Goats are growing in popularity thanks to the rising popularity of small hobby farms. Goats are intelligent and social animals that are often underestimated. However, bored goats are more prone to escape, as well as becoming destructive and even aggressive. It’s important for the health of your goats and your own sanity to provide your goats with an environment that is full of enriching items that will keep them entertained.
There are tons of DIY projects you can do to provide an enriching environment for your goats, and they encompass all levels of DIY abilities.
The 14 Ideas for DIY Goat Toys
1. Scratch Brush by Simple Living Country Gal
|Materials:||Push broom replacement head|
The only moderately difficult part of this DIY scratch brush project is having to use a drill. Otherwise, this project is inexpensive, typically coming in at least $10, and will probably take you less than 15 minutes. Although, how long it takes will usually depend on just how helpful your goats want to try to be.
This may not seem like a particularly interesting toy for your goats, but goats love to scratch against things. Not only does it spread their scent around, but it also relieves their itches and irritations. While this isn’t a solution for things like lice and fleas, it can make your goats more comfortable while you’re treating an issue. Your goats will likely love to use this scratch brush no matter what, though. It’s recommended to have at least one brush for every five goats.
2. Treat Dispenser by Horse And Man
|Materials:||Plastic bucket, rope or twine|
|Tools:||Scissors or knife|
If you’re looking for a project you can start and finish today without having to try too hard, this treat dispenser is a great option. All you need is a plastic bucket, like an old ice cream bucket, and some type of rope or twine. Make sure to choose something that your goats are unlikely to eat, like a non-organic rope.
This treat dispenser can be used to feed a variety of things to your goats, from fruits and veggies to grains. It can be used to slow daily feedings or to provide enrichment to your goats routinely. Make sure to install the bucket just high enough that your goats will be able to access treats through the holes you’ve cut, without allowing them to eat the food from the top opening of the bucket or accidentally eating the rope or twine you’ve used.
3. Water Jug Toy by Horse Shoe
|Materials:||Water dispenser jug|
If your goats seem bored, this water jug toy is a great way to keep them busy and reward them, even when you’re not home. If you have access to a water dispenser, then you’ll just need to grab one of the empty jugs for this project. You may even be able to snag an empty one from your job, friend’s house, or doctor’s office. Just make sure to ask before taking it!
The best part about this project is that it will keep your goats busy, usually for hours, and it requires as little effort as possible on your end. You’re just going to put some interesting snacks inside of the jug and then throw it into the pen for your goats to work on. They will work for hours trying to get every scrap of tasty food out.
4. Old Tires DIY by Green Eggs And Goats
|Materials:||Tires, rocks or concrete|
If you have old tires in your garage, then you can use them to make a fun DIY for your goats. Any type of tire will do, and different sizes of tires may make play more interesting for your goats. This is an easy project, but it does require some digging.
Weighing the tires down to keep them securely in place, even if the ground is loosened, is a good idea but isn’t a requirement. You can fill the lower portion of the tires with concrete if you have some available, but rocks, gravel, or other heavy objects can be used. Just make sure not to use anything that could accidentally or intentionally be eaten by your goats.
5. A Mini Trampoline by RNZ
|Materials:||A mini trampoline|
|Difficulty Level:||Super easy|
You need nothing more than a miniature trampoline that humans would use to create a fun toy for your goat! Just place the trampoline in a grassy or sandy area, and let your goat go to town. They tend to enjoy the bouncy movement of the trampoline, which gives them a bit of buoyancy and enables them to jump and generally goof around.
You can enhance the trampoline toy in various ways to make it more enjoyable and exercise-friendly when your goat uses it. Try making tents out of plywood and placing them near the trampoline for your goat to jump on and off. Another option is to tie ropes to the edges of the trampoline as toys to play with during a jumping session.
6. A Pallet Playground by Larry at Over the Road
|Materials:||Pallets, nails, tree branches/2x4s (optional)|
|Difficulty Level:||Easy to difficult|
Many hardware, home improvement, and even convenience stores have many leftover pallets from when goods are delivered. They don’t always need to reuse the pallets, so they give them away by stacking them behind their buildings or near their dumpsters. If you want them, all you have to do is pick them up. What’s great about pallets is that they can be used to create an ultimate pallet playground for your goat.
For this project, you will need a few pallets, nails, a hammer, and maybe tree branches or 2x4s to use as legs (though the pallets can be broken down and used as legs, etc.). You can create something as simple as a two-layered platform or something as elaborate as a big “playhouse” complete with jumping platforms, a covered place to rest, and hanging toys to buck.
7. A Wooden Goat Swing by Cat skill Animal Sanctuary
|Materials:||Plywood, 4x4s, 2x4s, bolts, clasps, wood glue, nails, chains|
|Tools:||Drill, saw, hammer|
This is a great DIY goat toy option if you have children who like to play around with your goat. This swing is more like a moving platform, so multiple goats and kids (or adults!) can fit on at the same time. You will need a helper or two to complete this project, as the resulting structure is large, bulky, and heavy. It will likely take at least a day to complete. However, the result should be a solid, long-lasting structure that your goat can enjoy for many years.
8. A Wooden Slip & Slide by Sunflower Farm Creamery
|Materials:||Wood scraps, sawhorse, nails|
|Tools:||Hammer, saw (optional)|
Goats love to run and jump, and some even like to slide and fall off things, just for the fun of it. If your goat likes to slip and fall for fun, this DIY wooden slip-and-slide might be the perfect outdoor toy for them to interact with. You can create your own unique design based on the types of scrap wood that you have around your yard, or you can purchase wood to create an exact replica of the video’s DIY design.
This feature design has wooden “steps” that help keep goats from falling completely off the slide and includes a big block to assist with getting onto the top of the slide for extra fun. The sawhorse provides shade and comfort for naptime. Your homemade slip-and-slide can be as big or as small as you want it to be.
9. A Log Play Pyramid by The Bad Astronomer
This is an easy DIY pyramid playground that goats small and large can enjoy. All you need is access to various logs, preferably of different sizes for a more dramatic setup, so you can create a log play pyramid for your goat. Use a saw to cut the logs to size, then simply stack them up to create a solid pyramid. The base must be large and stable so the rest of the pyramid stays in place when your goat climbs and jumps on it.
10. A Basic Goat Sun Deck by Ozark Mountain Goats
|Materials:||4x4s, 2x4s, deck boards, screws|
If you’re looking to create a fun outdoor toy for your goats that can double as a bench for humans to hang out on, this basic goat sun deck is the DIY project for you. The tutorial lays out plans for a 4×4 deck, but you can adjust the measurements to make it as large as you want. The plans also call for a step attached to the side, which doubles as a sitting bench. You can add a second one to the other side and create a version of a picnic table that will make it easy for humans and goats alike to congregate under the sun. The plans also require new lumber, but you may be able to repurpose old lumber that is lying in a pile somewhere. So, don’t forget to check your stock before heading to the home improvement store!
11. A DIY Goat Teeter Totter by Daddy kirbs Farm
|Materials:||2×6, concrete pier, metal strapping, nails|
Do you remember the freedom that teeter-totters offered you as a kid? The feeling of the wind in your hair as you soared into the sky and then made your way back to Earth again is hard to forget. Why not help your goat feel that same “freedom”? This DIY goat teeter-totter is surprisingly easy to put together and can be embellished as you see fit to meet your goat’s specific preferences. Reinforce the toy, and add handles so the kids can play on it too!
12. A HUGE DIY Goat Playground by Baileys Barn
|Materials:||Lumber, screws and nails|
|Tools:||Saw, drill or screwdriver|
This DIY goat playground on a budget looks more like something that you would find at a kid’s park rather than in a goat pen. However, you can create this luxurious playground if you have about $300, a weekend of spare time, and a few friends or family members who are willing to help you out.
This DIY goat playground has cool features like a huge platform, a wiggly bridge, a canopy deck, tractor tires, and old wooden spools. There is plenty of space to get away from the sun and even more space to sunbathe, depending on what your goat wants to do. The basic design offers the opportunity to add more features as time goes on, based on your goat’s activity levels and athletic abilities.
13. A Really Cool Goat Castle by Jan Suchánek
|Materials:||Lumber, metal roofing, scrap wood, 2x4s, 4x4s, deck wood, nails, screws|
|Tools:||Saw, drill or screwdriver, hammer|
|Difficulty Level:||Moderate to hard|
Every goat wants to be the “ruler” of their space, so build yours a castle! This unique DIY goat castle shelter offers protection from the sun and rain, plenty of places to climb on, and even a climbing wall that your goat can enjoy going up or down on, whether they start on the ground or the roof of the castle.
The cool goat castle in this video was created because the author’s goats would not get along with each other. Once completed, the castle became a place where they could come together peacefully. Maybe it will have the same effect on your goats, whether you want to create an initial bond or strengthen the one that they already have.
14. A DIY Goat Hay Feeder and Platform by Mountain Heritage Homestead
|Materials:||2x4s, 4x4s, welded wire, screws, steeples, plywood for roof|
|Tools:||Saw, drill or screwdriver|
While this DIY project is technically a hay feeder, it doubles as a platform playground that will give your goat something to jump up and perch on. The feeder itself keeps hay off the ground and from getting wet when it rains, and the roof of the feeder acts as a platform for sunbathing and playing. The plans are basic but do require measuring and cutting to complete properly. You may have to reinforce the coverage if you live in an area where it rains heavily throughout the year.
There are lots of great projects you can DIY to entertain your goats. Some will take a matter of minutes, while others may take a few days and multiple items to build. Either way, your goats will appreciate your efforts to provide them with a more enriching environment for them. Enrichment is a great way to keep your goats safe, entertained, and healthy.
Featured Image Credit: Lubo Ivanko, Freepik