How Much space do Nigies need?

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by Ellie L. F., Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    20
    Nov 18, 2018
    I apologize if this information is already somewhere else on the site, and I failed to find it.

    I'm trying to plan a yard and shelter for two pet Nigerian dwarf wethers and need to know the space requirements. (It's legal I checked.)
    I don't have other pets or kids currently, So I can easily shower them with attention, lots of play time, trick training, walking, hikes ect. And I'll give them plenty of things to keep them entertained while I'm away too.
    I live the Colorado mountains where it is very dry, and the winters are really cold.
    I'm not sure how high the fence should be, but we do have a bears in the area, and sooo many wondering off leash dogs.
    Suggestions?

    Also when walking the goats on a leash, would a dog whistle keep off leash dogs at bay? I could carry mace too for just in case. But still I'd like to scare off the dogs long before I have to mace them. Has anyone had trouble with this sort of thing?

    I'd like to take the goats to visit the old folks home nearby, but figured it wouldn't do to have them peeing and pooing on the floor. Is it possible to train them not to go inside, so long as the visits are short? Has anyone tried this before?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Sounds great! On average, Nigerian Dwarf goats require 250 square feet PER GOAT. You will need a good shelter, Do you have the space (or budget) for a high quality shed/mini barn?

    6 feet is my go-to.

    Goats don't love walking on leashes. It takes a lot of training -- just be prepared for that, they are not dogs. I would try to walk goats in areas where no dogs are present. This just doesn't sound safe enough for me to want to expose my goats to. A dog will gladly taunt your goats, even if they don't attack or come too close. NOT A GOOD IDEA.

    Goats poop constantly. And while they are fairly good about where they pee, they will go anywhere when scared -- which they will be when taken to a new place. There is no way to train them to not go inside, or to keep it nearly quick enough. You would have to diaper them.
     

  3. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Also, quick suggestion -- if you want therapy pets, get bottle babies. They will make all training MUCH easier.
     
  4. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    GA
    i agree above -
    I would carry mace or a tazer. In our county there is a leash law for dogs..I carry a gun normally everywhere i go so i am not above shooting a dog.

    But I walk Clyde on a leash in our back yard and up the mountain staying away from other animals beside mine or the deer.

    To me, you have to earn the respect and trust of a goat. Once they do, they love you similar to a dog. Clyde always calls out to me and bonnie to when i get home. He's come to the fence to greet me since he was a buckling of 2 months old. But we bottle fed him and bonnie from 7 days and 9 days old. So they know us.

    Bonnie free roams when we walk and never strays to far, but I protect them from predators.
     
  5. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    20
    Nov 18, 2018
    Thanks for all the suggestions and honest answers. Perhaps visiting the old folks isn't in the cards, not unless they want to bring the old folks outside. lol. If I get goats, I'm getting bottle babies for sure. I'm still trying to decide between goats and a dog. I'm not the biggest fan of most dogs, and I'd like goat poop for compost. I have at least 900 square feet of space, but the shed is tricky for sure, I'm worried about how cold it gets here.
     
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  6. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    After you train the goats, they will gladly go by leash. People regularly hoke and back pack with goats on a leash. Some back packing areas have leash laws for all animals.
    I live in the deep south and have abundant almost year round green in my yard, my 9 goats cannot subsist on 1/2 acre. Outside foraging and hay feeding is required for them.
    I do not know how to keep dogs away, leash laws here. BB gun works good while at home.
     
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  7. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    20
    Nov 18, 2018
    They have signs all over the place about keeping dogs on leashes. But there's so many people around here who ignore them. There's a lot of places nearby we can go to that are quiet, But I still worry about running into someone's dog and I don't want to stress out our goats unnecessarily. Ugh! I get that dogs are cute, but I wish people would just walk them on a leash!
     
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  8. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    20
    Nov 18, 2018
    My cousin has pack goats, so maybe I can ask him about good places to go? I thinking taking them out would be a lot of fun so long as it's safe.
    I would not be able to depend on the grass for them, I would have to feed them hay for sure, No matter how big their area was, grass does not grow well out here.
    Yeah, we have laws, but no one follows them. BB gun isn't a bad idea though.
     
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  9. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    They will need good quality hay. They don’t love grass much. With your temperatures they definitely need shelter. A barn or very well made 3 sided structure could work. But a shed is your best bet with your temps, even for two wethers.

    With all due respect — dogs are great. Maybe........????? While goats can be trained, it seems you are trying to replace dogs with them. They don’t replace dogs. I speak from experience. They are wonderful amazing creatures. But if you want a “dog” get a dog.

    Maybe a pig. Pot belly’s are better dogs than dogs. And they can live indoors.

    Just a thought! You do you though! I’ll help in any way I can.
     
  10. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    GA
    yeah people dont respect leash laws until you take a dog out or it bites someone.

    @Damfino has her geughts visiting older folks..I think she has a post around here. that said..her goats are extremely well trained
     
  11. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I think goats are very easy to leash train. I've trained many of them! We teach all our kids to walk on leashes when they are young, and I don't know how I'd manage my big pack wethers without leashes!

    I too live in the mountains of Colorado and our dry, cool climate is excellent for keeping goats. We have far fewer parasite and hoof problems than warm, humid areas. My goats live in PolyDome calf hutches year round. I face the door away from the prevailing wind and bed them down with straw. I have Alpine/Nubian crosses and my goats stay plenty warm enough in the winter. Nigerian dwarfs generally have thicker coats and more body fat than the large dairy breeds, so staying warm enough in winter should be no problem for your boys.

    Dog Dazers and pepper spray both have good reviews from other folks, but I've never personally had to use either one myself. Keeping your goats on a leash is the best way to prevent an accident because then a dog can't chase your goats away from you.

    I did take my goats to a nursing home a couple months ago, but we were outside. Mine aren't potty trained, but I think it could be done with patience and dedication. I know some people have. I have some goats that naturally refuse go to the bathroom indoors and others that let loose whenever they feel like it.

    Goats are wonderful creatures and a lot more pleasant than dogs in my opinion. Like you, I'm not a huge fan of dogs as pets. They always stink, I find most of them annoying, and they are horrible to clean up after. Goats are where it's at!
     
  12. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    20
    Nov 18, 2018
    Sweet thanks for all the info!
    I'm so happy to know that Colorado is a good place for them. I've been kind of worried that they'd be miserable in winter, but there's a lot of people keeping goats around here, so they must handle it well enough.
    I like little dogs okay, but I think they're overrated.

    We'll see though, I'm going to have to check in with my new neighbors and see if they're okay with it. They have a little girl who might like little goat buddies to play with, but still i don't want to have them complain after I've already gotten them.
     
  13. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    20
    Nov 18, 2018
    No worries, I see where you're coming from. And I don't want to be that person that gets goats then changes their mind about them. That's why I ask these questions.
    I've been leaning towards goats for a lot of reasons, but I also realize that they're going to be outside pets, and that they're going to be really different.
    I have an anxiety disorder that a lot of dogs set off. Small, well trained, quiet dogs work okay with me. But I prefer gentle animals that can calm me down, horses, rabbits, ferrets. I don't think I'm trying to replace any one type of animal for another as much as figure out what kind of animal will work with me in my situation, and which kind of animal I can keep happy and healthy. I'll investigate pigs for sure, but I'd always heard that they're a really difficult pet to keep?
     
  14. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    20
    Nov 18, 2018
    It drives me crazy! So many times I've had growling aggressive dogs come right up to me and the owners are 10 feet away shouting that it's friendly. I need to get in touch with the guy who walks his llamas around town, bet the dogs don't want to mess with them.
     
  15. IHEARTGOATS

    IHEARTGOATS Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Zebulon, NC
    Goats make great pets. They are easily leash trained. Some people got wethers from us and walked them all through their neighborhood.
    They (Lenny and Squiggy) are brothers and have their own facebook page.
    "Suburban Goats"
     
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  16. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    If the owner has to tell you the dog is friendly, it probably isn't.
     
  17. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    GA
    Yeah, I dont have much tolerance for dogs. They are great animals but when not properly raised they can be a problem. I sort of take on the roll of protector to my goats and animals. The goats are prey animals to they trust me to keep them safe. Clyde got spooked by deer a couple of weeks back and he bolted towards me eyes wide, high gear, ran right behind me and looked..then did the.."mett ett et et".lol
     
  18. elvis&oliver

    elvis&oliver Well-Known Member

    830
    Jun 27, 2018
    Pa
    I leash trained my 2 pygora wethers Elvis & Oliver starting at 4 months old. @Damfino has a thread on here about it I believe? I started by walking them in their enclosure instead of taking them out right way. That way they got used to having a collar on and the stop or go of the leash pressure. They only have a collar on when on a leash. When they start pulling and trying to get away don’t panic, they quickly learn to relax. My tip would be don’t rush it have patience and hold firmly and calmly while using voice commands. I didn’t yank or tug or try and do it overnight. Now I can leash Elvis only and Oliver stays very close without a leash. Elvis is the lead goat so Oliver won’t go away from him at all. Now we walk our woods and field without leashes but I carry one in case I need it. I trained them to follow me when I smack my side and say “come on boys come on” and they hustle right along with me. But I started by doing this on leash. I walk them every day because the repetition is key. The more education you have on all of this the more successful you’ll be! It sounds like your heart is in it and I wish you the best of luck!:)
     
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  19. elvis&oliver

    elvis&oliver Well-Known Member

    830
    Jun 27, 2018
    Pa
    Also leash training has come in handy when hoof trimming and trimming their coats. They both have separate spots in the barn where I hook them up and tend to each of their needs. Since they aren’t used to it they don’t tug or try and get away. I never leave them on a leash when I’m not present. When done I take their collars off give them a treat. It’s made life easier instead of one trying to ram the other one while I’m trimming or clipping coats.
     
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  20. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    GA
    Mine are similar to Elvis and Oliver, they sort of do the same thing with Clyde being lead.
     
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