Why we decided to Re-Home our Pet Pygmy Goats


Back in 2011, not long after we first started keeping chickens, D decided that he would really like some goats.  We had made the field our chickens were kept in secure and he thought it was an ideal opportunity. I wasn't quite so sure until we went to the local farm/petting zoo which had two that were in need of re-homing.  Because it's a petting zoo, they can only keep so many there so once any kids have been born, they need re-homing before too long.  That first visit was where we met our pygmy goats, Chip and Blackjack and began to learn all about goats!

Having given the farm a deposit, the following weeks were spent reading up on goats and caring for them and making them a shelter.  Finally, we were able to bring them home and I remember we were both so excited to do so! That first afternoon, we penned off a slightly smaller area for them to get used to and sat in there with them.  I can remember them jumping all over us, nudging for attention and following us everywhere.  They were so cute and friendly, having been reared by the farm and handled daily by their visitors.  


pygmy goats, goats

(Chip and Blackjack)

In all honesty, we found it quite easy to look after them. We had to register with DEFRA and it was mostly smooth going until we found Blackjack was poorly one day.  I struggled with this as he was my favourite, he was so gentle and friendly compared to Chip.  Unfortunately, he had a ruptured bladder and we had to have him put down. I sobbed for ages after!  Without Blackjack, Chip began to look a little depressed and wasn't his usual lively self so we assumed him to be lonely, although he had the chickens and geese around.  So we headed back to the farm and as there were no goats available, we ended up coming home with three sheep which we were assured would give him some company.  And a few weeks later, we ended up with another pygmy goat, George, as one suddenly became available.

On the whole, the sheep and goats lived together quite comfortably.  The goats could be a little livelier and more boisterous than the sheep and were a lot greedier than them but otherwise, they were living together side by side.  That was until a few months ago when we found the goats had escaped the field.  The field has a high, electric fence going around it so we couldn't work it out. They had never escaped before, the sheep had never escaped, there were no holes or gaps in the fence and they couldn't jump high enough to get over it.  This happened a number of times, D kept checking the fence and couldn't work it out.  He brought a temporary electric fence and reduced the amount of field they could access to see if that made any difference. It didn't. We blocked sections of the fence up in other ways and they were still escaping, wandering around my in-laws garden (they were kept at my in-laws, as that was where we were living when we first got them), eating their flowers.  

It was at this point that I suggested to D it would be worth re-homing them.  D was reluctant.  The road next to the field and garden isn't a busy one but the cars do drive down it rather fast and as its a country road, it has winds and bends and I was becoming very anxious at the thought they could make their way to the road and cause an accident. There was also a pond that I was worried they would fall into, as well as a number of other hazards.  It got to the point that I would worry as I drove down the road about where they were. We would pull up into the driveway and they would trot down out of nowhere, which whilst it was rather lovely having them come to say hello, was also a huge worry about where they would go next!



(Chip)

So eventually D agreed that we should re-home them.  I put some messages out across Facebook on the Friday morning and by the Sunday lunchtime they were safe in their new home.  The family that has re-homed them have several acres divided into paddocks with stabling for their horses and they also have chickens and dogs, as well as that all important DEFRA registration sitting there ready. I had a stalk of the family's Facebook and business pages and was confident they were going to a good home. They have since added me as a friend and I have been able to see photos of them and can see they have settled in, which is lovely.  

Re-homing a family pet is never an easy decision, regardless of the animal they are, so knowing they have gone to a nice, loving and, more importantly safe and secure home has made it all that much easier.

5 comments

  1. Aww you did what is right for you and you privided a home from when they were young. X #twinklytuesday

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  2. Aw we would love to have had your pigmy goats! we lost one of our kids this year and could do with a couple more. Even so, I'm glad you found them a good home. #Twinklytuesday

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  3. What a lovely experience having had the goats for a while! Sound like they brought you all lots of fun. Shame when things have to change but for the sake of the goats' safety and your sanity, sounds like you've made the best decision all round. #TwinklyTuesday

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  4. It's such a hard decision, but one that has their best interests at heart! We have chickens but I have also chosen my breeds of sheep, pig and duck!!

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  5. Sounds like a hard decision but the right one. I like that you get to keep in touch with the goats, that's nice #TwinklyTuesday

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