Free ranging goats

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Epona142, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Hey everyone :)

    Most days I have time to let my girls out for an hour or so to eat weeds in the pasture. Well I'd really like to be able to extend this, but I can't stand outside the whole time. Hopefully cut down on the amount of hay the greedy pigs eat AND clear the pastures a little.

    I'm on a large amount of land, 18 acres, but most of it is wooded. The open spots are weed-infested and right there by the pens, and where they are used to having an afternoon snack.

    So I thought I'd put bells on Hope and Cowbell, the top two does, and let them have a few hours in the evening or morning to free range. ONLY when I am home of course, and can peek out the windows or pop outside to check on them from time to time.

    So my real question is, do goats tend to stay in their "home" area? Will they wander off, do you think?

    Thanks!
     
  2. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    He he....thats all my goats do is free range! I do have bells on my does and they do come when I holler, and yes even though mine have an entire hillside to clean out...they prefer my yard or my flower beds!

    They also like to lay on my back porch in the summer.....And they are out of their yard only when I am home,whn I'm at work, my does have an electric fenced "pasture" to browse in.
     

  3. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    I would worry that they might rust run... you could try making a mobile pasture fence. Using electric ribbon.(cheap and easy) you just have to teach them the ribbon hurts otherwise if they hit it when you arent there they might run through it and keep goin.
     
  4. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I live next to the "main" road...a cowpath with blacktop....and mine have never even crossed that road into the neighbors yard or even went out of sight of my house :shrug: Maybe I have wierd goats but they really don not go far from home.
     
  5. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I may try it out and see. They would have to go quite a ways to get to the puny dirt road, and some 11 miles to get to a real road!

    I am going to pick up bells for them tomorrow, so I'll let you know how they behave. :)
     
  6. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    They won't go far. Goats tend to have a strong homing instinct. We live on 20 acres and I let mine free range when I am home. They have never left our property...in fact, they rarely let their shed out of their sight. They usually go back to their pen periodically to get a drink or a few bites of hay and they always go back to their pen to take naps...

    Sometimes they come up to the house and try to look in the windows to see what I'm doing...lol... :cool:
     
  7. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    429
    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    Our goats freerange on occasion. I'd rather they didn't but they always know when the fence is out. They never go far and always return to their pen.
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    mine usualy stay near by. A couple weeks ago I got a phone call that my goats were running up and down the street :shocked: they had NEVER done this before. But my goats have gotten more and more brave so they dont like to stay near the house - I have no idea why. From my experience the young goats tend to me the more curious ones.

    So that said I really dont think they will go far. As long as there is stuff for them to eat they tend to stay near by. Mine usualy are very teritorial and like to be near their pen or at least be able to see it.
     
  9. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Goats do stray.....they are very curious and if something spooks them and one starts to run ...look out .......they all run.............and you never know where... they will end up :shocked:
     
  10. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    most of mine spook homeward - it depends on your area and if they have easy access to their pen.

    I always said: goats wont stray --- then they proved me wrong by taking off down the street :doh: they like doing that :help:
     
  11. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    they can be little rascals........ :wink: :greengrin:
     
  12. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Anytime mine get spooked they haul butt back to the pen, running over everything in their path. :ROFL:

    It's worth a shot I suppose :greengrin:
     
  13. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI

    That's what mine do too! The girls anyway--I have never seen Benny run from anything. Usually, they'll run to the pen and then look back and see Benny still standing there and then they run back to him. :ROFL:

    I guess I have less to worry about--we live on a dirt road with barely any traffic. The back of our property is fenced because there's a game ranch that butts up to it. Also our property is kind of surrounded by water--a natural barrier for goats.

    The only time I won't let them out is deer season--some people will shoot at anything that moves. I need to make some little orange vests that say "don't shoot, I'm a goat"!
     
  14. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    wit the road closeby, the only traffic here is from the school bus and the 4 neighbor that live on the 2 mile stretch..tey all know I have mini's so they know who belongs to me...lol

    Mine all do the same, something spook them and they run to their yard, now, my bucks are usually the ones that are in the woods...and they don't run for/from anything, unless they see the feed bucket!
     
  15. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Well they're out right now. Oh, I'm so nervous they're going to take it in their flighty little heads that because I'm not with them, they can frolic off merrily into the forest!

    I put bells on Hope and Cowbell, and I can hear them jingling through my window. That coupled with Hope's habit of SCREAMING anytime something annoys her in the least (oh my goodness, a huge fly landed on me: MOOOOOM!) and I can sort of keep an ear on them while working on the computer.

    I just had to peek at them, because silly Rudy was talking in her loud screechy voice. They're only going to get to stay out a couple hours today, which hopefully will build into a few hours a day. I'll get some pictures when I go out later! I especially want to get pictures of Cowbell, she was bred in February and is already looking fat!
     
  16. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    How do you keep them from ruining your flowerbeds, or more importantly eating something in your flowerbed that might make them sick? I would love to let mine free range.....I tried to let my chickens run free and they did serious damage on some flowerbeds :hair: !!!!!!! ......needless to say the chickens are now fenced in.
     
  17. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    He he....I don't plant non goaty friendly flowers.....and a big stick keeps them away from where I don't want them!

    They get the message that they aren't allowed in a certain area once their crazy mama goes flying at them hollering and waving the stick!
     
  18. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Flowerbeds? What are those? :scratch:

    But seriously, we really don't have anything they're not supposed to eat right now. But I agree with the big stick! They've learned not to get on the porch that way. :)

    As for their first day out? It went well! Check out this thread.
     
  19. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Yeah, I don't really have much for them to get into. We have a garden, but it's fenced in so the goats can't get to it.

    The hose is also a good tool for teaching them where they can't go. Don't spray them directly, just spray near them and tell them to "git".
     
  20. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I guess I need to start removing plants and flowers that are not good for them....the lady that had this farm before us (our farm is 128yrs old) her and her husband had lived here 38yrs and there are flowerbeds everywhere and around everything! They are beautiful but my goats are more important and I would love to be able to let them out to freely browse.....right now I take them out on leashes and walk them where they can go. There is 175 acres of farmland and woods, but I'm sure if I let them free range they will want my flowerbeds :greengrin: !