm new here but I have an odd case I'm hoping to get some answers to.
I own five goats, all about ten years old. Well suddenly on Tuesday somewhere between 2 and 4:30pm four of them go missing.
And I say missing because they didn't show back up like they always do before nightfall.
The one who is left is acting confused but has no injuries and isn't act like she has been spooked by anything. Sadly I wasn't there to see where she came from or if she came back scared so I'm not sure if I should be looking for a predator or a person.

I own dogs but none that run my property anymore with goats because they are more interested in running off than guarding the property.

One of my neighbors does have four dogs who run between their property and ours. They have been raised Around horses and livestock and while they chase deer, in the three years they've been around they never have hurt or shown any interest in our goats.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be the culprit? I'm really rather devastated over this.
 
pollinator
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Theft?

Normally an animal that escapes will come home at dinner time.

Is the ground too frozen to see tracks?

One time I had a goat escape within 20 minutes of getting her onto my property after I bought her. She ran off into the night and I could not find her. I got some friends together the next day for a search party. Imagine a group of older women walking around a forest, shaking cans of grain, and calling for a goat. 😹 We did finally find her, on a neighbor’s front porch, drinking out of a dog bowl. She didn’t come home, because it wasn’t “home” yet.

You’ve probably had your goats for years, though, so they would come home if they had simply escaped.

Also, predators don’t typically kill most of a herd. It just doesn’t sound like a 4-legged predator. Sounds like a 2-legged predator to me. A neighbor lost 500 chicks to theft. Humans are worse than any coyote, dog, raccoon, etc. With spring coming, this time of year used to be my biggest meat sales for lamb and goat. You might want to file a report with local law enforcement.

Maybe consider getting security cameras? We have padlocked gates at the front of our property, and a pack of German Shepherds. But not everyone wants to take it to that level.
 
pollinator
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Or a guard-donkey. I hear they're not to be trifled with. Dr. Redhawk could tell you in detail, but I know that they're popular flock/herd protectors.

The other thing, of course, would be to get a couple of rescue puppies of the right breed(s), or from a farmers' litter of LGDs, and have them adopt the goats as their new herd. They would be herd dogs, not human companions, except perhaps with the chief livestock minder. If they're raised to it, not being house dogs isn't a hardship to them; they will have no point of reference.

I hope you find your goats, Kitkat.

-CK
 
Ks Wallace
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I have had these goats since they were born here( Minus the wether who I adopted at two months old) and they have stuck around or came running when I hollered 'goats' because they knew they'd get a treat. They are free range as it where during the day when I'm home and locked up when I'm not.
Tuesday I was home all day so they got free reign of the land, but with it being winter they haven't been going far because of all the hay and feed I've been giving them.
We haven't had much rain or snow recently so now way to look for any tracks since the ground is dry.

Theft was my first thought too, although it has never happened before to me. My reasoning being same as you that predators don't generally kill a herd. I have lost two goats in the past to coyotes within a couple weeks of each other but both times only one goat was killed and everyone else was fine.

I used to have two LGD, we initially got them when we got the goats as puppies and raised them together with him.
However, after we think one was poisoned and the goats weren't friendly to other dogs with their giant horns. We decided not to do that again.
I have both a Blue Heeler and a Boarder Collie.
Both are great guard dogs and will bark at any noise they don't recognize.
But if someone caught the goats on the north or south side of the property, it would be hard to hear anything.

I have wanted to get a donkey but I also am planning on moving in the next few months to some place that is 30-40 minutes away from where I live so I've been holding off until after the move so I'm not having to move another animal around last minute.
 
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My experience with livestock, including sheep, goats and even cows, is that any of them will take a walk if they are a mind to. And, sometimes it can take as little as a couple, three hours for them to go "feral". They'll head for the woods, get "scared", then don't know what to do, then just keep walking/grazing. I've had them get a mile or two in a day, farther the next. My experience is either you take a long walk searching, or call all the neighbors and especially the police and have them report any sightings. ~~The police in my town pretty much always call me no matter whose animals got out. The cops know I'm better at catching strays than any of them. It's a helpful reputation to have.~~ As far as your animals returning, my experience is not so much. Once they're "wild" they just don't come home. But, you never know, maybe they will (probably not). As far as them get'n  eat'n, most predators don't take the kill all that far. They usually go just far enough to feel safe. You should have found evidence of a kill by now. So my guess is they're just on a walkabout. --One other thing is to check with other local farmers. Sometimes strays will go join another flock just because they don't know where home is and any flock is better than none.
 
Ks Wallace
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Jim Fry wrote:My experience with livestock, including sheep, goats and even cows, is that any of them will take a walk if they are a mind to. And, sometimes it can take as little as a couple, three hours for them to go "feral". They'll head for the woods, get "scared", then don't know what to do, then just keep walking/grazing. I've had them get a mile or two in a day, farther the next. My experience is either you take a long walk searching, or call all the neighbors and especially the police and have them report any sightings. ~~The police in my town pretty much always call me no matter whose animals got out. The cops know I'm better at catching strays than any of them. It's a helpful reputation to have.~~ As far as your animals returning, my experience is not so much. Once they're "wild" they just don't come home. But, you never know, maybe they will (probably not). As far as them get'n  eat'n, most predators don't take the kill all that far. They usually go just far enough to feel safe. You should have found evidence of a kill by now. So my guess is they're just on a walkabout. --One other thing is to check with other local farmers. Sometimes strays will go join another flock just because they don't know where home is and any flock is better than none.



I would agree about them turning feral, except it seems odd at that point that only one would return or feel a reason to return rather than staying with the others.
Also in the ten years of keeping goats, back when I originally got them and was still naive about dangers. I used to have twenty goats that were allowed free run of the property, from basically 8 in the morning until five at night and they always came back. Never had any go feral or just walk off.
I can contact the police but they aren't very helpful where I live, and I don't have a lot of neighbors either. I'm going to mention something to the one across the way, but I'm not sure it'll help.
 
Jim Fry
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Some sheep or goats are just "home bodies", and some are more likely to look over the fence at greener pastures. They all have their own personalities. I've had some run while others stay, ..on the same day. It doesn't surprise me the least that it may have happened with yours. Let people know, they'll hopefully turn up sooner or later.
 
Myrth Gardener
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While anything is possible, 10 year old homebody goats that are trained to come when called for treats are unlikely to suddenly turn feral, all except for one goat.

More likely, someone looking for goats to market decided to catch them, but one played wiley and they couldn’t capture that one, so they left without it. I would check Facebook markets for your area, Craigslist, and local livestock auctions. And file a police report even if the local constabulary does not care about theft. Get a copy of your report. Documenting the possible theft may help if you find someone selling your goats.
 
Ks Wallace
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Thank you for the ideas.
I live in Oklahoma, and in this state they consider anything fair game.
I didn't think to check Facebook, but I have been looking at Craigslist. I might post a lost ad there just to see if anything comes from.
All of them have horns so they are kind of unique in that manner since most people here get the horns removed.
The driveway is fenced in so no one could just drive up to the house and snatch them plus my blue heeler would've pitched a fit if a car had come up because he hates them.
However, if they went a little ways south or north, anyone could've herded them away or grabbed them.
What is odd to me though is that until yesterday day its been in 30s during the day so they haven't been wandering much at all except within sight distance of the house and every time I would come out, they rush over expecting me to give them something tasty.
Then Tuesday, I see them around the house, where their hay is lazy grazing. Then two hours later I come back outside to take of trash and check their water and sheds, and I am meet with a lone confused goat. It just feels weird.
The one goat is still sticking close by and keeps looking around like she expects them to show up, but so far nothing.
Sadly with college and work, I'm not home every day so I can't spend the whole day out looking for them, but I just keep hoping.
 
Myrth Gardener
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One of the many reasons I hate Facebook is that it allows groups which sell stolen items. Some criminals in our area sell primarily via these groups. Just about every locality in the USA has such local sales groups, so do a search for such groups in your area and you’re likely to find them.

I deleted my Facebook account last year. But if any of my animals or things turned up missing, I would make a sock FB account just to look for them.

Good luck. I really hope you find your goats.
 
Chris Kott
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Yeah, more like Fencebook.

-CK
 
Ks Wallace
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Thank you.
I will definitely look around on Facebook and see if something turns up.
I'm hoping it does, or at least that where ever they are. They're safe.
 
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Did you ever find out what happened to your goats?
 
Seriously Rick? Seriously? You might as well just read this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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