CREATING A PLAYGROUND FOR THE KIDS!
Nikki Bird from Malurus Miniature and Pygmy Goats.
Goat kids that is, and not just kids, adults too!
Goats are active and highly intelligent animals.Their curiosity means that they often get up to mischief, but a great way to bust the boredom is to create a playground for them. From a simple plank on the ground or a fallen tree, through to custom built structures, your goats will love it.
When designing a play space for your goats, consider their natural behaviours. Goats enjoy jumping, climbing and getting up high. As browsers, they are happy standing on their back legs, stretching up to reach branches. They like to laze about in the sun and take shelter from the wind and rain. If you design a playground that provides natural enrichment for your goats, they are sure to be happy.
Goat playgrounds are cheap and easy to create
Building a playground does not need to be expensive. Indeed, commonly used materials are frequently available cheaply, or even for free, on Market Place or at garage sales etc.
Here's a few ideas:
Trampolines are often given away and goats love them - not only on the trampoline but it makes a great shady area underneath too.
Secondhand cubby houses can sometimes be picked up for free, or at reasonable prices.
Wooden cable spools are very useful additions often available from your local electrical supplier.
Pallets can be used to make shelters and platforms - widely available for free.
Tyres can be half buried or stacked to form climbing walls.
The recycle area at the tip is a gold mine for awesome additions to your goat playground.
Old corrugated iron can be reused for roofs.
Timber like sleepers can used to form ramps and bridges between platforms. Really, ramps are super easy to put together with any pieces of timber you might have out in the shed.
Timber off-cuts can also can be used to make wobble boards and see-saws.
A fallen tree, stumps and large rocks make a natural playground and the rocks help to wear down the goat hooves.
Think about safety As you construct your playground, carefully consider the safety of goats. Slippery surfaces can have cleats added to them for extra grip or be covered in artificial turf. Be mindful of gaps and holes the right size for trapping hooves, legs or heads, especially if your goats have horns.
Thoroughly clean any items you may have picked up in a garage sale, at the tip or in the roadside clean ups before adding them to the paddock. You can cover the holes on the electrical cable spools with some ply. Another consideration is to make sure all items are fixed to the ground and can't topple over.
Nikki, Daryl and Emily Bird have operated Malurus Miniature and Pygmy Goats in Victoria since 2014.