Letting The Goats Loose

kids and goats

I called my friend Mrs. Hope (the goat lady) yesterday to ask her advice about worming our goats. Somewhere in our conversation she asked if the goats “knew” us yet. I told her that they start calling every time they hear the back door open, or hear our voices. She said, “Oh yeah, they know you.” And she suggested that I start training them to be led, while they’re still little.

I told her I’d been thinking about how I need to do that. She said, “Yeah! Let them babies out of their pen!” I was really surprised by that! “Really? Won’t they run away?” I asked. “Naw, you’re they’re mama now. If you’re the one who feeds them, they won’t go far,” she reassured.

I’d love to let them out, I thought. They have already cleared out the greenery in their enclosure, and there is a ton of brush and plants all around that they would love to munch on. So, I decided that I would let them out today if it was nice outside.

I had to do my grocery shopping this morning, so while I was at Walmart doing my “couponing” I picked up some dog collars for the goats, just in case I had to drag them back into their pen.

It was beautiful outside, so after we unloaded the groceries, and ate lunch I asked the kids, “Wanna let the goats loose?” Jada in particular was very excited about the idea.

We went out to their pen and I put a little grain in their bowl to distract them while we put their collars on. (I picked out some cute pink camo collars for my girls.) As they finished their snack I said, “Okay babies, I’m gonna let you loose. Please don’t take off, okay?”

I braced myself, fully expecting them to run out the door and away through the woods, laughing “See ya later sucker!” as they went.

I opened the gate and stepped aside.

Silly goats. They just stood where they were. They didn’t bum rush the door for freedom! The weren’t sure what to do at first. I actually had to coax them out with some feed in a cup. Once they were out, they really just stuck around the fence, eating the brush beside their enclosure for a while.

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kids and goats

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My kids really enjoyed having the goats loose, and followed them around to pet them while they grazed. Eventually they got a little braver and began to explore their new surroundings. They never did go far though.

I covered my potted strawberries outside so they wouldn’t eat them, but they did manage to find their way over to my raspberry bush. Boogers! I had to shoo them away from it several times.

I was really surprised at how easy they were to round up, and when I wanted them to get back in their pen I just shook a cup of grain for them to hear, and they came running back in. No problem!

I’m excited about being able to let them free range during the day. I don’t think I’ll let them go unsupervised for a long time still. I’ll have to see if I get comfortable with that. But once I get my garden planted and my fruit trees start to bloom, I’ll definitely have to fence them in.

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They were too busy mowing my yard to look up and smile for the camera. Oh well. They sure were happy to be out!

Kendra
About Kendra 1116 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

3 Comments

  1. Oh brings back memories…
    I had baby goats as a little girl and would let them out everyday when I came home from school. They would follow me around and it was such fun. Until they learned to dig out under the barn door and cry at the sliding glass door and lick it after it had just been cleaned.
    My mother didn’t appreciate goat slobber on her newly cleaned door but oh well I thought it was rather cute. Goats are great fun. Your little ones are loving life and learning so much just being in your backyard!

  2. They are growing into some very pretty little does! And their new collars are too cute!

    I always liked the look of our goats with collars – even when they know you well, they sometimes get stubborn and just HAVE TO EAT that bush! They love berries. LOL And it does give you a nice handhold that isn’t painful to them.

    Baby goats grow fast at this age, so make sure you check the tightness of the collars every day, just make sure you can put 4 fingers between them and the collar. They reach close to full size by 8 months, but won’t reach full size until close to 2 years old.

    My daughter use to sit outside singing and telling stories to our herd – we’re down to 3 until we can get the fences fixed and moved – out last Billy was awful – and we had to get rid of him, so no babies in almost 3 years … sniff sniff. Two of ours outside were bottle fed and lived in our house for 4 weeks or so. What fun that was! Anyway, she loves to “take them for a wall” and takes her schoolwork or a book out and sits with them for hours. Ours like to go next door and nibble the neighbors nice lawn and the ornamental bushes and roses.

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