To Collar or Not to Collar

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by MellonFriend, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Yes

    16 vote(s)
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
  3. Sometimes

    8 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    What is your opinion on collars or not? I'm worried about them getting caught on brush and other stuff, but on the other hand how to you control them if there's nothing to grab on to? Is hair loss as a result of wearing one constantly a problem with goats? I wouldn't want my girls to have bald patches on their necks like my dog does :(.
    capracreek likes this.
  2. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    I used to have collars on all my goats. Never had one get tangled up but I also put them on fairly tight......not tight enough to choke but not loose and can easily get things under. My goats are brush hogs lol so they are always in the brush and trees. Mine were not collars though. What I did was got a huge thing of thinner leather and cut into strips, punched out a hole on each end and put a ear tag threw it. Now on the really crazy goats they would snap when I got my hands on them but the more calmer ones it held up.....I figured if they ever did get in a jam it would bust loose.
    Now I say I used to have on all of them, I only have on like half now, which are my older ones and harder to handle get actual collars. I now have a catch pen so I don't NEED them.
    As for hair loss, most do not have it but some do. I couldn't tell you why that is.
    capracreek and MellonFriend like this.

  3. Davon

    Davon Active Member

    Sep 21, 2017
    North Carolina
    I used the plastic chain link collars because I didn't want to risk them getting strangled. They worked OK until the last year they kept getting them off. I think they did it rubbing their necks on corners. I got sick of putting them back on their necks, so now I just keep a tarp strap on my milking shed and loop it around their neck to lead them back to the pen.
    capracreek and MellonFriend like this.
  4. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    All of mine have rope collars. I've never had any real issues other than getting hung up in sticks, but I am out there pretty often so they never have to wait long. I also try to give them big enough collars so that they can slip them if they try hard enough.

    They've never gotten bald patches, but I think I tend to tie the collars pretty loose.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
    capracreek and MellonFriend like this.
  5. GaGoats2017

    GaGoats2017 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2017
    I sometimes leave them on a few of my does, ones that are older and smart enough not to jump around and get stuck. I've never had any problems. Only one time they started fighting, and one ended up getting its horn stuck in another ones collar and they drug each other around for a while. But I was out there with them and split them up quick. That's when I decided to take them off. I never had any problems with hair loss.

    I have some that are crazy and like to climb walls, I would never put a collar on them lol. I don't put them on my bucks unless I have to move them, they are always getting into something so it's less of a risk.

    Over the years showing in the same facility as hundreds of goats, I have only seen 4-5 killed because they tried to jump out and ended up getting stuck. Sometimes by the collar, sometimes they don't even have a collar and can get hung on their own horns.

    I am always sure to buy the kind with the thin plastic snap, incase they do get caught they will break the clasp before they break their necks. But still enough to be able to lead them.

    I have found it's almost like goats TRY to hurt themselves lol. So most might be perfectly fine...then you get that one that proves you wrong. I think it's all just personal preference, depending on your goat.
    MellonFriend likes this.
  6. GaGoats2017

    GaGoats2017 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2017
    Actually with the hair thing, I have had some of my market goats that would loose hair and get a callus/raw spot on the back of their neck where the collar rubbed. But they were shaved short, so I think the added hair will protect them from getting spots like that. I've never had hair loss problems with unshaved goats.
  7. New-goat-mom

    New-goat-mom Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2017
    Mine have nylon collars with the plastic snap fasteners like GaGoats2017 mentioned. I haven't had to find out yet but I am hoping it would pop open if they got hung up. Their collars are loose and they haven't had any hair loss at all. My only issue so far was when one girl was in heat my buck would hook her collar with his horn to hold her. Since the collar is loose she always managed to slip it off his horn, though. One reason mine have them is because of the risk of them getting out. I plan to (but haven't yet) get small name tags just like my dogs have.
    MellonFriend likes this.
  8. Deborah Haney

    Deborah Haney Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2017
    Mine wear collars with tags because I'm afraid of them getting out, even though our fencing has been tested by goats and dogs of all sizes by now. They're pretty loose right now because the babies haven't grown into them yet. One can still slip her collar off with ease. Once they're bigger I plan to have the collar as tight as it can safely be to prevent branches from getting stuck under them. Right now I can't imagine a branch small enough that it can get under the collar but strong enough that they can't snap it in a heartbeat. If they do manage to get stuck by such a branch they're sure to let me know. I have class for 3 hours/day 4 days/week and someone is home 24/7. Their pen is close enough that we can hear them from the house. Even if we can't, I have a baby monitor and security camera on all the time with the parent unit of the monitor in my room, where I spend 80%-85% of my time, if I'm not already with the goats.
    MellonFriend likes this.
  9. I don't use collars, but I would like to. However I am scared to hang my goats like some people say can happen. - If this is rare I will use collars. So use dog collars or .. ?
    MellonFriend likes this.
  10. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I just buy the cheap dog collars at the dollar store.
  11. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    I'm going to kind of off shoot here. What about halters to lead goats? I feel like it would it be easier to lead them with one than a collar leash combo?
  12. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    I wouldn't leave a halter on 24/7. Those are loose and can get stuck on things and no way of coming off. But for just leading it will be fine. I find the collars to work better because I don't have to fight to get it on and latched. The ones that don't have collars I just have a rope, basically kinda like a lasso and I toss over their head and then can lead them with that. But I have a few halters here and other then the kids using on their show goats have yet to use them
    GaGoats2017 and MellonFriend like this.
  13. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Oh, of course! I didn't mean leaving the halters on 24/7 :p. I meant like this type of halter lead rope thingy: . I should have been more clear.
  14. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I find that the benefit of keeping collars on my goats outweighs the small risk that one might get hung up on one. I put collars on my babies once they get to be about 25 lbs. at about 4 weeks because at this point they're too big and rambunctious to easily pick up and move. I also like to keep ID tags on my adult goats' collars. I bought a bunch of cheap nylon collars with plastic clips for the babies. They're strong enough to hold a kid if he's tied or led, but they break if the kid panics or gets hung up.

    For the older goats I use leather collars. I find that nylon wears the hair off the necks but leather doesn't. Leather also can break under heavy strain but doesn't snap easily enough that I have to replace them often. The average lifespan of a good quality leather collar seems to be about 4-5 years. Good quality doesn't necessarily mean expensive. The "bully" collars I use on my pack weathers run about $13-$16 each and last for many years. My bucks are wearing nylon collars with a plastic snap because their necks are growing so I didn't want to invest in leather. I would not use nylon unless it has the plastic clip as a "breaking point".

    So far no goats have ever gotten hung up here. I know collars can be a liability, but accidents are pretty rare. Fences, feeders, gates, farm equipment, trees, and a goat's own horns have been implicated in accidental goat deaths too. My young goats (usually 2-3 months up to a year or so) like to hook each other's collars with their horns on purpose in order to drag the other goat around. I used to panic about this but now I'm used to it. They've always unhooked themselves before an accident happens, and eventually they lose interest in the game.

    I always use halters when handling horned goats up close so I can have control of their horns via their head. I also find that it's much easier to handle big goats with a halter because they can easily drag me by the collar and not even realize how hard they are pulling. I try to avoid leading horned goats directly by the collar because I don't want to risk getting a wrist caught between the horns, but the collar is a great place to clip a leash and it's also handy for maneuvering goats briefly through gates and such.
    goatblessings and MellonFriend like this.
  15. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    All mine have collars on at least part time. Nylon for those I've decided to let leave the farm, Leather for the keepers (instant id for others, and a reminder to me) However, my goats are horned, and when I witness a really serious fight, then those collars come off, until things calm down. Then the collars go back on.

    A friend of mine keeps them on quite loose. I prefer mine close to the neck. Less chance of catching imo. I've never had a hairloss issue, either with my close collars, or my friend's loose collars. My dogs (and I have MANY) do not have hairloss either. I don't know what is up with that.
    MellonFriend likes this.
  16. ShireRidgeFarm

    ShireRidgeFarm Active Member

    Sep 24, 2015
    Northern WV
    I put plastic chain collars on my goats when they were being watched for me when we went on vacation. (I usually grab my goats and lead them around by putting my hand behind their head and putting just a little pressure beside their cheeks, but I didn't want an inexperienced 'goat wrangler' to have to try and learn this without me.) It took some longer than others, but every single goat managed to slip out of their collars. They lasted the week I needed them to, but in the long run I was rather disappointed and I have given up trying to keep collars on my goats.

    I have found halters to be very effective for leading goats. The halters seem to work on the same principle that I use to grab and pull the goats by their head; when the goats feel a tug on their head they naturally want to follow, whereas with a collar around their neck they'll fight and struggle a lot.
    MellonFriend and mariarose like this.
  17. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    That's what I thought might happen. It seems like if they were being led by their head they wouldn't really have a choice but to follow.
    ShireRidgeFarm likes this.
  18. LibertysBoerGoatRanch

    LibertysBoerGoatRanch Active Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    We have only put a collar on one goat so far and that came off as soon as we put a buddy in with him. My mom is a horse person and has burned into my brain what can and eventually will happen if collars, halters, leads etc are left on animals. We have 4 or 5 halters laying around that we use when we need to catch a goats. It might take me a bit longer to catch my not so friendly goats but I'm okay with that instead of taking the "it should break or snap off" risk.
    MellonFriend likes this.
  19. GaGoats2017

    GaGoats2017 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2017
    Yes! I loved the rope kind that you posted a link for. I don't use pinch collars, but I had a heavy weight crazy market doe. I tried them out on her and it was way better than a collar! She could fight all she wanted and couldn't choke herself out, and would walk way better with it.

    So I started trying them to walk my big bucks, and they did great!!

    They might jump around, but they don't pull away hard at all. They follow along really well.

    I have a thinner version of it, I think mine were made for goats.
    MellonFriend likes this.
  20. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    I have several big dogs, my friends have 30+ sled dogs. I use the old dog collars for the goats after they have been washed. We buy new collars for the dogs every other year, so I always have a bunch of collars to use. These are made for sled dogs- I use the limited slip collars. I put them on the does loose enough so that they can slip them if they get tangled in something (they never have). These are very rugged collars.

    I don't put collars on the kids. Once they are bred for the first time (bucks and does), they get a collar and they stay collared for life.

    I've had goats for 35 years and never had one get tangled by their collar.
    mariarose likes this.