2015 16/11

Keeping the goats contained

There’s a saying around the goat world that goes: “If your pasture can’t hold water, it won’t hold a goat.”

Seems a bit extreme, right? Except it’s not too far off! Especially when you’re talking about younger goats or small breeds.

When we got our goats earlier this fall, we knew we’d be pasturing them in one of our old horse pastures, surrounded by a wood fence. We also knew that, because our Boxer (Dexter) could easily slide under most of the wood fencing to get into that pasture, that there was  a good chance the little doelings could also slide under to escape the pasture.

So, we spent a few hours before they arrived to add a double line of (non-electric) wire fencing between the bottom fence board and the ground. Super, right? Wrong!

{sidenote: we chose not to electrify the fence because the kids climb in and out of the pasture to be with the goats.}

Within a week they had discovered they could belly under the wire in some spots to get to some delicious saplings on the other side. Stinkers!

Thankfully we had enough foresight to run a double line of wire fencing for strength because we were able to split the two strands and run one of strands below the first strand and the ground. Seriously — no way these goats are escaping now!

Except, they do! Or did. Stinkers slid right between the two strands of wire. This is where I was seriously contemplating electrifying that wire and saying too-bad-so-sad for the kids. But then I realized, they aren’t trying to escape because they are hungry (fall has stripped any saplings or weeds outside the pasture). They are escaping because they are bored. And, much like kids, a bored goat is a mischievous goat!

So, while we work our way around the pasture adding some hog panels to the inside of the wood fencing, we created a little play area for the goaties!

IMG_7060

We reused some logs from the old dog house structure that sat next to our garage and created a little balance beam type platform for them.

Honestly, I think the kids are out there playing on this just as much as the goats! I often see all of them (goats and kids) jumping on and off of it. Makes me want to relocate their entire swing set to the goat pasture!

And, the kids’ wagon is still being held hostage by the goats! The minute we try to remove it from the pasture, one jumps in the wagon and the other blocks our way out of the pasture. Sneaky little ladies! So, the kids continue to pull them around the pasture in the wagon. I can’t wait to see the fun they have with snow and sleds this winter!

Moral of the story :: Keeping a goat contained to a pasture is one part good fencing and one part distraction!

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