You have probably seen dozens of videos by now of goats bouncing around, climbing, and generally being silly. Naturally playful, goats make delightful companions – but they need fun and exercise – enter goat toys!
What sorts of things do goats enjoy? Should you buy them toys, build toys, or play with them? In a nutshell, yes. Do all those things and your goats will be happy. The exercise will be beneficial, too.
15 Goat Toys for Happy Goats
Here are 15 goat toys ideas to get you going. We start with some goat toys you can buy, like a mini-tramp (which works for sheep too, as you can see in the video below!) and a variety of balls.
We’ll move on to goat toys you can DIY, repurpose, and recycle, like goat tire swings, goat playgrounds, and goat toys made out of pallets.
1. Mini Tramps as Goat Toys
Mini-tramps are fun for both you and the goats. Think of this as a bonding exercise you can share together. Goats love mini-tramps, because they are bouncy and just plain fun. You can love them, too, because they are an excellent way to exercise.
2. Goat Yoga
Goat Yoga? Yes! You may have heard of cat yoga, or dog yoga, but goats love yoga, too. Prepare to be climbed on or snuggled — and to lower your blood pressure.
3. Have a Ball
Have a ball. An exercise ball will serve double-duty. For humans, they were originally used by the Swiss for better back posture education and rehabilitation. They are an excellent stretch for your lower back and you can use them for working on your core.
For a goat, watch them roll, chase, bounce, and generally be wacky.
4. Bob a Lot Treat Toy
As for as goat toys go, it doesn’t get much better for your goats than this one. The more they play, the more they’re rewarded with a yummy treat. You can get these on Amazon.
5. Squishy Balls as Goat Toys
Go with a squishy ball like this one for goat toys.
Lisa, who does goat rescue in Hawaii, says that “Penny loves her squishy ball; she’ll scoop it up and throw it with her horns. Sometimes, she just walks around with it, stuck between her horns.”
6. Play Goat Soccer
Soccer balls are also a hit with goats and kids. They’re great goat toys, and cheap too. If your children are into soccer, get them out there with the goat. The kids might learn a trick or two.
Upcycled, Repurposed, and DIY Goat Toys
Here are some ideas to keep goats entertained with goat toys to DIY!
7. Old Tires
What a great way to “upcycle” and reuse something that might otherwise be headed for a landfill. Check with your local tire shop. They may let you take them for free. Or, check with your recycling depot, where they may have some usable ones for a low fee.
Bury half of the tire in the dirt in your goat area, leaving half exposed for the goats to climb on. Put several together for a tunnel.
8. Pallets as DIY Goat Toys
These are so versatile! This site even has easy, free plans for a pallet goat playhouse. You can find pallets at a variety of places.
Be careful your free pallets do not contain methyl bromide, a pesticide. Here is how to tell if they are safe. Also, look for nails or wires that are loose, for safety. Just look at those sweet goats in the video above, enjoying their platform. Pallets make great goat toys.
9. From Kids’ Playground to Goat Playground
Have your kids outgrown their play equipment? Don’t discard it, re-purpose it into goat toys and goat playgrounds. Doesn’t everyone love a slide?
10. Brushes and Brooms
Goats love being brushed! To save you the trouble, nail a brush to a post and watch your goat rub, scratch, and butt it.
Old brooms and mops make great goat toys too, they’ll run around with it and go silly.
11. Another Goat
Yes, get more than one, and they will be each other’s toy, and companion. Goats are herd animals, and unless you plan on spending hours every day playing, you may wish to get them a friend.
12. Build a Goat Swing
You can DIY this goat toy or use an old patio swing you already had. Or buy one, of course.
13. Change the Scenery
Moving your goats around is one of the easiest, free goat toys you’ll find. Wouldn’t you be bored if you were stuck in the same place, every day?
Try setting up different pens, or pastures, or even staking them out in a different area of your property. Who doesn’t appreciate a change of scenery?
14. Tease With DIY Treats
DIY treats as goat toys. Take an old plastic jug, and put some goat treats inside. Poke a few small holes so that they can get at the treats, with a little effort. They love to chase these around.
15. Make a ladder
Here is a clever goat-owner who put together a fun climbing ladder that is also inexpensive. Maybe you already have all the parts!
How much cheaper can goat toys get? A large rock is a natural toy for goats. On the Big Island of Hawaii, wild goats can be seen climbing lava rocks.
17. Logs as Goat Toys
You can build a whole goat playground out of logs! Buy them from a mill or harvest them from your own property. This could be a good way to put your logs to work while they’re drying out, too.
What Do Bored Goats Do?
Bored goats will bully each other, or other animals. They’ll chew on posts, try to escape, or attempt unsafe climbing. They will also become more anxious, and therefore less healthy.
If you’re thinking about keeping goats, consider whether you have the space, time, and energy they need to be healthy and productive. Goat herders, any more suggestions for fun? I’d love to do an article like this one about goat playgrounds too – let me know if that’s something you’d like to see!