Guy Hawkins wrote:Anyway, the problem is that we will be going away for Christmas for a couple of weeks, and want to leave the goats here. We have a neighbour who will look in on them every two days, but since we've never left them before, and they are the first animals we have kept, we are getting a bit nervous. We are in Northern France, so no predators that we are aware of. I'm fitting a gate onto the entrance so they can't just wonder away, and we have an automatic feeder so they will get their pellets twice a day. What else should we be doing, or are we panicing over nothing?
All advice gratefully received.
Alison Thomas wrote:
Hello Guy and welcome from another France-based person.
No you're definitely not panicking over nothing - if you have animals you have a responsibility to ensure that all their daily needs are taken care of and that they are safe.
In my experience goats are creatures of habit and they seem to like routine. Ours (we have 9 currently) know us well and are looking out to see us at certain times of the day. Yours may well do the same and will definitely miss you. However, you say "we will be going away" so there doesn't seem much flexibility in the arrangement there. So, things you might want to think of...
Do your goats have a house/shed? A cold wet goat is a dead goat.
If they do, can your neighbour put in fresh bedding? If the weather is wet then goats spend a LOT of time in their house.
What about La Chasse? Do they cross your land? It may be as well to contact the local leader of La Chasse and tell them that you'll be away.
Tell any neighbours that have land bordering yours in case your goats wander off looking for you.
Can your neighbour pop in each day? Goats MUST have clean drinking water every day.
What if it turns icy? Their water will need to be defrosted. In Le Grand Froid last February we had to defrost their water 3 times a day!!!
I realise that the list looks long but keeping animals is a serious undertaking.
Alison Thomas wrote:Guy, sounds like you've thought it all through and that they've got what they need. Lucky you to have a stream. Have a good holiday.