Are you looking for boredom busters for your goats?
These small ruminants are naturally curious, and they love exploring, so putting them in an empty pen can make them feel bored.
But the good news is there are myriads of boredom buster ideas for your herd.
So if you want to know :
- Why do goats need boredom busters
- Tips on how to pick entertaining toys that will keep them from getting bored
- Our top 11 boredom busters for your herd
Join us as we unveil our list of some clever boredom buster ideas that’ll keep your goats entertained and healthy at the same time.
Let’s get right into it.
Why You Need Boredom Busters for Your Goats
Goats are innately curious, clever active, and a bit naughty. They love to play and try out different activities.
So, they need an environment that provides mental stimulation and fun just as much as they need water and food.
That explains why they need entertaining toys to save them from boredom.
Remember that goats have solid muscles, and they are good climbers.
And they tend to chew anything they see.
When they feel bored, they’ll try to entertain themselves in a dangerous way, such as the following:
- Push the pen’s fences to knock them down and escape
- Chew on posts, debris, and other hazardous items which might cause mouth injuries
- Climb onto unsafe platforms that make them at risk of slipping or falling
- And lastly, boredom might cause stress and anxiety and lead them to develop aggressive or territorial behavior.
- As a result, your goat might bully other goats or animals.
Furthermore, stress and anxiety can negatively impact their health and cause myriads of health problems.
It includes decreased productivity, poor nursing care, and milk production.
Therefore, keeping them happy and entertained is crucial for goats.
It doesn’t just lead them to a healthy life because watching your oats happily playing can also make you feel fulfilled as an owner.
Tips When Choosing Boredom Busters for Your Goats
Goats will enjoy playing with anything they can climb, jump or scratch on.
They also feel delighted when playing with toys they can chase and get through.
Each goat may have toy preferences, so it would be best to put a variety of choices.
However, you need to ensure they’re not just fun but also safe for your goats to avoid injuries and expensive veterinary costs.
So, when choosing a boredom buster for your goat, keep in mind the following tips.
1. Make sure the boredom busters for your goats are safe
Goats are like children who usually use their mouths to explore their world.
They rely on it when investigating new objects, and they tend to smell and taste any new stuff in their pen.
Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the objects you’re introducing to them are not sharp, toxic, or rough.
You also need to watch for metal staples, protruding nails, screws, toxic paints, coatings, and plastic fibers.
You have to remove all of them for your goat’s safety.
2. Provide multiple boredom busters for your goats
Playing with the same toys over and over again can also make goats feel bored, just like kids.
So, you need to switch their toys every few weeks and let them investigate and look for their old toys around their pen.
This strategy can stimulate their curiosity and urge them to explore their pen and find new toys simultaneously.
By providing new things they can play with periodically, you can keep them active and entertained.
And it can also help them learn to interact with different things in their environment.
Since competition and bullying are inevitable in a herd, it’s always a good idea to provide multiple toys because dominant goats will claim some of them.
So, if you want to avoid bullying, don’t settle for one or two.
Give them multiple options so they can all enjoy.
3. Make your goat’s boredom busters a haven
Giving your goats large structures like trees and large rocks are also essential, especially for shy goats.
It can serve as their haven where they can hide and feel secure, and it can help relieve their stress and anxiety.
On top of that, it can also reduce cases of bullying.
So, providing a visual barrier is a good idea as it can make their pen safer, richer, and complex.
4. Use toys that promote exercise and socialization
In case you don’t know, being on higher ground signifies dominance for goats.
So, they enjoy climbing, standing, and jumping in higher places, and playing “king of the hill.”
It’s a fun social activity for them and promotes exercise at the same time.
So, how can you entertain your goats and keep the boredom away?
We collected lots of ideas for you, and here they are.
Best Boredom Busters for Your Goat’s Entertainment and Health
Here are 11 boredom buster ideas you can copy and recreate for your herd’s pen.
1. Scratching station
Isn’t it’s frustrating not to be able to scratch an itchy part of your back? Goats share the same sentiments with us.
They love to scratch their head, butts, sides, and bellies wherever they can find something to rub their body on.
A rough log, bricks, or cinderblocks will do, but you can also opt for bristle brushes or posts with slightly rough materials if you want.
You can also find scratch pads online that you can fix into a fence post and customize depending on your goat’s size.
2. Hay feeder or branches
Goats enjoy browsing and eating as much as people do, so they need accessible goat food they can nibble whenever they feel like eating.
Some goat owners put their goat’s hay to troughs.
However, it can be unhealthy and unhygienic because goats can quickly jump, walk and poop on it.
And they’d later refuse to eat those dirty hay.
That means a lot of hay would be wasted.
Since alfalfa and hay can be pretty expensive, it’s just not practical to keep putting it in a trough.
So using a hay feeder is a much cost-effective option.
This way, your goats can’t trample the hay, and you can keep them edible and dry in the rain.
You can simply DIY it if you want to save some bucks if you have the materials.
You can also throw some branches in your herd’s pen to keep your goats entertained by nibbling on it.
It’s a wonderful treat for your goat, but you also need to ensure the plants aren’t toxic.
Here’s another boredom buster for your goats – provide a simple but entertaining tunnel that can keep them active and healthy.
You can use your old tires or your kid’s tunnel, but there are also some great choices online.
The disadvantage of a tunnel is that goats can’t climb on it like other toys.
Having a seesaw for your goat is a sure-fire way to entertain them.
It might take time before they figure out how a teeter-totter works.
But your goats will surely have a fun time climbing to the high side and playing with each other.
5. Trampoline – An Exciting Boredom Buster for Your Goats
A trampoline is an equipment used as a landing area for acrobatic or gymnastic exercises.
It comes with a fabric sheet connected by some springs to a frame.
Once your goats learn how it works, they will surely have a blast jumping on this boredom buster trampoline.
6. Outdoor Playground
Your goats will surely love you for building a playground for them.
You may either DIY it if you got some wood or purchase plastic slides or playhouses for them.
If your human kids have some outgrown toys, you can also recycle them and give them to your four-legged friends instead of disposing of them.
It could be small boats, huge cars, or anything that can pique their curiosity and encourage them to explore.
However, as we reiterated earlier, you need to ensure it’s safe before handing it to your goats.
7. Climbing station
These four-legged animals love to climb and explore, so having a climbing structure can surely delight them.
You can create a climbing arena with multiple steps, ramps, and bridges by yourself.
But if it isn’t available, a pile of stovewood, hay bales, barrels, and old tires will do.
8. Mineral blocks
Each goat breed has specific mineral requirements that must be met every day.
Sometimes, even if they can free-range, their mineral intake can be inadequate.
And that’s where a mineral block can help.
It brings a lot of nutritional benefits, and it’s affordable.
And the goats will self-medicate when they feel the need to do so. Therefore, you won’t have to administer them.
It’s a simple and cost-effective way to keep your goat healthy and away from boredom.
9. Headbutting toys
Aside from scratching, goats have the habit of headbutting.
They tend to headbutt on other goats or anything they can get their horns on, such as walls and milk stands.
It can be entertaining, but it can lead to trouble or some injury if they’d bump into rigid walls.
So, a headbutting toy like balls or an inflatable punching bag can be a better option since it’s safe and will work great for goats.
10. Treat-filled balls
Here’s another trick to cure your goat’s boredom; give them a ball filled with their favorite treats.
You can use kong dog toys for this, but old jugs or balls will do if you want a cheaper option.
Then fill it with some grains or pelleted feeds and secure it.
Don’t forget to poke it with a few holes on the sides.
So whenever they toss the jug or ball, they’ll get a handful of tasty treats.
11. A kiddie pool or dog pool
Just like dogs, goats also enjoy spending some time cooling off in a pool during summertime.
It will not just combat boredom but also the heat during summer.
So, if you have an unused dog or kiddie pool, why not let your goat have a splash of water and refresh itself?
Additional Boredom Buster Ideas for Your Goats
Aside from the boredom buster ideas mentioned earlier, here are additional tips on how to entertain your goats safely.
Let them explore other environments.
If your goats are already tired of touring around their pen or enclosure, it would be great if you could move them to a different location.
They love and enjoy exploring new places, so introducing them to new spots would be fun for them.
However, this tip is only possible if you have multiple pens or pastures.
If this tip won’t work for you, here’s another option.
Give your goat a companion.
Perhaps you’ll agree that playing by yourself is not as fun as playing with your kind.
Since goats are social creatures who also need companions, just like people, they’ll enjoy playing more if they have multiple companions.
So, if you only have one goat, it’s a great idea to add some more.
If that’s not possible, sheep, cows, cats, and dogs can also be good options since they’ll also get along with goats.
Provide sensory activities for them
These four-legged creatures are intelligent and will enjoy sensory activities that will help them understand and their world.
- You may create a sandbox or gravel area so your goats can explore different textures and feel them on their hooves.
- Goats can get fascinated by mirrors, and they’d love to look at their reflection. They may look hilarious as they try to understand how they got a twin, but it’s a great enrichment activity for goats that piques their interest.
- Colorful and reflective objects that produce sound can brighten up a goat’s mood and promote better stimulation, so they’d love it if you could provide one.
Curing boredom doesn’t have to be expensive.
Using the DIY tips above, you can create easy-to-build and budget-friendly boredom busters for your goats.
But when introducing new toys or anything to your goats, it’d be best if you could watch them and how they interact with them.
They may react unexpectedly and throw themselves into danger by getting their feet stuck or eating something unhealthy.
So, it would be best to supervise them as much as possible and watch out for signs of distress.
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