Grazing goats

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Epona142, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Just to clarify things, I keep my goats in a large pen, that's been eaten down to bare dirt by them and the chickens. They get their feed and hay twice a day. We live on a large bit of land, mostly wooded, but we have some pasture, just nothing more than OLD barbed wire fences somewhere back in the woods.

    I used to take Hope and Uno out on lines and sit while they got to graze, but since my herd grew to four, I both haven't had time much to set it all up and not enough line for four goats.

    But today, I took a chance and just let them out while I worked on scrubbing their feed tubs and water buckets. I left a leash on Hope, thinking she would be fairly easy to catch.

    They did so great!! They grazed in the pasture, but stayed together and close to the house, even coming up to check out the porch. And they were so happy, running and playing a bit, and I was able to catch them without any trouble and herd them back into the pen, where they commenced playing "tag" with me.

    I think I need one of those sticks shepherds carry now.

    I just had to share. :hug:
  2. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    That's what I used to do when we had a small herd of 12. They had eaten their pen down to dirt so I would just let them out into the orchard to graze and when I wanted them back I just shook their grain and they came runing back. It worked great! Now that our herd has grown, we're going to plant some pasture for them, i'm excited!

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    one way to keep from having to round them up is to do as KWFarms said and teach them to come to the rattling of feed in a can or bucket.

    Each day when I feed I use the same can of to dish out the feed also a pink scoup is recognized by them now too. Once they see or hear either the pink scoop the coffee can or hear it rattle they come running.

    Goats are creatures of habbit, it will not take them long to learn at all.
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I actually had a bucket with a bit of corn on standby. :greengrin:

    I'm hoping that after the holidays are over I'll have more time to spend with them and can let them out more often. I was just so pleased at how well behaved they were, even if I did have to shoo them off the porch. :dance:
  5. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Mine free roam 98% of the time....I only occassionally have to shoo them off my front porch but they very often come and find me when I'm in the house...Bootsie beats on the back door! I don't have a fenced yard and it does go down to the road, practically a cowpath, in the 8 years I've had goats not one has ever gone to visit the neighbors. I do keep bells on their collars so I know where they are at all times...and if something spooks them they run back to the pen or if they see me with the grain bucket. I alternate the days they roam with the bucks, thru the summer they all get a good 4-5 hours of free roam in.As far as the neighbors dogs or anything else that may prey on them, I have a 12 gauge by the door just in case :greengrin:
  6. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I don't know if I could be THAT brave! We don't have super close neighbors, but the neighbors on one side who are closest have a ridgeback who is always barking at us (though he's never actually come over and tried to bother anyone/thing.) and the neighbor on the other side has a PACK of dogs that are constantly chasing his own cattle (which also get out all the time and wander around on our property).

    We also have two large breed dogs that belong to my uncle, one of which WILL kill but is chained when outside, and one who won't bother the goats as long as I'm there.

    I think that as long as I am outside keeping an eye on them we'll be fine, and as I usually have some free time, I'll be able to do that more, especially as it gets warmer.

    I can't wait until OUR property is finished and fenced and they have lots of room to roam. :sigh:

    Edited to add: I forgot to mention that I'd feel bad for any dog that dares come close to Hope! She HATES dogs! One time my boxer (we have three VERY well trained dogs of our own) followed me into the pen (with the intention of chowing down on chicken poo) and Hope bristled up and chased her back out with all intent to butt her good. :ROFL:

    Which worries me a tiny bit too, because she's less likely to run from a dog with murderous intentions.
  7. Candy

    Candy New Member

    I think that's what I miss the most! When the weather is decent I get on the riding lawn mower and away we go! Since my mobility is pretty limited, I get the best of both worlds. I get to spend time with my goaties and they come running to the fence when they hear the lawn mower because they do so love to spend time out and about grazing. :love:
    When I had just Katie & Kizzy, we'd make the 'big circle'--about 1 1/2 mi. . They knew just which neighbors had treats for them and did like to visit. The only time I had a problem was the day the one neighbor made her DH a pumpkin pie and put it on the patio table to cool. Goaties just LOVE pumpkin pie! The only evidence was the smears of pumpkin on their noses. I made a pumpkin pie when I got home--one they DID NOT get a taste of--and took it to our very understanding neighbor, Doug.
    Candy :sun:
  8. grandmajo

    grandmajo New Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Pioneer, Ohio
    :ROFL: picturing your goats with pumpkin pie smeared on their noses!