Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by lesserweevil, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Dont ever tether

    0 vote(s)
  2. Ok to tether if in a safe (ie dog free, etc) area

  3. Tethering is always fine

    0 vote(s)
  4. Tether with collar and lead

    0 vote(s)
  5. Tether with halter

  6. Tether with body harness

    0 vote(s)
  1. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I know some people are very opposed to tethering...

    BUT at the moment, my fences are 4 ft sheep wire with 2 strands barbed wire on top. And Demi can very easily hop over these fences. I dont know what my buck's gonna be like, but I would expect if Demi could do it, so could he?

    So I dont want to leave him locked up on his own all the time cause I think that's cruel, so I was debating getting a tether for him so he can be outside, and also see the goats.

    YES I know Demi could still jump a fence to get to him. At the moment not really an issue as she's pregnant... and then next fall I'll want him to breed her anyway. Obviously something I'd have to think about if i didnt want her bred!!!

    If I did tether him - would it be safest to buy a harness like for a large dog, and tether him using that so that if he spooked or something, it wouldnt just grab his neck? Like one of those harnesses that goes under their belly and behind their front legs as well as around their neck.

    I'm assuming a halter on his face would be even more dangerous than tethering him using a collar.

    I have tethered my goats in the past - infrequently - and that was using a collar, but I found they walked round and round the tether and their rope got shorter and shorter and shorter...

    He would be tethered inside an existing field, too. Not just out on a highway or something.
  2. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    I wouldn't really recommend tethering unless the goat is being supervised. Ken had a full grown buck tethered and he ended up hanging himself. And even with a harness the cable can become entangled in the goat's legs and such

    Maybe you could try one of those anti-jump harnesses they have for dogs. I know of some goat people who have used them with great success.

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I have tethered but for short periods of time. THere are also these stakes that you screw into the ground that swival so when the dog moves around they dont get tangled -- I tried it with my goats but they were new to being tethered so they didnt like it and I stopped using them before i had a chance to see if they really worked but I cant see why not. I got ones made for really big dogs as my goats are pretty stronge.

    The harness is a good idea verse the collar for sudden spooks.

    It isnt the best option for a goat -- but when it is for their safety otherwise you do what you got to do.
  4. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    I've never tethered goats out, but if you do it would probably be best to do it when you are outside or can be there to watch. I've had a goat hang itself just by a collar on a cattle panel. So goats get into trouble.

    I have however, turned my goats out loose. I just opened the gate and went out with them. There was so much brush that they didn't go but 20 feet from the fence and when they got their bellies full they come back in to ruminate and chew thier cud. Now I wouldn't do this if it were near the road, was open and flat or if I felt the goats were too iffy to be let loose. They get bolder and bolder the more you let them out so I couldn't do it too often or for many days in a row. They loved it though. I'm a bit worry wart about letting them get out of my sight so I would just sit out with them. Call them in if I needed with grain.
  5. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    I never tether here either and we recommend it to the buyers as well though since we have too many stray dogs and predators here and plus they can strangle their selves too easily.
  6. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I don't ever tether and do not really recommend it. Never had anything bad happen to our goats, because I've never done it. ;)

    But. . . . I know of a friend who has a "system" for tethering, if you are going to do it, this sounds ideal. Put the goat's tethering rope through an old hose, the hose will not easily get tangled up, so your goat won't either. Hopefully that makes sense. Then maybe attach the rope to the thing that Stacey mentioned. Just an idea. :shrug:
  7. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Olivia - I had never heard of that - but that makes good sense - thanks!

    I personally have tethered a couple goaties out to eat some shrubs down - but I was within ear shot of them outside and would check on them periodically.

    LE - is there a way to make a "safe area" for him to where he wouldn't have to be tethered, as you don't want him to rebreed your girl as soon as she is in season again after delivering.
  8. Joferd

    Joferd New Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    I tether my goats by using a collar and dog leash. I loop the dog leash through a cinder block and let them go. The leash is only six feet long, so it doesn't get tangled. The goats are strong enough to pull the cinder block around the yard, but they cannot go fast enough that they aren't easily caught. I also only do this when I can supervise them. Works great!
  9. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I have never tethered and will never tether. I just think to many things can happen even if they're in a safe environment with you near by. I'm sure it's different for everyone, but personally even if i'm in a really safe area and close by the goats I still wouldn't do it.

    Olivia, that's a really neat idea though with the hose. If you have to tether, I would probably do something like that. Really neat idea!
  10. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I really like the hose idea! The only option for putting him out without tethering would be to entirely refence a field... which wouldnt happen because of monetary reasons. There is also the fact that I have sheep, and I dont want him breeding one of those!!! :wink:
  11. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    LW....I tethered for a few years before I got my fencing wher I wanted it to be...I used steel pegs with rings on them and a dogs tie out cable with swivels on both ends...no getting wound up around the peg and a cable was gentler to the legs than chain....now I did make sure I could see them and they were free and clear of anything they could tangle in. Make sure he has a water bucket at the end of his line and plenty of shade. As long as he can move freely without entanglement and you are positive he won't be "bait", I'd stake him.....My Pygmy buck was on my deceased dogs cable with the doghouse for his home for almost 2 months while we were building his pen and shed...of course I worried about him, especially at night but he was so close to my bedroom that I couldn't open the window...the bucky perfume would come right in..lol, anyhow, a close to the house as he was I would hear if anything was bothering him.
  12. HollowbeadRanch

    HollowbeadRanch New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    NW Alabama
    I have been wandering about his myself, since BoPeep is now here and it will be another month before the fencing is finished. I think the garden hose idea sounds great! I would have NEVER thought of that! I have never tethered before myself, but I think that if it is done properly and the goat(s) are monitored then it should be ok :shrug: And I also understand that desperate times call for desperate measures :wink:

    Let us know what you decide to do and how it works out!
  13. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    i tether in the summer (only the herdqueen and the buck) all of the others just hang near the queen. i've never had one get injured..but i really would rather have a fenced pasture.

    Which i've set aside an acre to do this spring! woohoo.
  14. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I'll make sure that Fionn is only allowed outside when there's someone home to keep an eye on him. I dont want him to injure himself. Now to sort out getting a proper tether thingy so that the rope doesnt get wound up - and I KNOW we have lots of hose :greengrin: (and plenty of water buckets. In fact, he can have about 10 if he likes...)
  15. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    Aug 9, 2008
    We always tether.
    We used to just have them fenced and free but a few goats were determined to repetitively destroy the fencing to get to the neighboring farm fields. We also had the problem of the goats stripping the land bare and killing everything.
    So having field fencing has caused probs. Our animals have gotten out and got in other farm fields. They eat unknown plants.
    They risk eating poisonous plants. They risk dog attacks from neighbors dogs. We have to repair broken fence lines. Using anything but field fencing isnt financially feasible for our acreage layout and budget.

    So we tether and have been for 2 years without incident.

    We use collars, strong, thick dog collars.
    We use horse ropes, not anything for dogs as our goats can break the strongest things made for dogs and cable is to high risk if it gets wrapped around a leg or neck! We use wide, webbed, horse rope, in 30 foot lengths.

    We have post and polls in the ground to hold the tethers. Our goats are not tethered near trees or anywhere they can get tangled up.
    The most ours can do is circle around their post till the tether is to short to do anything but stand and call for one of us.
    No two goats are ever tethered so close that they can reach each other.

    The benefits are that we control what they eat.
    We know who is eating what and how much.
    No worry about poisonous plants and not knowing if some sudden illness was caused by one.
    We can have trees and shrubs without goats getting to them.
    No area is allowed to be eaten bare. We rotate areas and goat and sheep.
    We dont have to worry about keeping does and bucks separate. Its easy to accomplish with tethering.
    The goats and sheep have so much contact with us from the daily moving on and off tethers that even the skittish ones learn to trust us.
    Kids and lambs run free with the moms tethered. Kids and lambs get tethered when they get old enough that they start roaming away from mom, which is usually the second year as they are all born in spring/summer and that first year none go far from their moms.
    I never had a kid or lamb get tangled in moms tether. The tethers are so wide and noticeable that the kids and lambs see them moving as mom moves and they have always stepped over them.

    As for supervision, we never tether if one of us are not home.
    There is always someone keeping an eye, and ear open when they are tethered.
  16. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    I don't tether my goats. They just seem way too vulnerable to predators. A dog can show up in your yard even if you're home. I sometimes let a baby goat or two play outside it's pen when I'm out doing chores. One day my neighbor was allowing her dog to run alongside her truck. I was inside my garage when I heard the baby screaming. The dog had gotten hold of her and was shaking her. The neighbor and I managed to get the dog to let her go. The kid was sore for a few days, but healed. Had she been tied up with me in the house, I hate to think what may have happened. The only time we tie any goats up is when we are bathing them or moving them and are right out there with them. If I want them to clear weeds outside their pens, I don't tie them up.
  17. DopeyOpie

    DopeyOpie New Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    I tether my two boys in the summer when there's lots of fresh stuff to eat. I use dog stakes with swivels on them and a long chain (30 ft). The only time I've had problems with tangling is when the grass is really long around the stake area. Now I yank out that grass and I don't have any problems. I always make sure they're not near anything they can get tangled in as well. I set a water bucket at the end of the chain so they can't dump it, and the two are far enough apart that they can't reach each other and tangle each others chains.

    Also, regarding predators, I only stake them out during the daytime and they're in their pen at night safe from coyotes, etc that usually hunt around dawn/dusk. We have two doggies that protect them, and one pup that will hopefully learn :wink:
  18. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I have tethered goats out before. It's not something I would probably do with a nervous/panicy goat that wasn't used to being on a lead...but with my goats, I have never had any problems.

    I've always used a dog collar and a 30' rope.

    I have never tethered in the evening/overnight or when I'm not home to keep an eye on things. If I am outside with them, I usually just let the goats roam free but when I am busy with other things, tethering is a convenient way to give them access to fresh plants...and keep them out of the garden :roll: