Tips needed for protecting my plants from animals like cows and goats.
You will have some difficulty (at least from goats). There are a few solutions I'm aware of -
- Kill the goat(s) - Its the only way to be sure.
- Put goats on a chain or in a run (arguably more cruel then (1) above.
- Build a fence.
For me, 3 was the only realistic option - actually we had a fence, but the goats kept on walking through it as if it wasn't there. Assuming your goats are not jumpers you will need something at least 1.2 meters high, and with fencing wire no more then 30cm apart at the top, and much closer (and taught) at the bottom. If your goats are jumpers, you may need to add an electric fence. (Note the fence pic below is suitable for content adult goats - when they were small, our goats would have gotten through this easily - they just could not be bothered as there were no people to play with on the other side)
A technique which helped us A LOT was to build lightweight yokes (3 pieces of wood, each about 50cm long, shaped in an overlapping triangle attached to the goats necks - this made it a lot harder for them to evade the fences) - See below. You need to make sure the wood is fairly strong initially, as they will break it otherwise - or maybe a different design - this is just something we came up with based on a loose description from an aquaintance, it helped a lot.
I have little expertise with cows, but I understand they are a lot easier to contain - our neighbour runs cows onto our land and simply uses an electric wire. If you do build a [non-electrified] fence, it will need pretty sturdy poles in case the cows lean on it. Cows are not interested in escaping like goats though.