Couple of things I need help with.... x

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by happyhogs, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. happyhogs

    happyhogs Member

    261
    Oct 12, 2009
    Hi Newbie here!!

    I was wondering, what is the minimum safe height for stake and rail fencing to keep in a pair of pygmies? They will be living in a Primary school and I want children to be able to view them and pet them but don't want them jumping over. I plan to use half round stakes with a three rail fence covered in heavy guage mesh (square holes of approx 5cm sq) I know the children will be able to see through the mesh but it would be nice if they could pet them over the fence too (for those too wary to actually go in with them)

    And secondly, as I am getting my goats now, with an English winter setting in, do they need coats and are coats safe? They are six months old. They have a brand new shed with an off-the-floor wooden bench if they wish to sleep on it and I was planning on bedding them on straw with shavings underneath but they will be regularly cleaned out....I can't use the deep bedding method due to health and safety requirements at the school.

    Thanks x
     
  2. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    i would do a mininum of four feet. Pygmies dont tend to be jumpers but its a safety thing as well as for other things getting in.
    You want that to be safe from other creatures going over the fence
    beth
     

  3. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    Yes, I would say about 4 feet as a bare minimum. My friend has Pygmies too and that's how high her fence is an a two month old JUMPED out of it and some dogs jumped into it and it's electric!
     
  4. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Mine are in 4 foot high pens made with goat panels..... haven't had a jumper yet :wink: Though I do think that my goats are just a bit too heavy to be able to jump :greengrin:
     
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    goats LOVE to jump on fencing with their front hooves -- make sure it is sturdy enough to hold their weight without collapsing.
     
  6. happyhogs

    happyhogs Member

    261
    Oct 12, 2009
    Thank you so much for your advice guys. Myself and my family (two sisters, mum, dad and teenage son) all went and built the goat pen on Saturday. It is made from four feet high stakes with three horizontal rails, covered by heavy guage square mesh. It is very sturdy and although I kept thinking 'no way could anything scale that', I still kept fretting.

    However, yesterday, we all went off to a safari park and they had a pen full of pygmies of all ages there. I spent forty five minutes in with them (much to the disgust of my folks who kept saying 'there's lions and tigers and elephants and all sorts and you wanna be with a load of mangey goats!!) They were just beautiful and I was actually almost in tears I was so enamoured of them and so excited that I would soon have some of my own. Anyway, while I was there, I watched them closely and not one would have been tall enough to get over my fencing, even a fully grown male on tippy-toes!! I also intentionally got them to jump up and put their front hooves on me to test their weight and again was left confidant that the fence was more than adequate.....phew!!

    Thankfully, predators are not any sort of issue here in the UK as the humble British fox would not take on a goat...especially as they are in with the much more grabbable chickens :chick: !!

    So thanks again for your help, it was very useful and I think I am now ready for my boys.....wahhhooooo!!! :stars:

    But what about the goat coats??? xx
     
  7. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    As long as their house is draft free and they can snuggle together, at 6 months old your boys won't be needing coats. They are more than old enough to be able to regulate their body temps :wink: Teddy and Tunmus have very nice haircoats so theres no need for you to worry, they'll be just fine :hug:
     
  8. happyhogs

    happyhogs Member

    261
    Oct 12, 2009
    Ok, thanks Liz. They do have a brand new, purpose built goat shed which has an internal sleep section so should be nice and warm. I built a bench for them to sleep on if they want so they could be up off the floor but there is still room on the floor if they choose that option. They'll definately be able to snuggle up together but the door of the shed will generally be left open at night due to the fact that they will be living at the school where I work so I will be spending time with them directly after work, feeding them their evening meal and then will be off home til the next morning...so I can't really shut them in or they'd be locked up from five in the evening, til the next morning at half seven, in a six by six shed, which wouldn't be very fair.

    The sleep section is behind an internal wall, as such, and far enough back that rain would not be blown in and of course, in the UK, we don't tend to get really extreme temperatures....about the worst they are likely to get is down to about minus 6 centigrade and even that is unusual.

    I'm hoping all this will be OK. If not, if I have to, I can go back up and lock them away but it would be far from ideal...though their welfare will, without question, come first.
     
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    have the opening facing away from the direct wind -- that way when you get nasty weather it doesnt just blow right into their shelter. Otherwise they will be fine. Goats dont mind the cold that much. THe heat is worse on them physically
     
  10. happyhogs

    happyhogs Member

    261
    Oct 12, 2009
    I did take prevailing wind into consideration when placing the shed and it is also in the shelter of some trees so fingers crossed, they should be toasty!

    And how do you cater for heat? Living in good old England means warm is almost a myth but we have had a few scorching days and the only shade they will have is inside the shed...should I worry? Being native to Africa, I assume they can tolerate higher than our scorchers which max out at about 32 at most!
     
  11. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    just making sure they can get out of the sun when they need to and have plenty of fresh water and minerals.
    beth
     
  12. happyhogs

    happyhogs Member

    261
    Oct 12, 2009
    Okey dokes, thanks xxx

    Mind you, you guys seem to advocate loose minerals and I haven't been able to find anyone in the UK who does them. All my googling seems to take me back to blocks...which I have anyway, both a mineral and a salt block...what is the reason behind preferring loose? x

    (hope you don't mind all my newbie questions! :oops: )
     
  13. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    loose is easier to eat, plus tends to have more in it.

    You can use a loose mineral for cows
     
  14. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    my goats like to play with blocks, the only block i keep out is a iodized block and its only during the hot months. and at fairs. goats tend to chew on blocks waisting a lot of it breaking large pieces off and leaving them on the gournd.
    beth