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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I' just received my wethers for Christmas, and boy are they keeping me busy! I think they're more time consuming than the human kids.

Here is the biggest problem so far. The little guys get out of, and into, everything. Yesterday, my daughter and I spent the afternoon fortifying their area (approx. 1/2 acre) and making a neat little hay bale room inside the stall for them. We thought they were secure, until this morning when we went out to check on them and somehow our fortification didn't stop them a bit. It's that "Pickles" kid who leads the timid "Chips" astray. The little rascals had gotten out of their area, out of our pasture, and into the neighbors cornfield. That means they had to get through 3 fences. One of my fears, other than losing them, is that our pasture has a lake and I'm worried they will stray over there and drown. Is this a real concern? Or, are they smart enough to just get a drink and mosey on without "Pickles" trying to teach "Chips" how to swim?

Pickles just has that michievious look that says, "Just watch this trick!" then dumbfounds us by doing something we didn't think he could do. He'll then turn around to Chips and push him into doing the same thing. I'll have to take pictures, they're so adorable! I guess it's a good thing they're so cute, because I wouldn't take this kind of behaviour from one of the "real" kids.
 

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No matter how fortified that fence is, goats will find the weak spot. They are very smart and will figure out most things. Keep watching your goats and they will show you where their escape route is. You may have to also fortify your fence with 3 strands of electric, one being only 6" above the ground. Good luck with the escape artists.
DC
 

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www.waltersgirlsfarm.com
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Goats hate water. Unless the pond is frozen you have no worries. It is when ponds freeze when it becomes dangerous because they may walk on it and go through a week spot. I dont think they can swim but I dont know for sure.
 

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when in doubt, mumble.
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Just try to keep on reinforcing that fence. The escape artists I've had usually mellow out a little when they get older (or bigger), so you might have to wait a while.

What kind of fence do you have?

I hear that goats can swim, but its true that they hate water unless they've been introduced to swimming when they're young kids. Its people that train pack goats that do that. Goats not trained as kids usually hate to even get their hooves wet! :) I wouldnt worry about them drowning. Goats are mostly too sure-footed to fall.
 

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^Probably depends on how big the creek is and how bad they want what is on the other side, LOL.

I keep my goats on 6 acres with 8-9 stands of alternating hot wire and barbed wire, so far nothing has ever escaped.
 

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We use chain link & electric so no problems here. A farmer down the road puts paint sticks tied to some type of collars on his kids. His fence has the large squares. I've never seen one get out. You would have to secure it in such a way that they couldn't get hung up on anything or choke themselves though. I'm not sure what he uses for the collars.
HF
 

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Goats can swim quite well, they just don't like to do so. I've taken pack goats through water many times. Contrary to their reaction at the thought of getting wet, they do not actually melt on contact with water. And they can swim. Really, they can. They'll just lie and claim they can't and throw huge hissy fits at the very idea. Water is poisonous and will kill goats if it touches their hide, dontcha know.

If the water's warm and they somehow fall in, and the banks aren't too steep, they'll just turn around and swim right out, probably with a great deal of indignation and splashing. Think of goats as being akin to cats in this regard ...

If the water's cold (as I assume it would be this time of year) hypothermia is a risk.

Given their low opinion of water, however, they're not likely to get wet in the first place.

A bigger concern might be bloat or goat polio from consuming too much corn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the information. My fence is 4' high welded wire (4" squares) with barbed wire across the top. I think, most of the problem will go away when the goats grow a little and can't squeeze out where the gates don't quite meet the posts.

I'm glad to hear that goats won't drown. Maybe we have reinforced their fence enough that they won't get down to the lake.

The corn field the kids were found in has been pretty much cleared of corn by the cows that are pastured there. So, hopefully, they didn't find enough to eat to do any damage. I will have to keep an eye on them though.
 

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If we're talking very small kids, I'd be worried, simply because they don't know better when it comes to water. I water my does out of shallow pans with an inch or two of water in them until the kids are old enough to touch the bottom and jump out if they fall into a full waterer.

But small kids are also vulnerable to other predators when running loose.

BTW, if your kids can squeeze out through the gates, dogs can get in. It doesn't take a very big dog to injure a goat kid; they're pretty fragile and will sometimes even die of shock if the dog starts chasing them. Dogs + goats almost always means dead goats.
 

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A & N Lazy Pond Farm
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Goats hate water. Unless the pond is frozen you have no worries. It is when ponds freeze when it becomes dangerous because they may walk on it and go through a week spot. I dont think they can swim but I dont know for sure.
Goats can swim, one of my kids got in our pond and DH was trying to **** him out when the kid went deeper and started to swim. DH finally got him turned and he swam to shore and ran to momma like he was on fire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hooray! I've gone all day without the kids getting out of their yard! Maybe, just maybe, I've managed to close up all of their little escape holes. However, I'm not getting too excited until we go another few days.
 

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Thank you all for the information. My fence is 4' high welded wire (4" squares) with barbed wire across the top. I think, most of the problem will go away when the goats grow a little and can't squeeze out where the gates don't quite meet the posts.

I'm glad to hear that goats won't drown. Maybe we have reinforced their fence enough that they won't get down to the lake.

The corn field the kids were found in has been pretty much cleared of corn by the cows that are pastured there. So, hopefully, they didn't find enough to eat to do any damage. I will have to keep an eye on them though.
Goats will also go UNDERNEATH these fences.......yep, they get their noses under the fence and crawl on their belly to get out.
 
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