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An Ozark Engineer
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. . to ensure a painful, hideous, lingering death for themselves!

This morning I heard a clamorous ruckus in the pens up at the big barn, and went to have a look-see.

There was Heidi, an Alpine doeling, tightly wedged underneath a gate which opens on to the pigs' pasture! A cat couldn't have fit under that gate, but Heidi sure was trying. Her whole front half was inside the pigs' pasture, and her back half was in the goats' pasture. And she couldn't move a half inch either way.

Luckily for Heidi, the pigs were up on the hill, and didn't notice. I was able, by dint of grunting and pushing up on the gate, and pulling on Heidi, to extract her from her predicament.

Thankfully, she is none the worse for wear.

Then there are the "StickHeads". Bucklings eventually destined for the sale barn and ethnic buyers (who prefer them with horns and other appendages). This ethnic preference keeps the goatkeeper on his/her toes constantly, as the bucklings learn to get their heads stuck through the fencing, but never learn to get UNstuck.

All my goats are hornless, save the young bucklings, which is why the fencing does not normally present a problem. So, to keep the goofy boys from getting stuck, I take a stick or a length of PVC pipe, or even a sawed-off handle from a bamboo-handled butterfly net, and attach it to the horns horizontally, with duct tape. These days, the preferred color is NEON PINK, so I can always spot the boys and make sure their headdresses are secure. And they get nicknamed StickHead, generically.

Just one or two more reasons for me to check on my animals two or three times a day.

Gotta love 'em.

NeHi
 

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I know what you mean. All of my animals seem to tempt fate at least daily.

I like the neon pink stickheads, hehe.
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #4
I'll never, ever know how the heck she did this, but one of my FFs wound up in an amazing predicament when she was 7 or 8 months old. The youngstock had a corral made of horse panels so they could be locked up at night for safety. I had covered the panels with chicken wire, and apparently this presented just the right sort of traction that allows a young goat to run along the walls, horizontally, defying gravity. This is exactly what Lily and Daisy were doing this particular day. They'd get a running start from across the pen, and run along the inside of the panels for as far as they could, then jump down and congratulate each other.

Well, in one of her flying starts, Lily CLEARED the horse panel (at LEAST five ft tall) and flung herself over the top, getting a hind hoof caught in the "S" hook of a tarp strap. There she hung, by her back hoof, suspended about a foot off the ground on the wrong side of the panel. If I hadn't seen her do this right in front of me, I never would have believed it.

Fortunately, she was not awfully heavy at that time, and I was able to lift her, by her back leg, the required three or four inches to clear her foot from the "S" hook, and release her. I dread to think how this might have turned out if she had done this while I was in town, buying feed or something.

Um, no tarp straps anywhere near the pens these days. . . .

NeHi
 

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maybe we should attach boat anchors to the small goats' collars and cinder blocks to the adult goats collars... should keep 'em grounded. :) haha they'd have the collars of in milliseconds.
 

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Went out to milk last night and only two girls came in. I called, didn't hear an answer so I went out the back of the barn and there was my Flip with her head STUCK between the logs of the back of the barn. Our goat barn is an old log barn that some (or rather most) of the chinking has come out. Somehow that dingdong wedged her head in between the logs.....I franctically hollered for my hubby cuz I couldn't see a way to get her head out w/o dismantling 2/3 of the barn. Luckily he is smarter than me and pulled a loose board and wiggled her head out. no telling how long she had her head stuck under the barn, but she was ok......dumb goat......
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #8
Good Lord, lynpea! That situation could have been a real disaster if you hadn't gone out to milk when you did. You'd NEVER think a goat could get into that much trouble! I'm glad hubby was there to help you and you didn't have to take the barn apart.

NeHi
 

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The worst one I have seen was way back when we first started with goats. We had kids, and they were coming along well. We used to use those laced nylon rope hay "bags," made for horses, to feed. We'd fill them in the loft, then drop them down and hang them from the walls. We did this for a long time, no worries.

Went out one morning to find a goat had stuck her head through and twisted the bag around til she suffocated.

No more nylon rope hay bags...sigh...I had never even thought of that possibly happening.
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Jim, I will NOT have those nylon net hay bags around, either! About 30 years ago, I was using one for a horse. She had somehow gotten it down off it's hook, and I didn't notice. I was in the stall with her, and got my feet tangled in the net. I went down and startled the horse. She commenced to rearing and kicking (panic mode; fight or flight, and she had no way to flee.) My back took the worst of it, and I wound up in the ER. Very frightening experience!

NeHi
 

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Jim S. said:
The worst one I have seen was way back when we first started with goats. We had kids, and they were coming along well. We used to use those laced nylon rope hay "bags," made for horses, to feed. We'd fill them in the loft, then drop them down and hang them from the walls. We did this for a long time, no worries.

Went out one morning to find a goat had stuck her head through and twisted the bag around til she suffocated.

No more nylon rope hay bags...sigh...I had never even thought of that possibly happening.
Yours worked for a long time? I had my two hay bags up for TWO DAYS and I lost a doe and nearly lost another... The one I nearly lost was dragging the net around by her neck with sticks and stuff stuck in it, but thankfully it had came off it's nail in the ceiling. I gave the nets to my friend with horses.
 

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Yep, Dona. I figure we used them for like 6-8 months before this doe taught us not to do that. It might have worked longer cuz we hung them from the wall shown in the pic, and not the ceiling. You know, we were just going along and everything was lovely, til we stepped in the barn that day.

That's the thing about the goats, they are always teaching you something, and sometimes in shocking ways. But her life was not in vain, since she saved other goats' lives when I learned my lesson! We went out that day and bought these blue metal hay feeders, and they have served us well for 16 years-plus.



The other day, I was talking to a guy who has been messing with meat goats a couple years. He said, "How long have you had goats?"

I said, "Seventeen years."

He said, "Oh well, then, I don't need to tell you anything. You know it already."

I said, "I learn something everyday about goats from talking to people. And just when I think I understand everything about them, my goats will teach me something new. So please, TALK!"

How true...
 
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