We finished our sacrifice area for the goats and most recently wrapped up cleaning out the barn next to it so the goats would have shelter. All of this just in time before the cold weather blasted us in Kansas. Our goats have been out in our pasture but when we saw the cold front coming through we knew it was time to herd them up to the sacrifice area closer to the house.
Moving livestock can have its challenges as they are easily spooked and can have minds of their own on where they want to go. With a shake of a bucket filled with alfalfa pellets, our goats followed Shawn out of their fenced area, past our future pumpkin patch, over our green space, across the gravel road and into their new area in less than two minutes. It couldn’t have gone any easier!
If your thinking whats the big deal, than I can tell you this is all based on trust. When we first brought our goats home we could not even get close to them. With our rotational grazing method, we wanted to move them weekly which proved difficult in the beginning when they would run from us. The first paddock move only involved going from one fenced in area to an area right next to it. To get them through the opening between the two fences took over an hour. With time, they have learned to trust us and realized when we came to move them they were going to new fresh grass and would actually be waiting on us!
It’s not unusual for it to be difficult to herd animals. Some people employ the use of herding dogs, man power, four wheelers or horseback to herd their livestock. Others may build temporary fencing to act like an alley to get animals from point A to point B. We have found building our relationship with our animals has made herding our goats rather simple. We bring them alfalfa pellets regularly in a bucket so they begin to associate the bucket with a special treat. This allowed one person to move our small herd of five goats, no assistance needed from dogs or extra fencing.
With the drop of temperatures this week, I’m happy to have them closer to the house. They could start dropping kids as soon as the end of the month so hoping for better weather on the horizon.