goat care when out of town?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by cdtrum, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I am just curious as to what some of you do when going out of town......who cares for your goats? My husband is a racer and we do go out of town often on weekends racing.....I have a neighbor that has taken care of my chickens for the past 2 yrs. and says he will look after the goats, but I don't know.......he is also the same neighbor that told me that goats are so easy to take care, just put them out there and give them some hay he said.....I am finding that there is a lot more than that to do, which I don't mind doing.....I am the type that feels that if your going to take on the responsibilty of having an animal, then you should give it the best care. I am finding that mine are picky little toots.....they do love warm water and CLEAN water....I have been changing it like 3xs a day and I am so worried about the whole bloat issue.....which I know it is just me being a new goat parent.....we have had so much rain this week and the grass & weeds are growing like crazy and they are eating like crazy...... We have put up good fencing....we have a lock on their gate, so I am not to worried about them getting out. I guess I'm just a worry wart! Anyway, just wondering how some of you handle it when you leave town.
    Take care, Denise from Indiana
     
  2. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    For many years i was fortinate to have a dairy goat breeder as a neighbor, we traded chores. But for the most part i dont go out of town. I havnt been on a vacation with my family in years. If i did it was during the winter. I just didnt trust many people to take care of my babies the way that i did. Thats the biggest thing is finding someone you trust and you know can take care of things the way you do.
    beth
     

  3. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Ditto, I haven't been on an actual vacation for years. A few short trips now and then, but I almost never stay overnight. This is not the goats fault, I like to travel, but I don't like to sleep in strange beds. I'm lucky however, if I did want to go, my son and his family would come over and stay here to take care of the animals. :thumbup:
     
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I had to learn that even if someone doesnt take care of them exactly like I do --- they wont kill them in 1 week. :wink:

    I usually give the bear basics and tell them if they can only just make sure they get hay and water daily then that will be fine too. Right now with the milking issue that makes things a big trickier for me. Be thankful you dont have that variable.


    The best thing you could do for your goaties is to make a simple list for the goat sitter. The more complicated you make it the chances are of the sitter to ignor it and do their own thing (now I personally am not that way when I pet sit but I have had it happen to me).

    Another VERY important thing to do is to show them the rutine. One little mix up in that and they could have goats everywhere.
     
  5. Sybil

    Sybil New Member

    140
    Dec 21, 2007
    Rainier, Oregon
    My brother and s-i-l enjoy watching the animals when we get away. I don't bottle feed unless I have to as I work and mom can do a much better job.

    my s-i-l works for the vet I use! If she has any concerns she knows she can call and get any of the animals looked at.

    We don't take vactions during kidding season or when then the kids are young.

    I make sure I have lots of water sources and all are clean and full so they don't have to pack water or spend all their time messing with the water when they can be "playing with" the goats and llamas.

    Let feeding go to once a day. I learned they do survive and they are not over fed that way. I have taught them tricks on how to feed so they don't get runned over at the gate!

    As long as they get checked twice a day and fed just once a day I have never had any problems.
     
  6. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Thanks for the tips!!!! I feel so much better......I was worried about the 2x's a day feeding also....My husband told me I shouldn't expect our neighbor to feed more than once a day.....Stacey, my husband feels like you do....they surely can't kill them in a few days! We are usually only gone approx. 4 days.....I told my husband the 2 week racing trips are going to stop for me....he will have to learn to manage on his own :greengrin: ! Racing is his hobby, but my animals are mine!
    Take care, Denise from Indiana
     
  7. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    It depends on the time of year that I am needing help.
    If it is summer, then i do not worry other then water, and that is if we have pasture and we are not in a situation like this year where we had no pasture at all. I do have someone some watch them, and feed out old horse that has to have a special feed mix. I have to say that most the vacations that I have had since the goats were part of my life, were all taken WITH the goats. :shrug:
     
  8. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    One thing I have learned about goaties- they are born opportunists- they always call for me the minute they see me- the call is sometimes muffled by the food they have in their mouths- doesn't stop them. Born squeaky wheels.
    You might find a hay that is not really top notch- something that is OK to eat but not likely to be consumed non-stop. they they will have munchies to while away their time.
    And make sure they have more than their normal sources of water. It helps to keep it clean if it is not near their feed. But they are not so stupid as to die of thirst because it has some strands of hay in it. I just hate when the birds have pooped in it.
    But I would leave my girls for 4 days without hesitation unless they were in the last month of their pregnancy or first month of nursing.
     
  9. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I am in a situation now with what to do on a trip I have been asked to go on. My husband will be taking 13 kids to the Inauguration in January. When they swear in the new president (who ever that will be). The are going to be gone for a week. I went the first time back when President Bush was sworn in the first time. I so want to go to this one because no matter what the outcome is (I hope it is the right outcome), it will be history. Either a black President or a female Vice President.
    Anyway I can not really go because i will have four does due during that time. So I am a little worried about leaving them. I do not have anyone around that would be able to take care of things if something was to go wrong. SO I do not know what to do. I told him to find another female sponcer because I can not leave the animals.
     
  10. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Do you have any teenage neighbors? When I've gone out of town before, I paid one of my neighbor's teenagers $10 a day to come down and tend to the animals. It's pretty easy money for them so they're almost always willing to do it and they've always done a good job. Just make sure the parents know what's going on. I usually leave a list of instruction (simple--like Stacey said) with the parents too so they know what's supposed to be done and can supervise if neccessary.
     
  11. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    :shocked: 13 kids! :shocked: I applaud you for your efforts! But, I'd be using my goats as an excuse not to go! (I know I'm bad). You must have a fantastic husband!

    I'm sure there are teenagers that can be trusted to feed your goats...but...I'd be so worried...I'd look for a retired person to help out if I needed someone.
     
  12. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Well my DH is a teacher and he knows all these kids. They are GREAT an they had to make it through a interview and have at least a 3.0 to go. I want to go so bad that I can not stand it. My daughter is one that is going and she is BEGGING me to go.
    You know 99.9% of the time there is no trouble kidding but if I am not home I would be worried SICK about them.
    I have one doe that kidded this year that I would of lost both of the kids if I was not there, (she tore delivering and the tow were about 35 seconds apart from each other. She didn't have tome to even find the first one when the second was born. I had to clean the face of them both or they would of suffocated, you know it is just scary when you leave. They might kid before we would go but you never know.
     
  13. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Sue, what is your trick for not getting run over at the gate??
     
  14. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I also have a hard time leaving. I will go overnight if we are close and just put out enough water and food. But we are looking at going to Louisiana to see my children in January / February (hubby doesn't know yet) but I will be gone for a week or so. Problem being - we live in the middle of no where - and the hill - if there is snow - you have to walk the .5 miles literally up hill!

    I am not sure what we are going to do. Hubby wants to start putting round bales out for feed, and then we have water heaters and self waterers - but in winter the hoses / pipes are going to freeze again. He has not put the heater coils on the pipe as of yet.

    For keeping the goaties away from the gates - I throw feed on the ground (such as bread, veggie / fruit rinds) then I can make a dash in with the hay :ROFL: Its actually quite comical.

    Or if I am being really lazy, I will go in through the horse stall, shut the gate, and let them all storm out while I go into the pen. They soon realize there is no reason to be in the horse stall. My DH calls it the staging area. That way I go in, shut the door behind me, and they can't get out. We are going to make one for the big gate next.
     
  15. Sybil

    Sybil New Member

    140
    Dec 21, 2007
    Rainier, Oregon
    Like someone said.................throw a flake of hay over the fence or bread or ???? Hopefully then most are fighting to get their bite. Not all of mine get grain but they will try to tell the hired help that they get grain. My brother has cared for the goats several times this year that now they won't fall for the flake of hay trick. This year they had pasture and water and my brother would come and fill the feeder with hay. Made sure everyone was present and accounted for and made sure every one came to eat. Didn't expect grain to be fed but I am not pushing for production. If your on milk test then you have a problem. I probably would put vacation off until the does were drying up and completed their lactations.
     
  16. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    We just flat out dont go anywhere. Except to a couple of fairs...dh drops me and all the goats and thier stuff off and comes home to take care of everyone.
    During breeding and kidding season I especially dont go anywhere. We have a kid down the street who is pretty responsible but we havent hired him yet. Being underage he should probably have an adult with him.

    Im still working on the 1,000lbs of goat at the gate or around the hay rack. They have been known to squish me in their exuberance to get the hay.
    As for grain, I throw pans into the pen from outside then come in with the goodies, running from pan to pan but most of them keep up with me. :GAAH:
     
  17. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I don't go anywhere....don't have the "want to" :ROFL:
    Actually, the first and last time I did go on a trip was last year to my aunts in Ohio....I was nervous enough driving out there and hubby stayed to care for my kids...even though he had direct instructions wrote down I know that he didn't do it the way I would. I also had a doe to milk and needless to say, her kids stayed for another week just so he didn't have to learn.

    Though I left on Saturday and was back Monday evening, I just didn't enjoy myself.....I wanted to be home :greengrin:
     
  18. deenak

    deenak New Member

    296
    Oct 10, 2007
    Ames Iowa
    We have a wonderful teenage neighbor that comes to take care of the goats. I have a short list of what to do and post it by the feed in the garage. I had her come over the first time and showed her everything. But like some of the other posters have said as long as everyone is present and accounted for and they have fresh water and plenty of hay they will survive that few days that you are gone. I know from experience that this is the hardest part!! Even when I leave my husband home for the weekend I have to call by 9:00am with a gentle remimnder that the goats should have been let out of the barn several hours ago!!
     
  19. heathersboers

    heathersboers New Member

    629
    Sep 5, 2008
    Wilson N.C.
    We don't go for more than a day at the time- here's why- the man we bought our herdsire TRAX from had one of his sons for sale- a very nice, perfect buckling I was going to also buy. TRAX caught pneumonia 3 weeks ago and we saved him by calling the vet. the funny thing is- his son -who is in SC caught it the same time his sire did- Jeff was away and the neighbor was caring for the goats-She did not notice his runny nose, and by the time Jeff got home 2 days later- he was dead. I'd say , if the person you leave your goats with is knowledgeable about them , it is OK, but not just a "friendly neighbor". It was not her fault by any means-she was doing what was told-feed and water-,but if she had known how his goats behaved normally, she would have caught the problem. Therefore, we have no vacation time-we feel that we know our goats, and really like to stick close by, just in case something happens.