People have it wrong about goats, I had it wrong about goats …
Goats don’t eat everything, in fact they can be downright picky, BUT they do like to sample things, maybe sample everything, before they decide on the one thing they really want to eat.
Goats are also not grazers, they are for sure not lawn-mowers like sheep, they are more of a browser, and they like to browse on taller things like meadow grasses, shrubs, and tree branches.
Goats are awesome, but they aren’t angels. If given a chance, they will sample your landscaping into destruction, they will prune your trees all the way through the bark, to the point of death.
Goats are also SUPER wasteful. Once their hay hits the ground, gets walked on, pooped on,or pee’d on, it will never be touched again. They waste a lot of hay, good hay.
So, what I am learning is fencing is good, and a good feeder is necessary.
We have a wall feeder in their shed for night feeding and also bad weather feeding. It is handy and has cut down on some waste for sure.
In the pasture we have had horse buckets in several locations, and I split 1-2 flakes of hay between them so they can walk around and browse during the day.
These horse buckets have been super wasteful, but moreover impractical if it is anything but sunny.
So we are trying a design I found on packgoats.com. We had to modify it for our doelings, and for the amount of snow that we get in our area.
The specs –
- 1 full pallet cut in half is the base dimension we went with
- 2 – half pallets stacked for the bottom – so I can pull it to new locations around the pasture
- solid wood floor so the chaff can be collected for feeding in their wall feeder
- side walls on the NE and SW sides – the windiest directions we have
- 2 vertical bars – creates 3 feeding areas per side – 6 total
- roof to keep moisture off of the hay
- wood divider in the middle – creates a narrow space for hay, and hopefully no ‘step-ins’
- plenty of space so their horns have room
There are still some modifications that need to be made, perhaps another cross bar so Charlie can’t climb into her feeder.
I hope this helps, Nancy