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Goat boredom, pasture and fencing

 
Bethany Dutch
Posts: 164
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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Part of my long term plan, hopefully next year, is to get myself a couple of Nigerian Dwarf goats. I need to do this as economically as possible - shelter shouldn't be a problem, I'm pretty good at cobbling that sort of thing together.

I've been reading a LOT about fencing goats and people's experiences. I'm curious for those of you who already own goats - do you think there is a relationship to their boredom in their living situation to their desire to escape?

I have acres of pretty much IDEAL goat forage. Not a whole lot of grass, but lots of trees (fir and pine) and TONS of brush, both small and tall. I'm considering fencing in a paddock for them using fencing materials I already have, a combination of the pallet fence method I saw on here (I think actually it was one of Paul's Youtube videos" and 4' field fencing with barbed wire ran across the bottom and also at nose height.

I've read people talk about how their goats seem content and not really trying hard to escape. ANd then I've also read about people whose goats can leap a 6' fence in a single bound. What are your thoughts on that? If I fence in a quarter acre or so of brush, trees, stumps and other fun things, do you think it will help them with the whole trying to escape all the timething?
 
Devin Lavign
Posts: 241
Location: Pac Northwest
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books chicken forest garden goat hunting solar trees wofati woodworking
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For most any animal boredom will increase their escape attempts. An animal who isn't bored, doesn't try to escape as much.

Providing fun and entertainment might not 100% stop escape attempts, but it will dramatically decrease their attempts. There are always other drives that might cause escape attempts, like just seeing or smelling some tasty plant on the other side they decide they want. Or a curious animal who just wants to know what is happening outside. Even a desire to come find you and get affection might motivate an escape.

Providing stuff to climb can be essential to goat happiness. Not just stumps, but some sort of goat jungle gym. Narrow walk ways leading to higher positions always seem to please goats.





spools are a common goat play ground





Or more natural version, just a tree that has low enough access for them to get up





or in between stumps and logs arranged to create a challenging course for the goats to play on.


 
Bethany Dutch
Posts: 164
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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What wonderful ideas, thank you Devin!
 
Annie Lochte
Posts: 33
chicken forest garden goat
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As long as they have their basic needs met I've never had a problem with them trying to escape. I do have an electric wire around the inside of there permanent paddock and use electric net to rotate them around elsewhere. I'm sure theres diehard escapees out there but mostly happy goats are home body's. The adults stand on the fence to reach oak leaves, and the kids occasionally will squeeze out a weak area but overall it's a non issue for me. I keep 10-12 year round and sell the kids at 3-6 months old... These are mix Nubian and Nigerian crosses...

Eta.. Have to ad that I Love the pics of the goats in the trees above!!!
 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
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forest garden goat trees
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Please don't use barbed wire. If you have ever seen an animal who has pushed through it the injuries are just horrible. Could you use electric or even plain wire instead?
 
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