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Goats without fences?  RSS feed

 
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Was wondering if anyone keeps goats with no fences? The ol'google wasnt helpful.
I live on thirty acres that was clear cut some years ago. It's not technically to the stage of hardwood forest yet    
There are lots of 30 to 40 ft trees and a ton smaller with brush and scrub. Poison ivy, blackberries, honeysuckle etc. No neighbors real close.
Is this doable or will they just run off? Anyone ever tried?
There's plenty to eat so I'd think they would stay but I don't know. I know my dogs and chickens stay where the food is.
 
Posts: 82
Location: mid Ohio, 40.318626 -83.766931
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It might be doable.
I have 12 acres, 7 fenced in for the goats, there are several that get out every day but come back to the barn every night to be let back in,.
The llamas on the other hand would just walk off somewhere and may or may not come back.
If you could fence them in for a while within an area that has a barn or she'd for them then they would be more inclined to stick around once you let them free range.
 
Posts: 74
Location: Winters, California
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The farm I’m renting has a couple of free range goats. They used to stay in a fenced area with water, food, and shelter. That’s been converted for other uses and their stuff was moved to a nearby spot. They tend to stay close to their stuff, and occasionally wander through the surrounding orchard. They were already elderly when the change was made, so they’re very attached to the property. Also the orchard provides very little food for them, other than weeds. So those things work in favor of having them stay close. We don’t have any large predators that would go after them.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1976
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They can be easily trained to "return home" into a pen every evening like people do with chickens.

Along with fulltime hay and water, give them a small grain treat every evening. They will return every evening for that grain. If their only water source is in that pen, even better. Probably keeps them from wondering too far off.

Keep them in a pen for ruffly a week. After that let them out an hour before feeding, then 2 hours, etc till you get to a full day or are confident.

I dont know the range they will travel. I'd try to get an answer to that and look at the risk of that distance (hiways, bad neighbors, etc)

If i were to do it, i would have a decent sized pen and keep them there at night. If they wander too far i would shorten the days they were out. I would also keep the herd small, where the pen gives them running room. At a minimum, this keeps them happy if its an epic fail and you have to figure out a plan b (sell them, eat them, build paddocks, moveable pen, etc)

 
pollinator
Posts: 1317
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Keep in mind that if a person intentionally allows an animal to run at large, they are usually liable for any damages associated with that animal. So if your goats damage a neighbor's garden, damage their car by climbing on it, cause an automobile accident, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable and expensive predicament.
 
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We did this...27 goats tops and in an open valley...no neighbors and home base was forty acres.  The goats loved it but I wouldn't recommend it.  We lost a few  over the years to predators and 'hunters' during deer season.  They did come home to feed and shelter most of the time.  During kidding though they sometimes  preferred some of the rock shelters up the hill side.

Milking was complicated until we were able to pen the milkers up overnight in order to milk in the morning.

Ours did not stay on our land although there was abundant forage...they enjoyed their freedom

 
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I am not experienced with goats, but I do keep our goats without fences; I just make sure that we are established as part of their herd first: bottle-feeding and even having a new adult sleep in the house. Our goats wouldn’t dream of wandering off. When we are in the house they sleep on the porch or browse very close by. When we go out, they walk everywhere we walk. If we leave a door open, they will also come into the house...
 
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I have a small herd of 5 dairy goats and have "free ranged" them off and on during the day for several years.

We lock them in their pen at night for milking in the AM and PM and for predator protection. They always come home in the evening  and sometimes even during the day to lie down and chew their cud.

I estimate that they have ranged as far away as maybe 2  acres but usually they stay closer to home as long as there is plenty of browsing available near by.
 
pollinator
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Location: Australia, Canberra
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Depends on the goat type.

Some goats are coming from mountain origin and don't do well without a fence. Even with a fence, they are hard.

Some goats are bred to live in plains and they do well in grazing paddocks. These are I think usually milking goats.
 
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