If you have large backyard, you may think to keep your goats at your backyard. To keep the goats at your backyard, you have to make sure that your local government allows you to keep goat and check all of the limitations. Sometimes there is a limitation about the goat’s size, so make sure that you have the right breed to keep. You can have the pygmy, Nigerian dwarf, or pygora as your best bets for backyard goats since they are the smallest breed in meat, dairy, and fiber breeds.
Keeping goats in your backyard need less cost and you can easily keep an eye on your goats. To keep your goats at backyard, you need to make sure that your goats can’t escape. Goats are smart animal, they can find any method to escape from your backyard if they doesn’t feel comfortable in the enclosure. To make them comfortable in your backyard, you have to provide all of the goat’s needs. Here we will discuss 5 effective tips to keep goat at backyard.
1. Have at Least Two Goats
The first of 5 effective tips to keep goat at backyard is to have at least two goats. Goats are herd and social animal, they need to be in herd so they will feel safe and secure. A lonely goat will be more aggressive and unhappy, they tend to make loud noises that can disturb you and your neighbor. Goats also smart enough to recognize and bond with their owner. When the goat raised around people, they tend to enjoy being patted and enjoy human companion. They can also get jealous if their owner favor 1 goat over another, that’s why you need to treat all of your goats equally.
2. Make Sure You Have Enough Space
Goats are active animals. They like and need to have large space so they can explore and run. If you have 2 small goats, you may need at least 400 square feet space for them.
Build strong fence around the space to prevent your goat from getting escape. Goat is smart and an escape artist, so make sure that the fence can prevent the goat from escaping. Goats like to rub on fences and try to stick their heads through any openings just to reach out something outside the fences. They are really clever and know how to make the way out of their enclosures. Make sure that your fence is escape-proof and close enough to prevent their heads from slipping through. You need to build at least 6 feet high fence to prevent the goat for climbing the fence. The fence should not only keep the goat in but also to keep the predators out. If you use wire, make sure that its sturdy enough so they can’t bend or being pushed down. Goat also like to chew wood, so be prepared to replace your wood fences every few years.
You also need to make sure that the gate of your backyard has secure locks. Your goat will see you enter and leave the backyard and start to learn how to open the lock. Place all the locks outside the gate where the goat can’t reach them.
Beside large and escape-proof space, you also need to make sure that the space is safe and clean that can make them comfortable and prevent them getting health problems. Beside to keep your goat from getting escape from backyard, you still have to make sure that your goat is healthy and happy at your backyard.
3. Give Entertainment
Goat also need some entertainment to vent their boredom. The bored goat is more prone to escape from its shelter to find some entertainment outside. You can give some entertainment for them, such as rocks, recycled barrels, ramp, or stairways so they can climb and balance. You can also give them a seesaw from a plank. Make sure that whatever you placed is safe and can’t harm your goats. Checks and remove if there is any protruding nail since it can hurt your goats.
4. Give Proper Shelter
Your goats need shelter to protect them from heat, wind, rain, and snow. To keep your goats at backyard, you have to make sure that the shelter is comfortable for your goat. You need to build at least 3 side walls for proper protection, more enclosed and draft free shelter if you have cold winter. Make sure that the shelter has good ventilation to prevent any respiratory problems. Make sure that the floor is clean and not in mud since it can give health problems to your goat. You can give straw bedding to cover the floor and to keep the goat warm. Scoop out the poop daily and replace the bedding with the clean straw regularly.
5. Give Enough Food
You also need to provide your goats enough food to keep them comfortable in your backyard. If they don’t get enough food, they will try to escape from your backyard to find another vegetation. Goats normally eat 3-4% of their body weight each day. You can give your goat grass, weeds, brush, hay, pellets, and many other plants. Keep them away from poisonous plants, such as milkweed, delphinium, poppy, daffodil, tomato, rhododendrons, lily, wild cherry, lilac, etc. You can also give your goat grain or food supplement, such as salt mix or salt lick.
Make sure that you give them clean foods, free from mold. To ensure that the food is clean, you may not place the food on the ground, instead place it in the feeder. The feeder can help to keep the mold away that can cause health problems from your goat. Make sure that the feeder is wide enough since you will have more than one goats. They can push each other when trying to eat and can ended up hurt. Don’t forget to always provide them with fresh water. You may need to pay attention to the water supply in winter, since the water will easily freeze and your goat will end up without drinkable water.