In the past few months I have heard of several incidents of goats breaking their front legs. In all cases, the break was caused by a play structure that had been put in the pasture for kids to play on.
Knowing that your carelessness caused your goat to get injured is hard to deal with. So take the time now to investigate your barn and pasture for safety hazards. Some common ones that can lead to broken legs are:
- Wood pallets. If you are using wood pallets for your goats to jump and rest on, make sure to add a piece of plywood to the top to cover the slats.
- Wooden spools. Goat owners get these from telephone companies and other businesses. Goats love to jump on them, but they have holes on the top that a kid's leg can go through, causing injury. These also need to have plywood covering the holes in the top.
- Play structures. Play structures and playhouses can also be a favorite of goat kids. In a recent case, a farmer had one goat break a front leg and another break both front legs before discovering that the problem was a child's wooden cabin that had recently been added to the pasture. Before putting out one of these structures, check it out to make sure there aren't any cracks, holes or other areas where a goat's leg might get caught and fix the problems. Or consider using Little Tyke plastic play structures, which are a lot safer and can often be found at garage sales.