In the last few years every time she's around other equines, things go badly for her (stressed, etc). During the last two winters she's been pastured with a pair of llamas (our usual routine has been: horses during the summer, llamas the rest of the time) and that has seemed to really work out. They mostly stay out of her way, they're there when she wants companionship, etc etc. She just has really relaxed around them and it's been great.
However, this winter she's not in the same pasture as the llamas anymore. She shares a fenceline with them but not the pasture. This "new" pasture is MUCH better for her vision state (much flatter, real stalls, no land owners "fussing" - they're retirees who have A LOT of time, haha, etc) so I don't want to move her back. The llamas can't come join her because their owner, the land owner, is worried that they'll be "impossible to catch" if one is ever needed to be caught (wild llamas, they'd be impossible to catch in their current field but that's another issue) .
ANYWAY, this all has led me to think that perhaps goats are the answer. We do have coyotes, and lots of them, here but I've been reading and it seems like there are larger breeds of goats that won't be as in danger from the coyotes as say, one of the mini breeds?
The other thing is that I'm not sure how "goat-proof" our fences are. The pasture is a total of 5-6 acres so space-wise, for 2 goats, they would not be cramped.
One possible major problem though is that I'm pretty sure that the lower half of the pasture is not fenced. I'm not entirely sure but there's a bank at least 30ft wide, at the narrowest point, of blackberry bushes down there and no visible fencing.
Would/could a pair of goats do enough damage to that to make fencing it a necessity? Obviously, I'd need to fence it at some point but is it a case of one day, 30ft of bushes, next day, 0ft? Or would it be more like one day, 30ft, 2 weeks later 20ft, etc...with some warning?
The other slight fencing quandary I have is that the fence separating the llamas from Lacey is high tensile wire with about a foot of "sheep fencing" (large holed chicken wire-type) at the base. If I added another layer of some kind of similar wire mesh fencing, maybe 4 ft tall, would that be "enough"?
Basically I want the goats to stay in. We live in the middle of a suburban "farmer"-type neighborhood and I can guarantee that I would hear about it for MONTHS if my goats were out, wandering about.
The llamas fencing is not really secure at all so if they got in there, they could go where ever.
Not to mention that if they got out, that would be very scary for Lacey - something I don't want happening.
The front gate area is super secure (metal gate down to the ground next to a wooden fence, also solid down to the ground) so I'm not too worried about that area.
Then, beyond that, what kind of care do goats require? I'm thinking 2 is better than one since they will be left alone when I take Lacey for rides (might take them too, upon occasion, of course!) but other than that, I know nothing. I'd like females but which gender is "best"?
And, just for funnsies, if I were to have a pair of goats and take them on rides with Lacey and I, would they keep up "off-leash" if "trained" to do so? Or are they not adventurous like that?
I'm going to the state fair next weekend and, while I'm there, I plan to stop by and peer at the goats, to get a feel for their sizes, etc...
Hopefully goats can work out. Even if Lacey moves somewhere else/dies/whatever, the goats will be able to live with the llamas (if I decided against selling them) so there is a plan...
Thank you!! :)