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Keeping pygmy goats in their barn

 
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I have about 1-1.5 acres fenced off with split rail and wire mesh. Was going to get a barn (8x10 maybe) and a few pygmy goats. Do you have to lock them in the barn at night? And if not, are they smart enough to know how to get back there if they get cold?
 
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Goats are smart - they will go to the barn on their own when they need to. If you want to feed them completely from that amount of land, you might want to divide the pasture up so they only have access to one part while the other parts rest to reduce worm issues and allow the plants to grow. Goats love trees and shrubs as well, so having some of their favourite trees growing from the edges will help.
 
k lerch
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Thank you for the information. Our pasture will give plenty of trees and shrubs and I don't mind them eating 90% of them. However, there are some oaks I heard were bad for them and some apple trees I wanted to protect. Do I just get one of those wire mesh tree protectors to keep them away from those few?
 
Kate Downham
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I've heard that oaks are good for them. Oaks are one of the trees used for tree hay, and the tannins in them help to keep goats worm-free.

Any tree protector will need to be sturdy, and enough distance away from the tree so that a goat can't reach the tree trunk when resting her front hooves on the protector.
 
k lerch
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So would I normally leave the barn door open and they can come and go as needed? Also do pygmy goats need "Field Fencing" or would that 2"x4" green coated welded wire work?
 
Kate Downham
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I am in a different country with different fencing, so I am not sure exactly what those types are.

Goats sometimes stand on their back legs and put their front hooves on the fencing, so the welded fence might not handle this. They also like to rub themselves along fences, which puts them under strain.

In a backyard I used a strong 4 foot high dog enclosure. On acreage I am using 4 foot high 'hinge joint' with 8 horizontal wires and 6" vertical wire spacing.
 
k lerch
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Thank you for the detailed answer! If I can accomidate 3 goats, is there a disadvantage or advantage over 2 goats?
 
Kate Downham
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Not really. If they're pet goats then there's no real benefit of having more of them, but if you're keeping them for milk, meat, breeding, etc, then you'll get a better yield from 3, but also if you end up having to buy in feed, the costs will be higher with 3.
 
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