Goats are curious, energetic, smart, and social animals, and just like any other animal, goats can become bored. These small ruminants need an exciting environment and toys that will provide physical and mental stimulation to prevent boredom.
So, what do goats like to play with? Goats love to play with other goats as well as toys they can kick around or things they can jump and climb on. As long as your goats can climb, headbutt, scratch, chew, chase, or kick an object, they will love playing with it. Make sure the toys you give goats are safe to prevent injuries.
Looking for ways to keep your goat happy and entertained? Keep reading! This article will tell you how to make a goat happy and create the best environment for goats to play in.
How Do You Make a Goat Happy?
Goats are herd animals that need the company of other goats to stay happy and thrive. They are also intelligent and agile creatures used to living in rough terrains and spending most of their time climbing and foraging for food.
When kept as pets or farm animals, goats are penned in enclosures with plenty of food available and are at risk of becoming bored and getting in all sorts of trouble. Here’s what you need to do to prevent boredom and make your goat happy.
Meet the Goats’ Social Needs
As herd animals, goats have an inbred need to be close to other goats at all times. Being separated from their flock makes goats anxious and stressed.
Goats shouldn’t be kept alone, even when they are kept as pets. If you’re keeping goats as companion animals, make sure you have at least two so they never feel alone.
Create an Interesting Environment
As much as goats love to be in the company of other goats, sometimes other flock members can become oppressive. Make sure your goats have multiple feeding stations and visual barriers between them, especially if you notice that one of your goats is bullied by others.
A great way to create visual barriers is to use items that can double as climbing surfaces. In the wild, goats spend most of their time climbing and benefit from having surfaces they can climb and jump to inside their pen.
Goats are browsers, well-known for their ability to forage on anything from fresh grass to shrubs and trees. Like most animals, goats prefer to work for their food and aren’t used to just eating the food that requires no effort to acquire.
Getting creative at mealtimes can be fun for you, but it will also challenge your goats and provide the physical and mental stimulation they need to stay happy.
Do Goats Like to Play?
Goats are endlessly curious, smart, active, and mischievous creatures. They like to play and try out new things and activities.
To live in accordance whit their playful nature, goats need an environment that provides both physical and mental stimulation. Goats need environment-enriching toys as much as they need food and water.
Without entertainment and goat toys they need, goats can become bored and destructive. When bored, goats will try to entertain themselves in dangerous ways, including:
- Pushing and knocking down the fences and trying to escape
- Chewing on posts is a fun pastime for goats, but it can lead to painful mouth injuries
- Climbing on unsafe surfaces can lead to falls and serious injuries
- Bullying, aggressive, and territorial behavior that negatively impacts other members of the herd
How to Provide Your Goats with the Best Environment for Playing
There are several things you can do to provide a fun environment for your goats to play in. Here are some tips for creating the best goat environment for playing:
1. Set Up an Interesting Habitat
Provide a variety of toys and a goat playground with items your goats will be able to climb, headbutt, scratch, eat, chase, and run through.
Buy or assemble goat playgrounds using steps, ramps, and platforms for climbing and visual barriers. Place tree stumps and logs in various combinations throughout the pen to provide additional climbing surfaces and enrich the environment.
Seesaws, kiddie pools, overturned canoes, kiddie playhouses, old tires, barrels, and boulders can be used to set up an interesting and stimulating habitat.
2. Use Puzzle Toys to Hide Food and Treats
There are many ways you can increase foraging opportunities for your goats. From hiding treats and veggies around the enclosure to stuffing toys with enticing foods and treats, there are many things you can do to create foraging opportunities.
The easiest way to keep your goats entertained and encourage foraging is to hide fruits and veggies throughout the enclosure. Place several slices of apple on top of a climbing platform, sprinkle berries throughout hay, or wedge carrots in the bark of a tree stump.
When it comes to toys, there are many DYI goat toy ideas on the internet, and you can also use cat and dog puzzle toys. Puzzle toys and treat balls with small holes from which treats fall, or rubber Kong toys are ideal for encouraging your goats to work harder for their food and ensure they enjoy the process.
To elevate the fun and enrichment to another level, rotate the toys every few days. This will ensure there is always a new and interesting toy for your goats to play with and investigate.
The adventurous and inquisitive goats will play with just about anything they can get their hooves on. Keep in mind that some goats prefer certain toys more than others, so it’s a good idea to provide your goats with various toys they can choose from.
Tunnels, scratching stations, climbing structures, seesaws, puzzle toys, and treat balls are just some ways to give your goats something fun and interesting to do. Regardless of what toys you use, ensure they are safe for your goats to play with.