Free Ranging Advice

Free ranging is wonderful. It feels good to let the animals out into the fresh air. It makes them happy, and your feed bill is dramatically reduced. I am all for free ranging all of our animals. But there comes a point when free ranging is just pure craziness!!

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This… this is okay. No harm done, right? (Well, as long as my mother-in-law doesn’t mind a goat on her truck!)

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But remember this? Totally not okay! Get off the van! By the way, she climbs to the very top and naps up there too. Booger.

But it gets worse.

My front and back door are filthy from muddy hoof prints.

The beautiful wreath I had decorating my front door has become lunch to the goats on several occasions.

The chickens scratching in, and destroying the nice mound of mulch around my baby fruit trees.

The pig has decided that her favorite potty spot just so happens to be immediately beside my back door steps- our main entrance. Great. Not exactly an inviting aroma.

And then there’s the clothes line…


Not only does the puppy yank my clean clothes off the line and drag them into the dirt below… the pig also thinks it’s a fun game to jerk my pants down and shake them violently in her mouth while I chase her around the yard trying to retrieve the now filthy garment. Even the goats get in on the action, assuming that I’m simply hanging up a yummy treat for them nibble.

At times, it’s the picture of chaos.

Oh yeah, and try running to the car from a muddy pig on Sunday morning while wearing your best skirt and high heals. Fun, let me tell ya!

For heavens sake, if you’re gonna free range your animals, keep them fenced in their own area! Make life easier on yourself and designate an “animal free” zone. Just one more thing I wish we’d done before we got the animals!

14 thoughts on “Free Ranging Advice”

  1. I’m almost twice your age, but can still relate. I always knew growing up I wanted to live on a farm, but it can be something else sometimes. Our guinea rooster thought the reflection on our black Volvo wagon was another rooster he had to put in his place (ie be the Alpha male). I don’t know how long he was fighting his ‘competion,’ but needless to say, the car wasn’t a mirror reflection anymore. He flogged it pretty good. Our free-range turkeys love to roost on top of the car and that makes for scratches, as they try to get up past the incline on the hood. The baby goats love it when, just like the lady above said, they find they’re big enough to play ‘king of the hill’ on the roof of the car. They lose free-range privileges for bad behavior at that point. Back to the barn lot. Our neighbors have had quite a scare, when they turn around to a grunting sound behind them and find a 700 lb. black boar hog behind them in their back yard! How many times have we met the traffic that comes up & down our road when the goats figure out how to unlock the new lock on the fence and the whole herd of sheep discover the wonderful grazing beside the road! The adventures never end! (It’s usually the goats up to something, though.) Just always make sure the door is shut tight when you head out for Sunday school, you don’t want to see the mess the free-range layers make when the door blows open your house while your gone to church for hours on Sunday. 😉 At least the bedroom door was closed!
    Glad to see you’re enjoying yourself.

  2. I think some sort of limited free range is not too traumatizing! Especially if your house is taking a beating from the chaos! Here’s hoping you are able to find the balance! I can’t have free range animals, my dog would eat them and I live in town. Sucks but I think after seeing this post when we are able to move and get some animals I will put some sort of enclosure up. Thanks for letting us learn threw you. I know your thinking “yeah well great I’m so glad to be of service to you” LOL! I love your blog! Still uncertain about the pig thing but to each it’s own!

  3. Just found your blog while looking for info on potato planting and I’ve bookmarked you. Love your honesty and humor. And your name!

  4. This reminds me of when my dad thought it was a good idea to get me a Billy Goat for a pet at the age of 5 to teach my responsibility. He soon realized I was learning to not be trampled by this aggressive bearded animal. They are much more agile than people thing! LOL

  5. Oh can I sympathize! We had goats, once. We had just enough of a crack between the gate and the fence post that they could squeeze out. And, boy what fun they had playing king of the hill on top of my car!

    My kids thought it was hysterical, the insurance company not so much.

  6. I can relate to this also. We just made our “animal free zone” and I’m surprised how much time I have now that I’m not constantly peering out the window to see what they will do next. I didn’t realize how stressful this actually was.

  7. This is just hilarious!!! I can totally visualize it and can only imagine, having not ventured into owning animals (other than our dogs!) yet, what chaos it brings. But I gotta admit- the sight of your goat on the van is just SO FUNNY!

  8. Oh, the van! I’d be crying! My mom had goats that use to climb the trees! Seriously. And our chickens wrecked my pot plants in the back before I got wise and limited the “free range” just a bit. Now we are all happy at the Homestead again. I haven’t gotten our own goats yet because I’m taking your advice and waiting until I can get the proper shelter and fencing in place.

  9. Oh yes – I can relate. Our bobby calf that grew up used to jump the fence & try & eat the clothes off our washing line. My chickens have scratched up over half of the seedlings in my greenhouse – hmmm many times I thought about not free ranging them, but I know it’s so much healthier for them.
    Hope you have a good day
    Renata 🙂


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