Without a doubt, goats are useful in gardens that have a weed problem. They will make short work of rogue plants and growth. But when they extend this so-called usefulness to your cultivated plants and flowers, your reaction is likely to be rather unhappy.
If you have goats around your plant garden, then you most likely know what could go wrong with them wandering around.
Goats are herbivores, so it’s only natural that they eat your plants and flowers just like they would snack on garden weeds.
While you might not be able to bring back the plants or flowers your goats have eaten or damaged, you can prevent them from causing garden chaos in the first place.
Unsure how to stop goats from eating flowers and plants in your garden? Our goats and gardens tips will hopefully help you save future plants from becoming a snack for your animals.
Here are 7 tips to stop goats from eating flowers:
1. Fence the Plants
Fencing might be the first option you think of when trying to find ways to stop your goats from eating flowers and plants in your garden.
Building a fence and keeping your goats out of your garden in the first place is the easiest way to keep them from damaging your flowers and plants.
However, goats are quite intelligent and athletic, so you should do more than just install any fence to keep them out.
Goats can crawl beneath or climb over certain types of fences, especially wooden fences and woven-wire fences. If you have gates, they could open the gates and let themselves in, too.
If you plan to fence out your goats, use a welded-wire fence or a hardware cloth fence that is at least 5-6 feet tall.
The fence should completely surround or enclose the garden area on all sides to prevent the goats from finding a way in.
You can deter goats from your plants and flowers by using unpleasant smells. To do this, you can apply cow, goat, or pig dung to parts of the plants.
The stench from the animal dung is repulsive to goats, and it will keep them away from your plants.
One thing to note, however, is that this method is not suitable for all plants. For example, you should not apply animal dung to your vegetables.
In cases where you cannot apply animal dung directly to your plant, you can install a structure like a wooden fence and apply the dung to the fence instead of the plants.
Use a Spray Deterrent
Using a spray deterrent can be a safer, more hygienic option than using animal dung. An example of such spray deterrent is EQyss Crib Guard Equine Spray. (Amazon.com)
This spray deterrent is harmless to your vegetation, it will not irritate your skin, and it will not harm your goats.
Use a Goat Muzzle
Another way to stop goats from eating your flowers and plants is to stop them from eating at all. You can safely and humanely restrain a goat from unsupervised eating with a goat muzzle.
A goat muzzle is an item worn over the mouth of a goat to keep it from chewing, biting, or eating. With a muzzle on, your goats will be unable to bite or chew your plants.
Goat muzzles are typically made from heavy-duty material such as heavy Cordura and leather. They usually come with adjustable straps and a mesh through which the goat can breathe.
Cultivate Plants That Goats Dislike
Another way to stop goats from eating your plants and flowers is to cultivate plants they do not like to eat.
Examples of flowers and plants goats do not like to eat are:
- Oregon Grape Holly
- Cogon Grass
You can add these plants in close proximity, roughly 12-18 inches away, to the flowers or plants you want to protect. This way, even if the goat stretches over the deterrent plant, it will not get to your flowers or plants.
Always Supervise the Goats
This method might be quite tedious, but it works. If you are going to have goats roaming around your plants without a fence or any other deterrent, you should supervise the goats.
Whenever the goats go close to your flowers or plants, you can discourage them by making sounds. You may also move close to them and direct them away from the plants.
Keep Goats in Their Pen
If you are still concerned about goats damaging your garden and are unable to fence, deter, or watch them, you should keep your goats inside their pen.
This is especially necessary if you will not be on hand to supervise the goats. Whenever you are available to keep an eye on their activities (and your garden), you can let them out to roam more freely.