Give Goats a Good Time with Toys
Nobody likes being bored. Life is much more fun when you have activities to do and things which with you can play. Though this holds true for us humans, it also applies to our goats. The ability to engage in play is good for all involved because it provides a healthy outlet for energy. Bored goats can get into trouble or escape and may even decide that you are a toy, choosing to crash and bump into you for entertainment. In order to prevent potentially harmful rowdy behavior with you as the subject, it is necessary to give goats their own source of entertainment in the form of toys.
Providing toys may sound like a complicated job but in truth it is fairly simple. Just as goats are very playful, they are also very easy to occupy. They love to climb and jump, so catering to these natural desires is your number one objective. Here are some ideas for toys that provide an element of fun while keeping goats in the pasture and out of trouble.
Tires are a popular choice for goat entertainment. Sink a couple into the ground partway so that they stand upright, giving goats a place to rub and climb. You can also suspend these like a tire swing but take care to cut the tires first so goats cannot get inside and become stuck. Also use tires that are in reasonable condition unlike steel belted radials in which steel is exposed.
If you have children that have outgrown their playground, move it to the goat pasture! It is also possible to find these small playgrounds at garage sales for a reasonable price. You can even skip the whole set up and go instead with just a slide. Goats will enjoy any and all of the above.
Spools are another great source of fun from the perspective of a goat. They are excellent for climbing on and off of and can be found in an array of different sizes which can be used to create a goat obstacle course of sorts. Do keep in mind that spools have holes that should be filled to prevent a goat leg from slipping inside and becoming injured. Depending on where you live, you may be able to pursue industrial sources to acquire these or your local power company may be willing to supply you with one or more.
Photo: Absent Jack Acres
Know someone disposing of an old trampoline or have one of your own that isn't being used? Put it in the goat pasture! Whether it is a small workout trampoline or a large one the human kids used to play with, the goats will love it. Sink it down in the ground to a more goat-friendly height so they aren't able to bounce too high when jumping on and off. Also be sure to keep springs covered so goats cannot become injured and hours of entertainment will be had by all.
Photo: Pet DIYs
If all else fails and you find yourself coming up short in the toy department, relocate your lumber pile to an area where goats can access it. Whether you have downed limbs or intended firewood, your goats will happily play on and around a wood pile until the time comes that you need to use it. By then you may have found something else for their enjoyment but in the meantime this will be loads of fun.
Photo: Priscilla Speaks
Goat toys will provide these playful animals with an outlet for their energy but the usefulness doesn't end there. Firewood, for example, will be nibbled on so that any excess limbs or bark will be out of the way when it comes time for you to use it. Additionally, watching goats play on their new toys will give you endless entertainment as they jump and climb about.
What type of toys do you provide for your goats? Are there any they seem to prefer or enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments!