Goats are amazingly inquisitive, adventurous and intelligent. Therefore they can easily become bored. When boredom sets in so does stress. To avoid your goats becoming stressed, and unhealthy they need to play. As with all animals play stimulates their brains, and enables them to replicate to some extent a natural
Therefore it is suggested that they have frequent
and regular access to ‘toys’. A word of caution –
Goats will try to eat everything! They test
everything with their mouths so be careful if you
decide to build or give them toys you make. Ensure
they are either safe to eat, or that they are made
of materials that won’t shatter, block digestive
systems, cut or poison.
A climbing frame is important, this can vary in its complexity but goats naturally love to climb. The higher they can get the happier they appear to be.
So a climbing frame that can be re-configured or adjusted to allow a ‘new’ experience would be ideal. Scratching posts, poles to jump on, rub up against and sit against are always appreciated.
Goats will strip the bark of any trees within their pen so they will seek to climb up dead trees. (If you have any live trees in their pen firstly make sure that they are not poisonous, and then that they are very securely protected to prevent the goats from killing them - protection used to avoid deer damage is ideal).
If in your day to day activities you fell branches then providing they are non-poisonous to goats they will spend many hours rubbing horns on the branches, stripping the bark climbing on, squeezing underneath and sitting upon them.
Brush-heads fixed to
posts, wood fencing or gates make an ideal self
grooming aid for goats to scratch and rub
against, this simple commodity work wonders when
the coat start to change from winter to summer,
the goats seem to love this daily activity.
Please be aware your Pygmy goats will eat the
brush heads in time and do favour the coconut
fibre ones, just remove it and replace.
Some keepers put a football in the play area for
goats to butt and push around to my amusement
mine just glared at it and tracked past
gingerly, one thing that did work was an old car
tyre tied to a tree.