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Goat toy ideas

Posted by msjay2u 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 19, 08 at 12:27

Can post photos of some ideas of things I can make for my goats to play with/on. Their pen is so boring. I have a board over some cinderblock and an old table that they can lay on (with a ladder to get up on it). What can I get them that they can have fun with? I have to keep them in this small pen for now since they get out the elec fence. They got away a couple of days ago and got nipped by some wild dogs so I think they are content in the cage for now but need something for entertainment!!!

sorry for the shaky photo:

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Here is a link that might be useful: The Goats Homestead


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Goat toy ideas

Heyy! That's a nice set up...funny you should post that as I've been looking for some fun "inside" ideas for my goats as well..I'm going to put in a step ladder like that,and maybe I'll take some pics and show you...if I can figure out how :)


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HI, I really enjoyed your web site! And I am looking into those ceiling tiles. I didn't even know they existed! My house was built in 1860 and the ceilings need a lot of help.
Anyway, did your goats come back on their own? Can you walk up to them to pet them? If they are people friendly, you can take them for "goat walks".
Mine love their goat walks. I don't use leashes or anything. I just let them out and walk around the property, giving them time to browse the weeds and grass.
If yours are friendly they will stay with you. Just in case the first walk or two you might want to take a bucket with a little bit of grain in it, or better yet some raisins. Call them back to you and give them a treat.
I walk 12+ goats at the same time almost daily when the weather is decent and they really look forward to it. They have their pens and pasture, but enjoy getting out to eat pine needles and apples and whatever weeds they have already cleared out of their pasture. I think it's good for them nutritionally to be able to pick and choose what they want on the walks.
By the time the walk is over they are all ready for a nap.
I think you mentioned on your web site that you have an overgrown area on your property. That would be a great place to take them to browse.
They might have been chased out of the electric fence by the dogs. You need to do something about the dog situation. Maybe call the dog pound?
Good Luck! Carrie


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BEELIZ: When I went to pick up the goats the momma was laying on a table and there was a board with the strips on it which the goat walked down while I was there. I thought that was soooo cool. So when I got home I remembered there was an old table in the back of the barn so I dug it out, reinforced it with extra nails and copied her ladder idea. Her board was actually a little wider than mines though. She closed in the end of her barn with the wire mesh and after my goats got lost and I got them back I did the same.

BACKLANELADY:Thanks for checking out my site! I actually did the ceiling tiles but I ordered way too many and have almost enough for another room! It looks so nice. I have not painted them yet though but I can tell you I love the look it created. Now back to the goats...okay you are forcing me to tell the story. The guy that put the fence up did not charge one side and I did not know that. so I put the goats in the elec wire portion and they ran right out and in the woods. They hauled butt. I could not find them anywhere and I had my neighbors looking too. I called animal control but they would not help because it was livestock but they did take a lost pet report. two days later they called because someone spotted the goats but I could not catch them. The animal control suggested I call an animal trapping company who came out and charged me $75 to assess the situation (basically, yep they are in the woods) and was going to charge extra to actually catch them. Two old men who were standing by are the ones who actually caught them and it was when some dogs got to one of the goats. We treated it with peroxide.

The goats do not come to me yet they are still frightened. Today I almost got them out the corner but then a dog barked and they ran back in the corner. I look forward to walking them although I might be scared they will run away again. Even though I have them in a pen I keep the elec wire charged. A dog tried to get in and got buzzed.LOL! Out in the county no leash laws.

I look forward to the day when the goats and I bond. I hope they learn to trust me soon.

I am still hoping for photos of ideas with the goats area and play toys. Does anyone have a bell on their goat?

PHOTOS PRETTY PLEEZE!!


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They do sound flighty. I wouldn't let them back out until you get them used to people.
Goats are very food motivated. You might want to try getting into the pen with them everyday and just sitting with them. Take some raisins with you and put a few out in front of you. Toss one or two by them so they can get the taste of them, then get them to come to you for more. No fast moves, and don't try to touch them. If they don't come around the first time leave and try the next day. But pick up the raisins and take them with you, otherwise the goats will catch on that once you leave, they can get what you leave behind.
Scary goats can take a long time to trust people. It won't happen over night. And they might never be the in your lap kind, but they will associate you with snacks and start to relax more with you.
I have a few that weren't people friendly and over time they have learned that I won't hurt them. But even now if I reach out to pet them they will back away. But, they are right there with the other goats when I pass out treats. The food seems to make them forget all about being standoffish...at least until the snacks are gone.
If you have stray dogs coming around to your property and you don't know who they belong to call animal control. Dogs aren't permitted to harass livestock. In many states, if a dog is on your property getting after your livestock you have the right to shoot them. I know that sounds extreme but there are laws in place to protect livestock.
Good Luck with your goats. They are fun to have around. It's too bad that yours are so flighty. I hope they settle down for you.


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  • Posted by niffer z5 Ontario (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 20, 08 at 16:14

I raised mine as bottle babies and they'd follow me to the moon and back! We have large logs out in the pastures for them to jump and climb on, they and the horses have nibbled most of the bark off. Could you give them some branches in their stalls? I don't know where you're from (we've still got snow) but they'd love some pine boughs. I also have an old cat toy I give them sometimes...if they push it around with their noses, treats will roll out. I use raisins in it. Could you hang something from the ceiling? I've not tried this, but they might be interested in it for a bit. Good luck!


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My 2 goats come running up to me when I go see them! And I swear they even say "maaaa" !! They are small,like 45 pounds,so when they jump up to see me with their front hooves it's not so bad! They really are awsome animals,I adore having them although I do get a little discouraged when they break out of the fence once in a while! They definitely keep you working! I'm constantly fixing or redoing fences..argh! but i love them


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Good idea with the raisins. I am going to try it but I figured I would use something that smells strong like apples. I do have logs out in the hotwired area but I have not attempted to put them out there again yet. I am going to wait a couple of months before I go that far.

I have lots and lots of Ivy growing on the trees. I been taking some off and putting it in the pen everyday and they devour them. I come back in a hour and no matter how much I put in there it is gone when I get back.

When my goats escaped out the pen I wanted to cry and I kept thinking why am I feeling like this over a GOAT. I had just put them in ther for the first time so it was VERY discouraging. I told the lady who sold them to me and she said I should not have put them in the pasture first they should have been put in the pen for a few weeks before I just let them loose. I reminded her this is my 1st experience and nobody told me that! Well now I probably will be scared to let them out even in a few months!How should I know when it is okay to let them out to browse?

Also I been laying the "feed hay" on the ground and they have not touched it. What should I put it in so they will eat it?? Has anyone made anything for the hay? Yeah I am trying not to have to pay for everything. FEED STORES ARE EXPENSIVE.

I have been putting one cup of feed each twice a day and they eat that in about 2 minutes. Is that enough food for them? Since they are not eating the hay that is all they get plus the few ivy branches I put in there. They are 3-4 mos old Pygmies

I had read about people using Fisher Price play sets for the goats. I have no idea what they were talking about does anyone have any ideas? I looked on FP website but I could not imagine what they could have been talking about.


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msjay2u...the old saying goes if water can get through your fence...so can a goat. Goats are notorious for being escape artist. Fencing will be your number one expense. I know people that have 2 or 3 strands of electric up and rarely have trouble keeping their goats in. I also know other people that have 4' tall cattle panels that can't keep some of their goats from jumping out. You have to find something in between that will work for your situation.

Goats also have a reputation of eating anything. Remember the old cartoons with the "billy goats" always eating the tin cans??? That is not true. Goats are actually very finicky. They will not eat hay off the ground. It has to be put into something. For our big goats I built a hay manger / feeder. All it is is a piece of cattle panel (fancy word for welded wire fencing) with the bottom nailed to the wall of the goats loafing area. The top of it is leaning away from the wall about 12" creating a "V". We throw the hay in this and the goats eat the hay between the fencing. Where the fencing is nailed to the wall I also built in a grain feeder. It is just a 2" x 12" nailed in horizontally. It actually serves two purposes. One it is where we place the grain for the goats and two it catches a lot of the hay the goats pull out and would waste if it was not there.

For the individual stalls we have a simple hay feeder made of scrap livestock fencing. We take about a 4' long piece of fencing and wire the ends together making a hoop. Wire it to the wall and stuff it with hay.

I am going to just take a guess at the feed question because I do not know how much your goats weigh, nor do I have pygmies. If my memory serves me correctly, you should not feed a goat anymore than they can eat in 15-minutes. We feed our Alpines that are not in milk(who are in individual pens) 3/4 of a 1-lb coffee can twice a day. Once in the moning and once in the evening. They also have "free choice" hay 24/7.

I attached a photo album my wife sent me awhile back. It has several pictures of the feeders I have tried to describe. The kid goats in the pictures are all 3x's this size now...LOL! I am not very computer savvy so I have to send the whole album. I do not know how to post individual pictures...

God luck with your goats and do not get frustrated. We have all been there. Go to the library and check out all the books you can on raising goats. Two good books on goats are "Stories Guide to Raising Dairy Goats" and "Stories Guide to Raising Meat Goats." They will not discuss pygmies very much, but feeding, fencing, housing, kidding and health issues are discussed in depth. They can be applied to all goats.

Hope this helps at least a little.

God Bless,

Brian

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of feeders


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I loved your photos and your goats are so cute! Mines are babies and I am now guessing I am not feeding them enough if they finish in a couple of minutes. I got the idea on the hay feeder now. Thanks!! I am going to try and rig something like that up in my barn. I am just a copy cat LOL. I have a book on goats but almost everything they show for supplies are things you have to buy and I know real farmers usually make their stuff.
What size are the holes in the wire? Do they not get their horns stuck in the hole?

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I love your goats coloring! VERY PRETTY.

Thanks so much for all you helpful information and the phtos I am glad you sent the whole album!

This is my favorite of your goats!!

Photobucket


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We have 3 Nubian wethers weighing between 150 and 200 lbs. My husband built them a two tier platform. Anythinng they can climb on they love. Fred entertains himself constantly. He will pick up a maple leaf by the stem and twirl it, he will find small plants with roots and hold it by the root get up on the platform with this in his mouth and rotate his head in circles so the plant twirls. They are very smart. But yes anything they can stand on is a great toy, its the "King of the Mountain" thing they like. We bought them a very big kids ball one time but they were so afraid of it they wouldn't come out of the woods. Any kind of large drainage pipes that they can run into and jump onto, your being small goats its a little easier. We are able to have boulders they can jump on.

Eventually they will get friendlier. I spent a lot of time sitting in the freezing cold with a hot cup of coffee before they would feel comfortable enough. I would sit they would come in and finally lay down but the minute I started to get up they would run. Now I can climb over them around them and walk through them and I get nothing. Myself, I didn't use food because these guys will knock you over (and they have very large horns) to get to the food. I was just very patient.

It pays off in the end because they are wonderful, funny and very loving. Oh yes, they love to be brushed (firm dog brush). If you can get just one use to it they will all come. With mine I have to wait until I have 3 people to help because they will get into a fight with each other and me for their turn.


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Thank you for the compliments on our goats! We love them very much. I agree with laturcotte1, they are a ball. Just as good if not better than "chicken TV."

The hayfeeder is made with a cattle panel. The squares are 6" x 6" and no they do not get their horns stuck in it. Right now I am fortunate that all the horned goats have a larger horn set. To date they have not been able to figure out a way to get hung up yet. I have other goats that their horns are growing and will be an issue before long. I will have to address this in the near future.

You are correct...most farmers make their own stuff. None of this is rocket science. There is no right or wrong way in doing it. As long as the hay is off the ground and is in something to manage the wasteful nature of goats...you will be fine. We put the hay in milk crates in the kidding pen where the the creep feed is. Hey...it works!

Don't get caught up in the small stuff...just enjoy them. It will take you awhile for them to get used to you. We brought our first 2-goats home in our mini van. When my daughter got out of the van...she left the door open and one of the goats took off for the woods. It took me and my sons 4-hours to get her back. I was so mad! It took the better part of 18-months to get her to where she wouldn't run from us. Now we don't have a goat that we can't walk up to and love on. Just like laturcotte1 said...walk in between and around them all and they won't pay any attention to you...unless you have food on you! Then you will be mobbed!

Have fun and God Bless,

Brian

Here is a link that might be useful: Hidden Valley Farm


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  • Posted by niffer z5 Ontario (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 21, 08 at 22:16

We built a manger much like Buckeye's but instead of wire panels, we used 2x2 pieces of wood spaced at about 8 inches apart. The bottom is wood with a little lip at the front to catch hay and prevent them from knocking their grain out of it when they're eating. Ours are Nubians and they have horns, and they've never got them caught. We have a round hay feeder outside that divides into 3 pieces. We used two of them outside (made a smaller more oval feeder)and we plan on putting the third in the goat pen. I think if we attach it to the wall they won't be bothered by the fact they are eating off the ground because its not where they pee or poop, which I assume is the reason for them not eating off the ground. When they were just babies we also gave them hay in milk crates.


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I also use a milk crate for the hay rack! I anchored it to the wall on a slight slant and it works great! I fill it every morning..and they empty most of it by night! I also made my own mineral block holder out of wire and it hangs in their house as well. saved me $7!!! mine took about 2 months to be comfortable with me,now I can hardly keep them away from me! if they go a bit too far for my liking,I call them and they come straight over..I'm truly blessed with these angels! seriously!
and Brian,,O My Gosh,,,you're goats are extremely beautiful! Wow,and your setup is insane! I love it..can't stand how cute the lop ears are,,unreal! I have to get one of those!!!they look like my lop eared bunnies..really adorable,you should be very proud. I would have showed everyone those pics a long time ago..LOL


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Brian, your boers are beautiful. I would love to get a couple, they are so magnificent. We just rescue so whatever needs a home we take, no Boers yet, but boers are my favorite. Can't tell the Nubies that.


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I NEED HELP BAAAAD
1- The goats now come to me to eat out the bucket but soon as I move they dart into the corner
2- They don;t take to any treats even if I leave them behind in the pen. i tried raisins, apples and cabbage.
3- they will not go into the dog house I brought them. I put their food in there and they dragged it out. They prefer to stay in the freezing weather. can they freeze? I do not have a heat light cause I am afraid of the hay catching afire
4- when do I know it is safe to let them out and how should I do it? let one out first? should I put it on some kind of leash?
5- I feed the goats 3 cups of goat feed a day beteen them and some hay but I thing they are eating the bedding hay with the poop in it. Should I start deworning them sooner than 6 mos because of this? they are 4 months old right now.
6- one goat puts her tail up and wags it when I am around but the other keeps her tail tucked. should I be worried?
7- should I be changing the bedding more often than once a week?

I am getting discouraged. I need something to give me hope of some kind of hope to have some enjoyment with these goats


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I only change their straw bedding like once every couple weeks,,they don't pee in their bedding thank goodness..but if I notice wet spots or poop,i change it,and put down fresh stuff. Goats don't normally eat dirty straw or anything that's dirty on the ground...
are your goas in a shed or barn? they will be ok if they're in an enclosed house with no drafts...they don't need a heat lamp..i don't have on e either and they've been toasty all winter.
But I do have to tell you this...before I got my 2 girls,i purchased a 4 month old and it was SO nervous and wouldn't come near me...ever! even tried to butt me...so I brought it back to the place I got her,and got 2 younger ones...12 weeks. These are my girls and are wonderfully tame. The guy told me that you should always purchase a goat under 4 months old if it's to be a pet..because once they go"wild" they are extremely hard to tame or train. I've heard this from a lot of people..how old were your goats when you got them??


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I'm sorry you are getting discouraged.
1. It sounds like they didn't have any socializing with people. But, you are seeing some improvement if they are coming to you when you have the bucket with grain.
2. They must have never had treats. If you have pine trees around try giving them a small branch. Put a few raisins in the food bucket. Once they get one in their mouth and taste it they might decide they like them.
3. They look old enough not to need additional heat. They have the barn for protection from the cold and rain.
4. I wouldn't let them out yet. Try taking one at a time out with a leather collar and leash. Carry it away from the barn then put it down and let it browse. It will probably buck around against the leash and collar, just keep a good hold on it. Pick it up until it calms down and put it down again. I have even brought some really spooky goats into my kitchen (one at a time) and tied them and just walked around them while I cooked. Ignoring them when they would try to back away from me or buck against the leash. In horse training it's called approach and retreat. Eventually they realize that just because you walk near them it doesn't mean you are going to hurt them. Their anxiety level starts to decrease each time.
5. Have the goats been wormed yet? And was there a follow up worming? If not, go ahead and worm them. Clean the pen afterwards, and don't forget the follow up worming. Goats waste a lot of hay. If you are giving them hay daily I doubt that they will eat the soiled hay. They might pick out prickers in it. Or a stray leaf that catches their eye. If the goats have already been wormed, I wouldn't be too concerned about it.
6. Sometimes a goat with the tail down means they aren't feeling good. But, because your goats are afraid of you, it could be because of that.
7. As long as the bedding where they sleep is dry and the area where they eat is clean they are fine. You can spot clean those areas. How often to clean depends on how many goats you have and the size of their pen. Once a week should be fine with just two goats.
I think you might want to take one out at a time...either walking them on a leash to areas where they will have something they like to eat there, like blackberry bushes or pine needles, or weeds.
Or. like I said, take one inside at a time and keep it tied in an area where you are going to be. Go about your normal routine. Maybe an hour everyday.
Right now the goats have each other to feel secure with. By working with one at a time you might see faster progress in getting them used to people. Pick it up and rub it on the sides of the face and chest area. Talk to it...but be relaxed. Animals know when you are nervous. They just can't figure out why you are nervous, or frustrated...so they think they might be some kind of danger around.
Do not use a nylon collar with the plastic buckle. They can open those if they are pulling against it. You can use a nylon collar that has the holes in it. NEVER leave a collar on a goat when you aren't around. Goats, like horses, have a tendency to get their collars or halters hung up on things.
Good Luck with your gals.


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thanks for all the advise. The goats are just 4 months old born in December although one looks to be older than the older. the small one (is a triplet but I did not take her siblings.

They have never been dewormed and the seller told me to wait till they were 6 months to deworm them. I guess I better dig out my book and read it again.

I am going to try the leash idea. I went out there today and they ate some IVY leaves that I had in my hand but of course soon as i moved they flew in the corner. I walked away on a side of the barn where they could not see me and when I came back they were looking for me but soon as I came around the corner they flew back to their corner. Maybe I should rearrange their area.

If they will not come to me should I just grab one and put the leash on her anyway, The last time I had to pick them up was to put some peroxide on the wounds from the dog and they screamed so loud. It was funny yet alarming!

The seller told me that she handles all her goats but it is only her and her husband and no one else is ever around them. She said the super shy one mother has always been like that never really letting anyone approach her.

I am going to work on your ideas this weekend backlanelady. Hopefully it will work. not too sure about putting them in the house but I can seperate them outside where they can not see each other. I have lots of trees with Ivy and the bigger one seems to REALLY love Ivy.

I thought about putting some salt on the apples since I hear they love salt but I was not sure if iodized salt would hurt them or not.

Beeliz hopefully they are as young as the lady said they are. She did mention that the largest one mother already had another kid so I am suspecting it is a little older than she told me it was. I have no freaking idea how to tell their ages!


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judging by the horns in the pic you posted...I would say they're older than 4 months for sure. They're the same size as mine and mine are 10 months! Their horns will continue to grow,,so this is usually a good indiction of their age.,,are the horns turning back yet? Just a thought :)


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Those white goats are not mines I went out in the pitch black to take a photo. LOL
It is scarry out there. One thing I noticed is that they are sleeping on the table not in the dog house. the nerve LOL

Photobucket

Photobucket they are about double the height of a cinderblock about 18' tall

Here is a link that might be useful: click on the animals link for more photos


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Oh! So Cute!! They are young then..ok thats good.They do look about 4-5 months,,you'll be fine in time with the way you're going about things! :) So cute though!


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Start with the one that likes the Ivy. If you can get one to come around, the other will follow suit.
Yes, pick those little suckers up if they don't come to you when you go to put the collar on them. They will probably scream and throw a fit....think of a 2 year old kid in the store throwing a temper tantrum...lol. And treat them accordingly...like...you silly girl...get this collar on so we can go have fun. Don't let the screaming throw you. Expect them to scream when you take the one away from it's friend. The one left behind will probably call for it's friend too. That's why I'm suggesting to take the one that you know likes the ivy. Nothing distracts goats like favorite foods do...lol.
Hold onto the dog house for next winter. They may appreciate it on really cold nights.
Keep us updated. I'm looking forward to the day when you post about how much fun you are having with them!


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Thanks for warning me about the screaming that would have truly alarmed me. Yesterday when I went in the pen they came upto me. They are curious but if I reach out for them they shy away. the larger one seems to be more curious. That is also the one who likes the Ivy. I am thinking that I am going to put some Ivy while I put the collar on her. You are right about the Ivy making her forget about her fears. so that is going to be my ticket. The weather is really rainy right now so it is not a good time to take her out but as soon as it clears up she is going on a field trip with me. LOL. I figure I will take her out the pen and put her in the paddock (lack of a better term) with the fence being hot so she will get shocked if she tries to get out. Plus it will train her on the fence. Hopefully it will work on her this time.

I went to a goat farm and when I drove up the goats came rushing to the fence. I was able to pick them up and they were so friendly. I think that is what threw me off with these goats. I was expecting a warm welcome.

Just for clarification when you say "Carry it away from the barn then put it down and let it browse" does that mean to let the leash loose or should I be stepping on the leash? LOL such a silly question. i am really paranoid about them getting away again.

Thanks to everyone for your help.


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Nooooooooooooooo don't let her off of the leash. You might have another goat roundup. Hold onto the leash the whole time you have her out.
When I suggested carrying her from the barn, that was so you wouldn't have to drag her by the leash. Hold the leash and the goat, walk away from the barn and then put her down to browse...still holding onto the leash.
How is your electric tape set up height wise? I don't use electric with my goats. I would think you would want one low enough so they can't crawl under it. And a second so they can't jump over it. And maybe even a third one inbetween the two.
I do use the electric tape for my horses and my goats jump through the two strands to get inside of the horses area. But it is set up for horses, and not goats.
I'm glad they are warming up to you. It just takes time. The more time you spend around them, the more used to you they will get.
I have goats that will climb up into my lap when I'm sitting outside and take a nap. Other ones that like to be petted, but not picked up. And I have a few that will walk right next to me, but will run if I go to pet them. They are all different. I think some of it is inherent and some of it is from the way they are raised.
Wait until the ground drys up. Goats don't like mud or getting wet.


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Sorry to be changing the subject...I did find these posts very interesting...but does anyone have advice on how to break a horned wether from trying to butt me??? He doesn't always do it, but when he does it really scares me, as he is pretty big. We got him at 1 week of age, and he was bottle fed and lived in the house till about 2 months old!!!THE NERVE!!!!


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Sandra maybe a tazer or a cattle prod would change his attitude without doing any permanent damage.
Dan


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For treats, my goats (pygmys) love saltines. When they won't eat apples or carrots, they'll eat saltines. Good to have something that makes them come running. Mine just hear the crackle of the paper and come running.

Toys: a railroad tie set between two big spools keeps my guys happy. Lay one across two spools, lean one on a spool so they have an incline....


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Mine loved a big old ground pile they ;love to stand high...At the feed store they have balls different sizes with a handle on ,so theyu can pick them up.My mini donkeys and horses have one


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Boy, you need help!
That looks like 2 Nigerian minatures you have.

I have my Nubian dairy goats in cattle panel pastures. They rarely get out. They do not climb or trash the fence.

I put their feed buckets outside the fence and the put their heads through to eat. I can pet them, say their names and sometimes I give shots.

You could start with a smaller 4-6 cattle panel pen.

Check their inside eyelids for bright rosy pink color. This is a enemia indicator. I use Ivermectine and Safeguard wormer. I have also used Valbazen and herbal wormer. I do not trust those. I also add DE to food and water.

Any questions?


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