It's amazing how fast they can consume an entire plant. And if they KNOW it's there, the minute they're out... they go right for it! In the time it takes for you to catch on, it's probably too late.
But I'm one determined gal.
Recently, after they ate my roses (a second time), I got smart and pulled out the Repels-All. I've used this on my roses in front of the house because the deer like to eat them at night, but I hadn't thought about using it to deter the goats. So I tested it on the goats by holding the spray bottle up to their nose. Oh, yeah... it's totally offensive to them!
Repels-All is a natural repellent made from like dried blood, putrid egg, garlic, cloves, fish oil, and other nasty smelling stuff. It's totally natural, safe, and considered organic so you don't have to worry about using it. And it won't matter anyway because they are NOT going to like it!
Repels-All is made by the same company (Bonide) that makes MoleMax, another must have gardening product that I use. I wouldn't be able to grow potatoes without it because gophers around here are as thick as flies! Both products repel rather than poison, and so I hope my purchase encourages companies like Bonide to work toward making more great items that work naturally to discourage garden pests.
Believe me when I say, you want to be upwind when you spray the Repels-All. And wear gloves or you'll be smelling it for hours afterwards. When you initially spray your plants (it's works on anything), you'll think it's way too nasty and you won't be able to enjoy your garden! Thankfully, after it dries, you really can't smell it, but the animals still can. Once it has had time to dry, it won't just wash off either. It lasts a LONG time before you have to reapply. I think I use it about 2-3 times all summer long and never have a deer issue with my roses (when I remember!).
And now, I don't have a goat issue.
Bring on the roses!