Play Things for Kids

We looked at several web site showing boer goat kids at play - climbing on wire spools, stumps, trees, shelters or playing on boards and on teeter totters. I was warned by an elder goat man, not to have the ‘play things’ too high because the little kids would climb up and fall off, breaking their backs or legs. I built a couple of shelters with the secondary purpose of giving the billies a place to climb and rest in the sun, and I built a teeter totter.

My teeter totter was a 1 x 8 board, 12 feet long with a 4 x 4 about 12 inches long half way down the 1 x 8. It was cute and easily built. From the first day the kids played on it. They would run down the board causing the end to go down. The big goats would walk it causing the little goats to be thrown from it. We moved it from one area to another so the little ones would have something to play on. This was a good play thing; no one could get hurt on it. At the high end it was only about 10 inches high.

This spring, we had kids and their moms in an area separated from the rest of herd. We were preparing to feed when we heard a goat screaming. We ran in the direction of the sound and found Star Cloud trapped under the teeter totter. Her head was between the plank and the ground; and who do you think was on top of the teeter totter, standing on the board, directly above poor Star Cloud? Her mother. We pushed mom off the teeter totter and retrieved poor Star Cloud.

A horn had been broken and she was bleeding profusely from the broken horn. We tried Blood Stop, wrapping paper towels, a cloth towel, and more blood stop; but nothing seem to stop the bleeding. The poor little broken horn was pointed out to the side. Finally, we decided that we needed help.


We called our Vet at home, and he told us he would meet us at his office - on Sunday afternoon. So Star Cloud got a ride to the top of the hill on a four wheeler, then in the truck on Pat’s lap to the Vets. He was waiting for us when we got there.

Dr. Galbraith removed the broken horn, and Star Cloud got three stitches to stop the bleeding. Had we not been there at the time of the accident, Star Cloud would have bled to death.

We returned to the farm, took her back to her mom and all was well. Louise, the mom, allowed her to nurse and she was back in the fold.

Star Cloud has grown, and the broken horn is about half the length of the other horn and seems to have no problems. We sometimes think the other goats ‘kid’ her about her broken horn; but since we have not learned all of the vocabulary of the goats, we are just not sure.

As for the teeter totter, it has been remove from the pasture, never to return.

A moral to the story? No, just a teeter totter removed. It was a good idea that went really bad.


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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168

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