What not to have anywhere near goats (tongue in cheek)
What not to have anywhere near goats
There are lists of poisonous plants…. lists of dangerous animals…lists of diseases…. but no list of what to keep away from goats… until now! Consider yourself warned..
Okay, this may seem logical-we know the pasture will quickly be cleared of weeds. But then we plant yummy looking bushes as landscape all around the house! A goat will ignore foot high alfalfa in order to plot and plan their escape. First thing they will head for is the best-looking rosebush in town! Or the most expensive orchid in the neighborhood at the neighbor’s house. Plants that would seem like they shouldn’t taste good are fair game. Even cacti are not immune to being nibbled! So if you have goats, forget having decorative shrubbery within reach. Unless you have an electric fence (and then the shrubbery can short that out!). And within reach is anywhere under six feet high off the ground-standing on hind legs is easy if you’re a goat! And a goats willingness to eat it is in direct relation to the cost/age/replaceability of the plant….
Hanging laundry is just hung there to be goat toys! After getting over the fear of the flapping things, goats just love yanking pants and sheets and shirts off of lines. The muddier the ground and the cleaner the clothes, the better! A drier is much better than explaining goat prints…
3. Plastic bags
The sound of plastic bags being ripped open is music to a goats ear-even better if there are goodies inside! Even bags of topsoil are not immune to being opened for you… and then you get to worry if the goat actually ate any of the plastic bags. Forget bringing your lunch in a plastic bag-goats figure out quickly that there’s food to be had!
4. Paper bags
Forget it-paper is made from plants and goats eat plants (see #1). Paper also makes neat ripping sounds, fun to munch on and not safe near goats
5. Coffee cups
My goats think that if a human is drinking out of it, so should they. They have no problem sneaking up and stealing a drink, cup and all! This goes for soda too…
6. Sandpaper/small tools/parts to projects
Nothing like chasing a goat across the yard to retrieve the sandpaper she stole from the work area… after previously retrieving your screwdriver… and pieces of pvc pipe for the watering system you are trying to put in….
7. Plastic chairs
I actually leave the cracked plastic chairs out for the baby goats to jump on and knock around…. But it is nice to warn guests that the plastic chair in the pasture *may* be contaminated with goat pellets and to look before sitting…
8. Other animal cages with animals
I couldn’t figure out why the baby chickens were always hungry and out of water… and why the rabbit cages were getting bent up… Turns out a few goats figured out that if they knocked the hanging cages around food would fall out of the bowls… even through the cages were hung 5 feet off the ground!
9. Turkeys (or any long feather critter)
Feathers are fun goat toys-especially when they are pulled fresh from the owner! The turkey did not appreciate this, nor did I when it was done to the show animals…. oh, and the other goats will quickly learn this trick too!
10. Any kind of snack bag
Forget taking that bag of potato chips out with you to goat watch- you will quickly have company! Goats have no manners and never learned that snatching food is a baaaad habit… Avoid temptation and eat on the other side of the fence (just make sure the fence posts can handle the crowding).
Baby goats love to untie shoelaces and chew the plastic off the ends. It is really cute until the baby grows up and the 120lb doe decides she IS going to untie your shoes for you…
12. Anything else
This list is by no means exhaustive and the author reserves the right to expand it! Goats will definitely keep you on your toes (as well as step on them for you)… Enjoy every minute!