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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have two Nigerian dwarf wethers, just as pets. We've had them for one year now, and they are now adult-size. They have a fenced off area in the back yard with a large shelter for the rain, and with a bunch of stuff to climb and jump on, etc, and their hay and water are there (inside the shelter because it rains here a lot).

But, we don't really lock them up in the pen anymore. They like to roam the back yard all day and night. It's a fully fenced back yard - they have found and I have repaired any weak spots in that fencing! If I leave them locked up in the smaller pen, they get quite noisy asking to get out and wander the yard.

Here's the problem - poop! My back lawn has tons of poop. They are pooping tons, and it's not just nice neat piles anymore, it seems. It's scattered everywhere. Well, as you can imagine, the wife is not keen on having a goat poop covered back yard. This summer, I tried taking the shop vac out once a week and vacuuming the yard. Works okay on the piles, but where there is just tons of poop scattered through all the grass back there, it's impossible to really make that grass clean. So we don't have a place to entertain guests back there, or for kids to play without tracking poop into the house, etc. and heaven help us in the rainy season, which in the PAC NW is like 8 straight months of the year.

What do I do? Sould I just keep them locked in the pen full time where it's easy to clean up because it's only hard packed dirt, and they can't poop in the grass at all, and they'll get used to it and not yell as much (neighbors are my worry with the noise...)? Is there some better way to pick the poop out of the grass? I'm afraid these goats are very near to being relocated to someone else's herd somewhere, which will devastate my young daughters.

How big would a pen need to be for the two little guys to live in full time?

Bless you if you've read all this!
 

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Can you put them somewhere else in your yard? I can definitely understand needing poop free area.

How big is their area that you can lock them in now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the pen is about 20' x 25', and the shelter, inside the pen, takes up about 10x10 of that (it's a bent hog panel hoop house covered with a thick tarp, closed off on one end). There is a platform in the shelter to lay on, and other platforms in the pen to climb and jump and lounge around on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not really. It's just one big backyard in a suburban neighborhood. It would be very difficult to partition, sice the only gate to the yard is on one side of the house, and the only door to the house, and the place where my trailer is parked, is on the other side of the back yard. I could probably expand their space a bit, maybe to 20 x 35 feet or so, moving one side out another 10 feet. I suspect they would be fine, once they get used to it, but they do like lounging up on the deck by the back door now. Which is why the deck is covered with poop and smells faintly of goat pee... (Not my wife's favorite...)
 

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Have you tried one of those rakes with close together tynes? They might be close enough to rake the berries out of thegrass.
 

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They might cry for a few days wanting loose..but just retrain them to stay in their penned area...extra TLC goes a long way...

for the poop...we use a leaf rake, it doesnt get it all but with persistance you can get it cleaned in time :D Trick is not to rake straight on...but with a gentle side motion...good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We're gonna try the pen. Cleaning up in there is pretty easy, since it's just packed dirt in there. A broom and dustpan work great. We'll make some extra effort to go out there and spend more time with them, and we'll let our children get them out of the pen to play with them in the back yard from time to time. They like to hang out with the kids while they run around or play tetherball, etc.

And maybe I'll get a leash and halter of some kind and learn to take them out for walks. Can they be trained to walk on a leash?

Worth a try, anyway, before we just give up and get rid of them.
 

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it's too bad they are as old as they are we had one that was housebroken, but she was a bottle baby. you might try feeding them and then taking them to where you want them to poop and waiting, but they will definitely need to be leash trained for that. if they are used to being handled leash training should be easy.
 

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well I don't know how to pick up poop either. and its definitely where its supposed to be. It is 50% microbial active, amazing COMPOST. when I figure out how to rake it out of the straw? I think the goats need the space and I dont know how many goats you have, but fewer goats is less poop. and picking it up-- you could share it with your neighbors or your favorite gardeners. since I raise free range chickens I stand with the goats, let them roam!
 

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We had the same issue with chickens. Now we only free range them in late fall when no one wants to be outside.
Here's an idea. Fence off an entertainment/play area for people and let the goats have the rest of the yard.
 

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A poop apron might be handy : ) SOmehting to attach to them and catch all the berries when not in their pen.. if you design and make one..bet they would sell!!!
 
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