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A young "wild child of the woods" moved in to the neighborhood and promptly got 4 pygmy goats. He said it was to denude the privette in the woods, yet, the goats are so small, they can't reach the privette. But that's not the problem. The guy doesn't live there half the time, and he has erected a very wobbly fence, enclosing about 25 feet. No more. Two of the pgymies are very, very young. There are stray dogs, foxes and possibly coyotes in the area.

This morning, I walked over to see them and there was no food in sight. They all ran to the fence to greet me, bleating and probably hungry.

Questions: how often do they need to be fed? Am I over-reacting that at noon, there is no food?

In case of neglect (I will monitor this kid closely because I won't tolerate neglect or abuse in animals), what can I feed them from my kitchen?

Since I do not know very much about goats and their level of tolerance, I would appreciate knowing what is minimum care for them before I call the wild child's parents (who don't live on the property, either).
 

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Is there browse for them to eat on in the enclosure? Do they have fresh clean water? What area are you in? The bare minimum is fresh water, grass hay (free choice is best), shelter from wind and rain. Anything you give them from your kitchen could cause problems if given in large amounts. They really need hay :( And they need protection from the predators too!
Ugh! Do you know if the babies are nursing off one of the older ones? If so she could use some grain and alfalfa. Kitchen "treats" would be apples, raisins, bread, crackers, grapes, yogurt, carrots...but not too much or they will get sick.
 

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I think if those goats were my next door neighbors, they would quietly "disappear" to someone who would take proper care of them.

Unfortunately, there would probably be more to replace them.

Seriously, the abuse and neglect goats receive from humans just distresses me no end.

My goats, even with a hillside of a wonderful variety of browse all summer, still got a feeding of alfalfa daily. Of course, during the winter, they are totally dependent on me for their food.

Goats also need shelter from the weather and protection from predators. The way they run up to you, it sounds like they are starving for not only food (and possibly water) but also attention and affection.

I don't know what kind of animal protection agencies you have in your area, but if you can find someone caring and knowledgeable about the needs of goats, you might consider making a phone call or two. Unfortunately, it's been my experience that so many people in those agencies think goats are pretty much self-sufficient, that could be a dead-end alternative.

I guess I would watch and make sure they have at least fresh water and some good quality hay (four pygmies won't eat much). That won't solve the issue of protection from predators and weather; in that case, you'll have to follow your conscience (I know what I would do).

Janis
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

There was nothing at noon except water. They do have a very small A frame structure. I noticed one of the goats seemed very shy and wouldn't come close, but the others are definitely wanting something (attention, food...).

They are in a 25 foot area that is part of a small woods, mainly cedar and privette with leaves on the ground. Not sure what is meant by "browse", but there are no bushes or anything like that.

I will go out later and check on them again. I have also called my neighbor, who lives on the other side of this kid, and she is as protective of animals as I am. I am hoping we can show a collective front.

We've had trouble all along with the kid and his parents building him an efficiency "studio" -- lying to the neighbors about what was being built and avoiding every permit/ordinance that exists (and the papa is a contractor!).
The county finally shut them down on all building fronts and now they are asking everyone to change all the covenants! There is no end to what they will do to get their way.

The goats' issue is just one more problem to a huge list. Errrrrrr.

I have hay that I can take over for the evening. How much will 4 pygmy goats eat?
 

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Hey Doc,
If you fed my goats something from your kitchen, I would be very upset with you. I’d try to teach you better.

OMG I have an area of wobbly fence. If any neighbor on either side walked up to my goats he/she would not see food, and the little liars most likely would act as if they were famishing from hunger and in dire need an animal cracker. Listen, every time I go out to the barn, they yell at me that they are starving. I know that they aren’t hungry and that they don’t need attention. They are goats – and I love ‘um for it.

Janis, alligator tears would flow if my goats quietly disappeared.

Doc, are you looking for a hammer on this forum?
Paul
 

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It sounded like Doc was asking a specific question and did not come to a conclusion yet if they were abused goats. Collecting information is a good thing usually. It is true that goats will act like they are starving when they are not. I don't get the hammer thing....:)

4 mini goats would do fine with 1 large flake of hay...more if they are in colder weather.
 

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It sounded like Doc was asking a specific question and did not come to a conclusion yet if they were abused goats. Collecting information is a good thing usually. It is true that goats will act like they are starving when they are not. I don't get the hammer thing....:)

4 mini goats would do fine with 1 large flake of hay...more if they are in colder weather.
Minelson,
Goat welfare doesn’t seem to be what’s driving the question of how often one feeds a goat. Doc describes a situation where one neighbor wishes to solicit another neighbor to continue hammering away at a “wild child” and his family because of perceived past transgressions. My internal sensors were throwing red flags all over the place in both posts by Doc. Paul
 

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It sounded like Doc was asking a specific question and did not come to a conclusion yet if they were abused goats. Collecting information is a good thing usually. It is true that goats will act like they are starving when they are not. I don't get the hammer thing....:)

4 mini goats would do fine with 1 large flake of hay...more if they are in colder weather.
Abused or under fed or whatever, Doc said:
The goats' issue is just one more problem to a huge list. Errrrrrr.
 

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Abused or under fed or whatever, Doc said:
The goats' issue is just one more problem to a huge list. Errrrrrr.
I guess it's hard to comment without knowing the whole story or the people involved...I do believe in "gut feelings" or "red flags" as you put it. Maybe both you & Doc are experiencing red flags? :shrug:
 

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My goats are always talking to me, especially when I go into the barn & dont return with an armload of hay.
If anyone were to come here offering them treats I would be livid.
The goats you speak of have water & shelter. Sure they should have hay. But they are not your goats. Any possible preditor problems is not your concern either.
I have an x neighbor, wonderful person who thinks my LGD needs socialization with other dogs & people...she is an animal lover but knows nothing of working dogs.
She had the gall to ask me if my barn kitties are fixed.
Honestly I would stay out of it if I were you.
And Im defintely with LaManchaPaul's comments on this.
 

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My goats scream at me like they are starving no matter how much hay/water they have. They want Grain! i tell you what.. grain turned my quiet steer into a mooing lunatic! goats the same way! I dont think you can judge if they are starving/neglected by their running to the fence and bleeting. To me that is just being goats :) Those goats are probably wishing you had some grain in your pockets :)

I'd leave them be. I know i'd be upset if my neighbors messed with my goats. I had them watch my animals one weekend this year and they were "overly helpful" knowing i was gone and I had animals with scours for the next week. (I had paid someone to come feed the animals but they wanted to be neighborly they said. So if I were you, i'd leave them be. If animals starving looking seriously starved/neglected like skin and bones, i'd say call animal control on them. Otherwise I do think you can do more harm than good and that includes swatting hornets nests with your already troublesome relationship with the goat owner and his family.
 

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Without signs of starvation, I would just stay out of it. You said yourself, you are not familiar with goats, so I don't see how you can accurately judge their condition either.
Keep in mind that you are trespassing and if you came on my property (no matter your good intentions) and messed with my goats, I'd send my dogs after you and call the sheriff.

As others said, all goats act like they've never seen food 5 minutes after finishing their hay! At noon, you won't see any sign of food in my goat pens because they are about 5 hours done! In the fall, my goats are on half hay rations since they are out all day long eating all the leaves that kindly fall from the trees just for their culinary pleasure. You mention there are leaves in their pen, trees, water and shelter... without you knowing what his hay feeding schedule may be, the basics are covered.
 

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OK you say they are in 25 feet are you saying 25 square feet or 25 x 25 feet there is a huge difference 25 square feet would make the pen anout 4 x 6 to me that is awfully small, I would consider that as a dog always crated pretty inhumane if you ask me.
 

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My well meaning 75 year old neighbor turned loose my buck.Who has alstimers(sp)(neighbor) I had the girls off in the pasture and him teathered where he could not escape (as he did if not teathered) So my girls could brouse and not get the little girls impregnated. Well he screamed and knocked over his water and actied as if someone was killing him. So she came and cut his collar. ( I was called out and had to leave home for 3 hrs) I almost lost Izzy while birthing because she (neighbor) thought something was wrong with my buck.
Dont go just assuming. Go talk to this person. See if you could offer your services for free if you are concerned something is wrong.
Well meaning people sticking noses where they aught not to causes problems. Im sure some people feel the way I raise my animals is wrong and would "step in to save them" Everyone has diffrent ways. Dont just assume.
 

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I would be furious if I found out a neighbor or anyone else was feeding my goats. Goats tend to act like they are always starving. My goats have hay around the clock and get grain twice a day yet they always act like they are hungry, even during graining they aren't happy with what is in their buckets, they want what is in the grain bucket I am carrying.

Each of my animals is on a particular diet for their needs. I don't want someone coming in feeding them whatever they feel like feeding them. They could make them sick or kill them and they also train the animals to be beggers and form bad habits. When you are dealing with hundreds of animals a day like I am then you want the animals to be as calm as possible at feeding time. My animals mob me enough at feeding time, I don't want them to be worse than what they are because someone is spoiling them with treats.

It is hard owning a farm these days. You have to work very hard to keep your neighbors happy because you know that if they get mad at you for any reason the first thing they are going to do is report you because your livestock is making noise, your farm smells like a farm, your animals seem hungry, their fresh water is not in sight, you don't have a beautiful shelter. The list goes on and on. We feed hay around the clock along with making sure there is fresh water at all times, we spend thousands a month on feed (hay, grain and suppliments), vet, farrier and maintainence yet we constantly worry about the what if a neighbor gets mad at us and we find animal welfare knocking on our door. They wouldn't find any starving animals, animals without fresh water or without proper housing or medical care instead they'd find their time as well as mine wasted and this would cause even more problems with the neighbors.

You seem to be unsure if the animals are being properly cared for or not. I wouldn't get involved without being sure that there is neglect.
 

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They are in a 25 foot area that is part of a small woods, mainly cedar and privette with leaves on the ground. Not sure what is meant by "browse", but there are no bushes or anything like that.
Browse would be the cedar and privet and any other trees or bushes in the area

And if the purpose of the goats is to CLEAR the area, then you wouldnt give them any other feed as long as their condition was good.

Sounds to me like they have everything they need already
 

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Maybe the next time you see the neighbor at the goat pen walk over and "admire" them. Then you can get a better idea of the complete picture.

My goats scream at me or anyone else they see even if they are standing at the hay bale. They just like attention.
 
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