Monday, November 1, 2010

Goat casualty & notes on goats

Found this goat in the drainage canal that forms the north edge of my property.  When I found it it was facing the bank, but apparently couldn't climb up and probably drowned.  The goats have provided quite a test of my perimeter fencing, and they do love to climb on things.
 I have to admit that I was surprised to find a goat there.  My best guess is that it climbed into the bushes that overhang the ditch while trying to eat them, and then fell in.  Guess I'll have to fence this area off in the future. 
  It's odd because the sheep haven't had this problem, and they're right there, too.
1) I have determined that smallest hole that a full-sized boer goat can cram itself into. 
2) that they will risk their lives to eat bushes
3) that they can jump a 4' fence from a standing start.  They'd prefer not, but they can. 
4) That they prefer bushes (blackberry bushes) to any sort of grass
5) that they will sometimes eat the weeds before the grass


damae said...

I understand that goats are browsers, rather than grazers and what they like to eat is usually higher in mineral content than grass. I'm pretty certain they would love to have access to your forest. Do you supply any alfalfa for them?

Anonymous said...

Any book or goat farmer would have told you that goats are harder to fence than sheep.

Lisa Rae said...

Good learnin'. Not only can they jump fences, but they can also climb, some prodigously. And yes, grass is starvation food for goats. They are browsers and would eat wood before grass.

Rich said...

Locally, there used to be a large herd of Boer goats a few miles down the road from our farm.

At the time, I was slightly interested in getting some goats to help control the brush and weeds in our pastures.

I lost that interest when I came down the road one day and saw a stream of goats pouring through a woven wire fence into a neighboring wheat field. In the time it took me to turn around to go tell the owners about their escaped goats, they had went back through the fence into their pasture.

I stopped and looked at the "hole" they had went through (they were going through it like it was an open gate), and it looked like they should have been able to barely fit their heads through it.

I decided that if that fence couldn't hold goats, there was no way I could afford to upgrade our fences to hold goats. From my limited observations, unless you have multiple wire high tensile fences, if they can get their noses through the fence, they can go through it.

Joanne Rigutto said...

Goats are like cats with hooves. Mine are like rats, it seems that they can get their body through any hole that their head will fit through. OK that's an exageration (but not much, especially for kids!).

Mine have sure ramped up my fence building skills.....

Anonymous said...

There's a saying that goes something like: the fence needed to contain goats is one that would be required to contain water...

I love goats, but am scared to death of the costs of containing them!

As for containing sheep, I think that all you need (as long as you have grass for them) are signs saying that there's a fence :-)