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Will Goats Roam Back to Neighbor's House?

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Goats' started by BarnyardBlast, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Oct 16, 2017
    BarnyardBlast

    BarnyardBlast Ridin' The Range

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    I have a few rescue goats - two adult females and one male wether. We acquired them when our neighbors moved 1 1/2 hours away and left them behind - they called and asked us if we would take them. They were in pitiful shape and one of them is still slowly in the process of gaining weight back - she was skin and bones.

    I've had them in a large yard that is enclosed with a fence. I'd like to let them out to roam and forage a bit - returning at night. I can handle and pet them - they are quite friendly. They love to see us coming as it usually means treats or feed (grain blend). I think they would come back in willingly in the evening to eat. I'm wondering if they would wander back home if allowed to be outside? The neighbors house is the property behind us - not really close, but close enough that we were able to walk them over when we picked them up.
     
  2. Oct 16, 2017
    Hens and Roos

    Hens and Roos Herd Master

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  3. Oct 16, 2017
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    I don't know. I don't let mine outside of the fenced in area.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    We used to walk our 3 on leads...and after some time of doing that we only had 1 on a lead...the doe. Goats don't act like chickens and return at sundown....they are true browsers, just like deer.....being a prey animal they are startled fairly easily and when startled will blindly run in any direction away from what it was that startled them. Our doe is the herd queen and the Boys follow her no matter what....so, as long as we could control her, the Boys would stay close by. We never ever trusted them on their own and only removed the lead once they were back in their pen. Now we have a large fenced in area that they are free to roam in. Personally, I wouldn't just turn them out, hoping they would return. I would either put them on leads or cut tree branches and put them in the pen with the goats to browse on. It is good that they will come to you when they are calm, but don't count on it when they are startled....my wife only did it once, and after chasing goats thru brambles, briars, and up and down hills thru scrub brush she finally listened to me....cause I have never let her forget it....:)
     
  5. Oct 16, 2017
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    They will definitely wander, and far! My neighbors free range their goats and have to watch them a bit as they will travel 1/2 mile down the road to the next house--and they never lived there. However, what they do is train the goats to a call (Hey Goaties!) and a can of feed over the course of a few weeks. Then they can free range for a few hours, but will call the goats back with the feed when they want them back in the pen. It works as long as they don't have anything more exciting to eat out in the woods ;)
     
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  6. Oct 16, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    I think how far they would wander would partly depend on the goats. When my goats have gotten out, they have stayed pretty close to home (but then, I don't think I have had all of them out at once). When my neighbor's goats got out, we never knew where they might turn up. If you feed them in the evening, they probably would return to be fed, but just how far they'd travel during the day is hard to say. I think a goat would sell its soul (if it had one) for the right kind of food.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  7. Oct 16, 2017
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    I don't let me out but when I first got them they got out and I found them three miles away a few days later. My neighbor used to let his roam and they would stay within 1/4 mile of his house but he had a dog with them that would bring them home at night or whenever he called the dog.
     
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  8. Oct 16, 2017
    Bayleaf Meadows

    Bayleaf Meadows Loving the herd life

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    My goats will run back in their pen when startled or when they know it's supper time. But they don't go out without me close by and they are within sight of their pen at all times. They spook very easily.
     
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  9. Oct 18, 2017
    ruddenca

    ruddenca Just born

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    We have let our wander before. If it’s just the females and their kids they can stay closer, if the buck goes with they might wander a bit farther. All in all though, the only ever go about 1/4 mile away and come closer to home as it gets dark (though maybe not in the pen by lights out). They also always come when they can hear the shake of the grain bucket. Anything for grain.
     
  10. Oct 18, 2017
    Jeanne Sheridan

    Jeanne Sheridan Chillin' with the herd

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    I wouldn't trust them to know home particularly during hunting season. Our goats are master escape artists. If they get out of their pasture on one side they come around the barn to the yard. Getting them back in is as easy as opening the gate and letting our dog out to bark at them, they just run back in and we go looking for their most recent escape route. If their find a way out on the back fence they just roam and anything will spook them. There is a small grass runway airstrip behind us. A small plane landing will set the goats running. It's deer hunting season here so we here regular shots up in the forest behind us. Those also set the goats running. For both of these starts they just run away , not toward their barn.