Goats that have chewed their way through the dry herbage at many gateways over the summer need as much holiday care as any other animal in the family or on the farm. People need to go and check their goat each day, over the holidays and ask someone to check the animal when they are away.
It's so easy to forget that goats need adequate food, water and shelter like any other animal. A lot of animals often miss out over the holidays because their owners are too busy doing other things. They assume that if the goat is still there is must be content!
Water is the top priority for goats in the hot weather. The fact that goats live happily on dry herbage such as gorse is the very reason that a regular supply of fresh water should be provided. They get very little moisture from the dry feed they eat.
Far too may roadside goats have a water container, which is easily tipped over or dries up in the hot sun. Goats also need shade as they easily get stressed and burnt from the sun. Some may have a shelter but their chain gets snagged in the scrub so they cannot move into it to avoid extremes of weather. Starvation can result as well as sunburn.
It may be easy to forget about the mowing machine tied up at the gate but owners have a legal responsibility under the Animal Welfare Act to make sure their goats are adequately cared for . This is especially important over the hot holiday period.