May 18, 2014

Painting tethers

We have a pen where the goats sleep at night, it has plenty of shade and cover from rain with enough room to walk around and is secluded enough that it keeps them calm.

In the morning we take them out and tether them around the yard to eat back the jungle.  We started with premade tethers designed for small dogs but they fall apart after a few weeks because these goats a strong! And they like to pull!

From the hardware store I bought vinyl coated steel wire rope. Each end gets an eyelet and cable clamps.  I have 3/8" and 3/16" tethers in use. The smaller diameter the wire rope, the more difficult it is to assemble the clamps.  One end gets a caribeaner to easily attach and detach from a post and the goat end gets a steel link that is more difficult to open and close. 

A loose goat goes straight for the things we just planted and then to the things we planted last week. Iʻve turned my back on a tethered goat only to have it walk past me to get to the sweet grass.  I'm pretty sure they grow thumbs while I'm not looking.

The tethers get dirty and after a few weeks the eyelets, clamps and carribeaners start to rust. A gray dirty cable is difficult to find lying in the woods and late in the evening so we bought some neon orange spraypaint to make them stand out.  I coil the cables up so that when I spray the ends I also hit the body of the cable, this creates stripes to help with visibility and also wastes (a tiny bit) less paint.

I paint in a box to reduce splash damage.

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