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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just closed on the new house when I saw the ad on craigslist. Goats were in the plan for next year, but these little girls were perfect for us. They had to be out of their current digs by the weekend, so we're now totally unprepared goat owners scrabbling to figure out what to do next.

We picked up feed on our way home. Our place has patchy, weak fencing. Our neighborhood has large, free roaming dogs. No garage so... they spent the night in the bathroom because it's the only room in the house with no exposed electrical cords.

This morning I'm heading out to buy hay, some portable 5' x 10' feedlot panels, and some wire fencing to attach to them to make them (hopefully) goat proof. I'm thinking tent pegs to hold the wire down. I have no good ideas on secure night time housing.

The girls are four month old Nigoras, smallish but well fed. Do you guys have any ideas for quick, sturdy, affordable (cheap) housing that an out-of-shape middle aged lady can set up in one day? We live in south Texas. Think hot, muggy, but above water (for now). Advice anybody? Please? Help!

I'm going to cross post this plea once I find an appropriate spot for it.
 

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Why not use t posts and field fencing? Seems simpler and more economical to me, just get the 2×4 inch woven wire kind. Four feet has served us just fine.

I'll try to find a photo of our original "goat house". It was made out of pallets, old wooden fence slats, and a large countertop board that was left over from a construction site. Lol! It worked for our first year and I had it up in a day.


You can kind of sort of see the back of it here, and our fence in the background. We used carabeeners to make a makeshift door for the fence until we got an actual gate.
 

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Also, go ahead and buy the t post driver. I thought I'd be able to just hammer them in and, no. Way easier and faster with a driver. I actually made the huge mistake of trying to stomp one in with my foot...it sliced through the sole of my tennis shoe and I had to use crutches for a week. Not one of my finest moments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yes, much reading!

I built a simple 3' tall fence with t posts years ago. It seemed way too flimsy to keep out large dogs, maybe I built it wrong? Last night I saw 3 dogs roaming the neighborhood that looked 70+ pounds.

The woman who owned these does said she caught them on top of her 4.5' fence, that's why I'm looking at 5'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Deerbunny, your goats look so much like mine! I hope I did the photo upload thing right

This is the picture from the craigslist ad, how could I resist?
 

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Hmm, I'm not sure why it was flimsy unless it just wasn't pulled tight or the posts weren't pounded in enough, ours is very sturdy. You can buy 5 or 6 foot field fencing. Four has been plenty tall for us and no escapes but our property is also surrounded by a six foot privacy fence.

You're probably going to need to look into an lgd or two in the future, or electric fencing. If packs of dogs are roaming no fence will keep them out if they set their minds to getting the goats..
 

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GreenTGoats
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Well first off, congratulations on your new additions!

Fresh water daily.

Grain, twice daily. I'd give them each a half pound per feeding. They don't need a whole lot.

Does you're yard have lots of trees and shrubs for them to eat? If it doesn't, you'll also need a good hay source.

You'll need a good loose mineral, I use Manna Pro from TSC.

Are they on cocci prevention? You'll need to start that if they aren't. And they also need to be dewormer if they haven't.

I've heard igloos/dogloos work well for housing. Dog crates. You should think about a more permanent house for them, but for now something small and temporary should be fine.

If you have any question, feel free to ask them here! Storey's Guide To Raising Dairy Goats is a great book also.

Do you plan to breed and milk them?
 

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Catharina
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Irresistibly cute! I would have bought them too!

Our first fence was a waste of time & money because I bought cheap posts. The goats bent them like pipe cleaners & then climbed over. When I buy posts now I get expensive ones that look like cast iron, not the ones that were flat metal bent into shape. Never underestimate a goat's ability to destroy, climb over, jump, or crawl under a fence. Luckily they always come home.

For night time security you can put wire over a few panels so dogs can't squeeze in, & use them to enclose a dog house. If you use a corner of their pen it won't take as many panels.The stock panels are a great idea because you have an instant fence & you can move it too. Wish I could afford them!

The goats will climb all over the dog house & destroy the roof so I suggest those ugly plastic dogloos. They are also easy to keep clean & sanitary.

Have lots of fun with your new goats!:lovey:
 

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Catharina
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Also, you can just rent the metal fence post pounder at any rental place if you decide to go that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the great advice!
After spending some time at the local Tractor Supply, I'm thinking the 10' x 10' x 6' dog kennel is a great cost vs security compromise. I'll use t posts and wire fencing to give them a larger enclosure during the day. I can't get the kennel until Monday, so it'll be a couple more nights of indoor goats. Right now they're tethered in the yard where I can keep an eye on them.

I might give diapers a shot, goats are *not* good indoor pets!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, we bought them for milk and hopefully some fiber as well. I'll wait to breed them until I feel more confident I know what I'm doing. I was planning on planting some trees and shrubs specifically for goats before buying them. Poor impulse control strikes again. Now I'll need to figure out a way to keep the girls away from the plants until they get large enough to have a shot at surviving being goat food.
 

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Catharina
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The plants won't survive goats without a fence. Better to plant them elsewhere & bring branches to the goats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ack! No trees or bushes where goats can eat all the leaves. I'm guessing that means they girdle trees too.

I saw a neat thing someone had done for alpacas. They built a cage out of doubled up chicken wire and installed it over a young tree. The animals ate all the leaves and small branches that came through the wire. It eventually became a bushy hedge and salad bar for their alpaca.
 
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