Does anyone use any sort of deliberate scratching posts for their goats or sheep (or llamas)? Or perhaps for horses or cows that could be adapted for use with my smaller ruminants.
Our goats use our fence, fenceposts, and barn corners for scratching their heads. Our sheep use the fence also. They rub their sides along it. We don't have mature trees in their area that they could use.
I have seen, at zoos, heavy rope tightly wrapped around very heavy posts, set into the ground. I'm thinking maybe (to save the hassle of fence repairs/straightening) that I might try this technique. They push on the fence and it tends to lean further and further out so that eventually we have to straighten it so that they can't get out. I don't think they do it deliberately to try to remove the fence - they just like scratching themselves! The fence happens to be the most convenient outlet for this habit of theirs.
Our animals don't scratch on the fences as they are electric. However during the building of a cross fence the cows were "helping" set the posts with their itchy heads, and we have a lot of young pecan trees that are never allowed to grow more than belly tall because they serve as scratchers. I mounted a stiff push - broom head on a stout post for the pigs to rub on. They like it but still scratch on the corner of their house, the water tub, and the gate. So I don't know whether you can convert your stock to a new and better scratching post or not.
I think you have a great idea, and If they even use it once in a while thats just that much less wear on the fence. Tell you what Claire install a good post in cement and then wrap it with rope. If they don't use it let me know and I'll come over and use it. I'm always looking for good scratching posts. And my wife say's I'm quite the animal. Haystack
I agree with Hay on this one.. been trying to figure out the very same thing.. what to use.. we put a large tree trunk (about 6 foot tall) and wedged it upright so they could scratch.. they do use it occasionally.. BUT.. remember.. they have scent glands just behind their horns so it is possible it is an ownership thing as much if not more than a good scratch.
Now.. I have been thinking and will probably do before winter.. set a 4x4 and like Hay says.. wrap/glue sisal rope around it and see.. can't hurt and if they don't use it.. it would make one heck of a back scratcher.
My father in law uses these big tall green things that look like the rollers from the carwash for his cows. Not sure where to get them or what they are called but the cows sure like them. I have seen them in other pastures around too.
Although I am kinda partial to the rope and post thing. I like the way that might look.
Might work to set 3 posts in a triangle about 3 feet apart and wrap that in fencing of some sort. My goats like to rub along something. I think it would help (in getting them to use it anyway) to have a little length...
grow that sounds like a cool idea.. on one post you can mount a stiff garage broom, another wrap in sisal rope, and the third mount several of those cutsie shoe cleaners.. we have a hedgehog I believe.. ouwww.. I can feel the back scratch now.. and between the poles wrap with differnt wires..
DH just came by and said... what a cluster that would be.. LOL anything for the comfort of our livestock.
I was going to ask what the 'P' word was, but I figured it out (I remembered from a previous thread). One of my co-workers is from Georgia and is there now, I'm hoping she'll bring some back. After macadamia nuts, those whose name should not be spoken are my favorite.
You are all full of good ideas! I really must attempt this in several ways and see what works best. Fortunately, I was immune to Porkpal's use of the P word because I was at the Wisconsin Sheep and Fiber Festival since Thursday night, and I had plentiful slices of pecan pie!!!! Yes, all weekend long. I am satiated, for probably a week, maybe 10 days, you have a safe window of time to say the p-word. Pecan pecan pecan!!! See! I don't fall over in a puddle of drool.
Haystack - you crack me up as usual. When I get it all set up, I will invite you to be my test critter for scratching purposes.
Oh dear Haystack...you do have such a creative mind!! ;-)
I'm afraid that my "rescues" live in the barns and are fed hay and grain. I'm not sure that you'd really enjoy being a rescue here! Your stomach might have something to say about all that chewy alfalfa and grass. Not to mention the whole feed corn kernels. I doubt you have a rumen!!
Oclaire cookies? Now those I am not familiar with.
Chocolate eclairs on the other hand, I am very familiar with, although I should not be, because they are highly calorific and best avoided by will power-less ladies like me.