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Do you close your goats in the barn at night?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Goats' started by ChksontheRun, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Sep 14, 2010
    ChksontheRun

    ChksontheRun Ridin' The Range

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    Total goat newb here. We have had a small herd of 7 mini nubians, now down to 5 (2 adult does - one in milk, one 9 mo old buckling, one 9 mo old doeling, and a 3 month old whether). We have a 1 acre fenced area and a 12 x 12 foot barn with a gate that separates the barn and a very small yard area from the rest of the fenced area. We have been closing the goats inside the barn at night thinking they would be safer in there. We know we have foxes and coyotes in our area, and although we have gotten 2 LGDs they are young and I think they would bark for danger, but are not really old enough to fight anything off.

    My question.... Do we really need to close them in at night? Or are we being over protective?

    And for those of you wondering about the 9 mo old buckling running with the does..... We got this little herd from a woman whose husband was sick and died, and she had them all together for the last 9 months, so the damage has been done. We have given them a loving home and will sort it all out when the vet comes out for a check next week.
  2. Sep 14, 2010
    PJisaMom

    PJisaMom Ridin' The Range

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    I have been leaving my barn door open for the past few months, just enough so they could get out if they needed to. (Why they would NEED to is beyond me!)

    But...

    I heard the coyotes last night. I heard them coming... closer!

    So, at midnight, my husband arms me with the shotgun.

    Uh... wouldn't it just be easier to lock them IN? :D

    Out to the barn, screw gun in hand, we board up the one totally open entry and pull the door on the other side entry and lock it.

    So...

    I say now, YES I DO! I was so freaking out last night about the coyotes... I heard them all night... drove me insane.

    So... been looking at this 2 year old LGD that some lady listed on CL... but she doesn't REALLY want to get rid of her. But because I told her my husband has pet allergies, she is averse to my even seeing the dog.... I don't have time to wait for a puppy to grow if the coyotes are here NOW... so... going to go look at a llama tomorrow.

    Yep. Have no idea what I'm doing... but you know... what's life without a little animal adventure?
    ;)

    ~P
  3. Sep 14, 2010
    ThornyRidge

    ThornyRidge Overrun with beasties

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    To each their own on this but I personally close my goats up every night in the barn and lock the doors ( have little hooks that latch the sliding doors to keep them in when they bang into them.. this is my own peace of mind. you could look at where you live. I hate doing it when it is really hot thinking they may want to be outside at least but for several reasons.. 1. they are confined in safe area away from night time predators and even neighborhood kids if out playing around 2. I lock my barn cats up at night in barn to give them a chance to continue to keep all mice out of barn! 3. keeps them from screaming their heads off and disturbing the peace if I sleep in a bit longer than they do! They like their schedule and will stand at the fence and bawl to remind you it is feeding time. I would also suggest that yes the damage may be done with that buckling in running with all the does so be prepared for many kids in the near future and get him out of there.. get a separate area for him and send the wether over with him for company! depending on when she came into heat I would be most concerned with the 9 month old doe being bred.. i don't consider breeding before 1.5 years of age and even that goes with a size/body conformation once over!

    If it ain;t any trouble lock up the goats.. coyotes for sure can cause much harm to goats!
  4. Sep 15, 2010
    Roll farms

    Roll farms Spot Master

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    I do not close our goats in....but we have 2 LGD.

    If I didn't have the dogs....I probably would lock them up at night.

    If the dogs think there is a 'threat', they round the goats up, run them to the barn, and then go check out the threat...the goats seem to understand this and will wait at the barn door and watch the dogs.

    It is absolutely amazing to watch them work....

    We used to have a guardian llama years ago, he did ok but wouldn't guard the chickens...so when I got our first LGD pup for the birds....the llama tried to kill it.
  5. Sep 15, 2010
    ()relics

    ()relics Overrun with beasties

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    I keep mine outside all the time. They spend the day in their own pasture and at night they go into the horses pasture. They have the option of horse stalls but usually opt for the outside, unless it is raining. I don't worry about predators, even though we are over-run with coyotes, because I have a donkey with them and she doesn't like anyone/anything. I wouldn't have the inside room nor the energy to put everything inside every night. I want another dog but I am afraid it would be offended by my bird dogs running in and out of the pasture and barking at the goats and occasionally chasing them.
  6. Sep 15, 2010
    glenolam

    glenolam Loving the herd life

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    I don't close them in the barn either. My goats sleep inside the barn anyway, but I've gone outside a few times and seen them foraging around at some ungodly hour in the night. I don't have any LGDs or donkey's and I did wake up at 3 am to the howling of a coyote in my back yard, but they don't seem to bother the goats.

    When my two goat kids were born, I did lock them up just because they were so small and I wanted to make sure they stayed in at night. Now that everyone is bigger I just let them be.

    Do whatever works best for you. If you don't mind going out everynight to make sure they're locked in, go for it.
  7. Sep 15, 2010
    dianneS

    dianneS Overrun with beasties

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    I've never locked mine in at night. They can come and go as they please. We have nothing bigger than a fox that could be a threat. Of course there could be free roaming dogs, but our fence is pretty dog proof. I've heard that coyotes are on their way. Several spotted in neighboring areas. So we got a livestock guardian dog.

    He's over a year old and we haven't even lost a chicken since we've had him. Last night the dog was barking quite a bit and I knew there must be trouble by the sound of his barks. Around 2 AM I figured whatever threat was out there must not be easy to scare away. I went out with a flashlight and spotted the fox. He's quite bold and didn't want to run off right away. He was just eyeing up my barn and chicken coop. I finally chased him away and turned a flood light on outside the barn. The dog was quiet the rest of the night!

    The goats were all up and awake when I went out there, standing behind the dog, but outside the barn. Perhaps they didn't want to get cornered by anything? Everyone slept in late this morning though! I thought that was cute. :gig
  8. Sep 15, 2010
    ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Overrun with beasties

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    locked up tight. we have coyotes too and are noticing more stray dogs.

    whats wrong with being overprotective? we go with the "better safe than sorry"

    but do what works for you
    :)
  9. Sep 15, 2010
    freemotion

    freemotion Self Sufficient Queen

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    We've never seen evidence that coyotes can get into our fence, so I don't lock up the adults at night. My barn is pretty close to the house, too. But I do lock up the babies when they are small. No sense in offering such a tasty temptation for the coyotes. Three of my does have horns, too.
  10. Sep 15, 2010
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    We have an overhang around 3 sides of our barn and we have fencing around all of it with gates to let the animals out. So we lock our animals out of the fields at night but they aren't actually locked in the barn either. They can be in the barn/overhang area so we don't have to close up the barn.

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