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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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We have two wonderful dairy goats that we got from ozarkjewels. Ozarkjewels' herd goes out to graze in a large area away from the barn after milking.

Our little herd of two rarely leaves the vicinity of the milk barn unless we go out to the end of the pasture with them. If we walk down the hill, they will follow and graze/browse. As soon as we walk back up the hill, they follow us and will not venture into that area again without our escort.

The goat we are milking produces much more milk if she gets browse, obviously. We've been cutting branches for them since they won't go get them, but that's getting old.

Is this non-browsing on their own behavior because there's just two of them and they don't feel safe? Can you think of another reason? Is there any way to convince them that it's OK to go down there? There's TONS of browse that is going to waste.
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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13,432 Posts
How long have you had these girls? Is it possible they're not yet completely comfortable at your place? Or maybe they're just used to you catering to them? I hope you get it figured out; I know it must be old, carrying browse to them. But I'll bet they LOVE that.

NeHi
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmmmm, we've had them a few months now. Yes, they are spoiled. Today when I walked down to the lower end of the pasture, I was bending and holding the autumn olive branches down so they could reach the fresh growing tips. Very very spoiled goats. :)
 

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LOL..that IS maddening. I have three does and their ten kids in a little place next to the house. Meanwhile there's a four or five acre pasture that NEEDS them.

Well..I went out with them a handful of times..they'd eat..and as soon as I turned to go back to the house..they followed me :shrug:

Well..I left that gate halfway open..and they would go a few feet out..and come back..a bit farther the next time .. and come back. Now..they go clear to the back..lol.

I think the girls are just gonna have to get braver. And that does take time sometimes...lol..or I HOPE mine aren't the only spoiled brats! :rolleyes:

Good luck~
 

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Hey Rose. :)
They probably feel rather intimidated to go out alone. Remember that here they went out with 75-80 other does and there truly is safety and content in numbers. When I move my does to new pastures, it takes them quite a while to venture too far out.
Also, as mentioned, they know you'll bring food to them so why should they bestir their lazy butts. :)
Sometimes(especially with younger goats), I will walk out to pasture with them, sit down with a book and wait until they are busily eating in the brush, then sneak out the back way. They usually miss me in about five minutes and come screaming back toward the front....but eventually they do realize that the boogey man isn't going to get them and they do walk out on their own. They also feel more secure with an LGD they are comfortable with.
I'd just give them more time.
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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Discussion Starter #6
Emily,
Actually, Lonnie and I were talking about setting up a lawn chair and reading a book out there twice a day. Then, if we get a manniquin to put in the chair.... :)

Have I told you how much I love these two goats? :baby04:

Rose
 

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Menagerie More~on
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I have a larger herd, but not as large as Emily's. I had to escort them around, too, and even if I snuck away they'd find me and gather around the milking stand or the front deck!

But this year (I got them early last summer) I've seen them ranging much farther than ever before. They seem braver this year. There are more kids this year and two more adult does. I think it's time and familiarity with mine, and long winters with no browse!
 

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We have almost the same deal. We had a "herd" of 5 goats and added two more. The two new girls will not go out of the barn....even with the others. They have gotten used to the other goats and get along with them now but will still not go outside. We've had them almost a month now. I just noticed today one of them was outside the pen.....in the small area of the barn that leads outside.....so she's getting closer. The other still stays safely in the pen. Funny girls, they are.

If we go outside, though, they all come running. :rolleyes:

Dee
 

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Pook's Hollow
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LOL! Mine were kind of like that, then I got tough. They get a couple of flakes of alfalfa in the morning (between four "big" girls, two Nigies and a couple of young kids), grain on the milkstand, then I open their door. They don't get any more hay until I bring them in for evening milking - so if they want to eat, they have to go find it. :p I've noticed they're going farther and farther away from the barn.

Once the girls are in for the night, I let the boys out for two or three hours. They get hay in the morning, then nothing until I let them back in.

My hay usage has gone down quite a bit. :)
 

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My kids have hooves
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I sure am glad to know I'm not the only one who spoils her goats like crazy! I hold down branches, too, just so they can get to the especially delicious parts. Sweetgum leaves are the favorite in our yard. :baby04:
 
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