Our two little goats are growing up. They forage like champions for all kinds of food — weeds, grasses, leaves and twigs off trees. They are as friendly and affectionate as ever, and we feel gratified to see them getting bigger and stronger every day. They have also learned how to get through the fence and out of their goat paddock.
We have plans to improve the fencing on the goat paddocks, but this job will have to wait until we have completed a number of other projects. In the mean time, we need the goats to stay in their paddock — especially since we have just planted a couple of tender young kiwifruit vines outside the goat paddocks.
Our solution to this problem is a device we call the “naughty goat collar.” “Naughty goat collar” is actually as misnomer. The goats are not being naughty by getting out of their paddock. Their goatly nature dictates that they should go through fences whenever possible, and one of our fences was hardly slowing them down at all. Goats will be goats.
Kevin constructed the “naughty goat collars” out of pieces of wood, a few bolts and some wingnuts. They look like mediaeval torture devices, and we felt rather cruel the first time we put them on the goats. For their part, the goats looked rather pleased when we first put the collars on them. Perhaps they though it was a stylish new fashion accessory for the summer season. They were less pleased when they found they could no longer get through the fence.
The “naughty goat collars” are serving their purpose. The goats have not escaped again since they started wearing them. We are also pleased to note that the collars do not seem to restrict their movement too much. They still run and play like they did before. We take the collars off when we put the goats in their shed at night, and put them on again when they are let out in the morning. We also take them off when we walk the goats or put them on the tether.