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My current tent is a 32 dollar Walmart tent. That makes it essentially disposable. It has served me well, though, sets up easily enough and is not *too* heavy considering the generous space.

Now I've been thinking about getting a much nicer 250 dollar tent. Fancy tents are not disposable. I'm suddenly starting to wonder about goats trying to get in to the tent, hanging out under the awnings and chewing on things, grinding the sides under hoof against rocks, busting through screens, pawing at material....

What are your experiences regarding goats and tents on the trail. I know people will want to say "Well you have to train them to know they cant come in the tent with you". Perhaps true. But then it rains, or something scares them, or its cold. What is your take? Should I stick with cheap tents?

Also, what models do you own and recommend? I'm looking at the highly rated Tarptent Double Rainbow if I get a nice one.
 

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My only experience was when they were younger. They would allow my wife and daughter in the tent, but if I went in, they would stampede in a circle around it all night, and attempt to walk through the zippered door.

I sleep in a hammock covered with a tarp.

They might do better now that they are older... but maybe not.
 

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Usually they will lay around the tent. We have had goats that would "talk" to us every few minutes and expect a response to reassure them that we were still there, while other goats were content to just hang out till we came back out of the tent. Younger goats will try to jump up on it thinking it is solid. Then, since they are laying beside the tent they will be jostling each other and fall into the tent or push one another into it. Our goats are taught what "NO" means at a young age so we are able to discourage this behavior but it still happens. Now we pretty much always tie them when we are in the tent for the night. They won't run off to try and "find" you when you disappear in the tent and it keeps them out of trouble. By far the most worry free thing to do.

Keeping them in their own tent would be fine for a couple goats who got along. Any goats that didn't get along would end up in a big wadded up ball of tent and goats. Plus I think it "teaches" them to go into a tent so you'd have to worry about keeping your tent flap zipped shut all the time. I'd recommend a tarp or coat for the goats and leave the tents for the people.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Ive been thinking about tents of late and although my reply will not help in the least, I had an idea I am going to work through and see how it turns out.

Stock racks are hundreds if not thousands of dollars cheaper then canopies. Especially if you get into the tall work style ones. So I was thinking of either buying or having one custom made to not be quite as tall as a normal stock rack as they are pretty top heavy at like 8 feet tall. So lets say 6 feet with tall but with a 5 foot high area for the goats. More or less putting their roof one rung down from the top. This would allow a secure area to trans port camp equipment on the top of it. The top would be like what you would see on a spendy stock trailer that has the rack on top. A few extra cross bars and then a wood platform on the top. The sides could easily be covered in a galvanized metal sheeting with vents or fold down side windows (no glass) could be made with just a few cuts and welds.

Now for the tent idea. It would be just as easy to make a removable frame to slide into the stock rack that a person could then just throw a tarp over and ta da! Instant tent :) And if you were only taking say 2-4 goats with you, they could sleep in the back of the truck in the stock rack and you could sleep on the top and there wouldnt be a worry in the world from predators cause not even a bear is getting through a stock rack.

Anyways, just something I have been tossing in my head and trying to work out the details. But Id have to say, as curious as goats are, most are going to end up inside one way or another :)
 

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Dave,

I used a couple 6x12' portable stock fences ($75 each) and cut a corner out so it would mount on my 9ft long flatbed and hang over the cab. I welded cups on the top rail to accept galvanized pipe as crossbars which are pinned and I diagonally brace it in front and back with straps.

The welds on the stock fences were poor, and so I am having to reweld them. I will be replacing the diagonal straps with bars to stiffen it a bit. And I will be cutting off the part that hangs over the cab because it caused too much imbalance on the rest of the structure. I don't care to run a strut to the front bumper.

I have put tarps over the whole thing in inclement weather. When I have the chance I will have a custom tarp made that ties to every other horizontal on the fencing to keep it from ballooning. You can forget using the cheap blue tarps since they shred quickly.

I had thought to put a shelf above the goats. But having used it for a year with an aluminum tool box on the deck have found that the goats are content to lie on the box even more so than the deck since it is elevated. So I will be adding more boxes along the sides. When they are standing they stand on the deck and their heads are over the boxes... being tied to the rail.

As for the tent, I was thinking of those inflatable bounce castles which could be made light enough to pack and kept inflated with a solar powered fan. But it would be no good at night ;-)
 

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Charlie Horse the goats will know what to do around a tent if you firmly but lovingly let them know. My first few trips with young goats we packed a "super soaker" squirt gun. One nose at the tent and they got soaked. This gun has a 25 foot reach with a good blast of water. They hate the tent. A good nylon tarp fashioned like a lean-to can protect from wind and rain. My boys like goat coats for cold or rain. They are always secured with a line at night so if they get scared they get over it because they are not going anywhere. With that said they are always secured close to my tent. They will figure it out if you put time into teaching them. Don't expect to sleep much the very first night, they will rustle around a lot. Keep them busy the next day and they will pass out under their tarp the next night. Within a short time my goats figured where ever that tarp was was home and would lay down under it even in good weather.
 

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I will never forget setting up my brand new expensive tent for the first time only to turn around within two minutes to see my 2 year old Saanen standing in the middle of it with what once was the screen door drapped over his horns. My goats now know they are not suppose to fool with or get in the tent which is different than saying they never fool with or get in the tent. The Saanen remains determined to get in the tent no matter how many squirts, rocks, sticks. At night I either tie him where he can get his butt up against the tent or have started making him his own "tent" with a tarp (which can just be a tarp wall).

[attachment=0:cw7d3r9t]Drigg'stent.JPG[/attachment:cw7d3r9t]

Two of the other goats usually stay away from the tent but are just plain curious about the tent. Stanley will occassionally duck in and crawl around very carefully on his knees and sniff everything. I caught Clayton in the tent bouncing on the air mattress. My expensive tent has held up well although it does have a few holes, a repaired door, and one slightly bent pole.
[attachment=1:cw7d3r9t]Nice Accommodations.JPG[/attachment:cw7d3r9t]
 

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We have always gone the inexpensive tent route, mainly because the cheap tents worked just fine, could be replaced without a loan from the bank and the money was needed for more important things.
As too allowing the "Boys" to roam free at night while we are in the tent, It's not done by us, we agree with Rex and high line them between two trees when we retire to the tent. Its not that I think they would leave on their own, but if trouble starts I want to know exactly where to find them. I love my "Boys" too much to not be able to protect them because they have been chased off and are lost in the woods. We generally have a Doberman Pinscher or two with us that will alert us to predators in the area.
Cover for the "Boys" is achieved by stretching another line about 4 to 6 inches above the "Boys" high line and then putting a tarp (we use 8x12) over the line forming an "A" frame with one side on the ground (facing the wind) and the other side off the ground 2 to 3 feet. Use tent stakes through the tarp eyelets on the side that's on the ground and tent stakes and bungee cords for the open side. Where the tarp goes over the top line we line an eyelet up with the line (on each end) and tie a loose loop of twine through the eyelet while going around the line and then tying the other end of the twine to a prettied loop about 1 foot away from the tarp in the top line. Do this to both ends of the tarp, stretching the tarp between the loops in the upper line. Don't try putting the tarp over the high line the"Boys" are tied to, that line moves around too much from the "Boys" pulling on it to keep the tarp secured. Keep the tie out line that's tied to the goat just long enough to allow the goat to lie down, any longer will allow the goat to get outside the front of the tarp and put his front feet up on the tarp.
We also spend a lot of time teaching the words "NO" and "GO" reinforcing the commands with a squirt bottle. We "Never" allow the "Boys" to set a foot in our "designated" camp site, ever ! Goats are very smart and learn this quickly, but they are still goats and may test you from time to time just to see if your paying attention. Absolute consistency is a must. Your hiking companions must be made aware of the rules and how to deal with the "Test". This is how we deal with these issues and it works well for us. Happy Trails, Dwite
 
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