I can't break my goats of climbing all over me. The ND mama never does, but she is short, pg, and not very friendly...I didn't raise her and she is okay with me, but not affectionate.
My one black Alpine, Serafina, who is about 7 months old, is always all over me! She nibbles me, paws me, tugs me, pushes me with her head, nuzzles, gets jealous...her sister Chrysanthemum will sometimes jump on my back when I am peering over the kidding stall wall, but I think it is because she wants to see if I am giving them something she might want some of...
Esmerelda, the beautiful, graceful Nubian also does not jump on us. She is friendlier than the ND but not really affectionate as the Alpines---but she was already about 5 or 6 months when I bought her...
But the babies!!! My word! There is nothing like being mobbed by 12 baby goats that think they are puppies! I think they want to climb to our heads! They jump up and it's like they are aiming for your face!
I was trying to give them all their Sulmet. My son would pick one up and hold her in his arms and I would give that one the Sulmet drench. Meanwhile all the others were practically knocking us down, especially when they put their hooves on the backs of our knees. I was almost seasick by the time we were done, having to concentrate on a goat's moutht that is twisting all over trying to get away from the medicine while keeping our balance and correcting in every direction as we got pushed and jostled and shoved by the other babies.
When I bring in the milk bucket, they are waiting at the kidding stall gate. They pour out in a dense mob, rush past me maaaing away. Now, after all this time, you'ld think they'd remember that I am going IN the kidding stall with the bucket...after I wade through them they change direction and interfere with my ability to set up the bucket on its crate. Then there is the battle of making sure each one is hooked up to a nipple because they all grab from where they are and someone or two are always on the wrong side...and they get their heads twisted up because they latched on one that was on the other side of another baby...sometimes it looks like a game of Twister."
They're just so manic at milk time!
Mama mia! It's a good thing they are so cute, but I am a little worried---they are getting bigger---God help you if you squat! The (human) kids have actually had to be rescued, laughing and shrieking from the goat-pile that results from that!
I just went out to look in the window and check on them as it is soooo cold that I had to put the heater on again...they were all huddled up sleeping with their heads all over each others' backs...all the different colors, and the different sized and shaped ears...the little cuties...they sure are sweet when they are sleeping...
I wish I could get a picture of them like that but it would be impossible to sneak up on them...
My goats use to jump on me and push me a lot but I would either say NO NO or have to hold my knee up when they went to jump up on me. That stopped them. Mine now onlys trys to jump on me now when they are having a snack.
They go nuts over peanutbutter cracker and suckers.
Good Luck on breaking them!
Love all animals don't abuse them. I hope if caught abusing & animal I want to be first in line to kick your butt. I despise mean people & liars.
Bottle raised goats are much worse about this than dam raised ones.
What I do is to let them approach me in an open area, and then, when they are just about to jump up on me, I step back at the very moment when they would have made contact with me.
:goat looks confused and befuddled:
:goat tries jumping again, only to once more land on the ground abruptly:
The look on their face is priceless.....lol.
But I wouldn't try it in a crowded pen of hungry bottle babies. If there is any way you can feed them without walking in while they are frantic (such as pouring the mik into the bucket from over the side of the pen) it will reduce the formation of this bad habit.
Have you ever seen the way dam raised kids jump all over their dams? They'll actually stand on top of her while she's standing!! The does love and tolerate it, we do not. It wouldn't be nice to beat them off and frighten them (goats are naturally nervous and have memories like elephants) but if you can, try to avoid letting them get into the habit of treating you like a mama goat.
Chamoisee is right. Bottle babies think you are their mother. I love running around in my baby pen with the kids. I find that if I sit down, some will cuddle, but others will climb on me and bop me on the head with their little hooves. I love being with my babies, but sometimes enough is enough and I have to push them down same way I would do a puppy. I don't think there is really any way to keep from being rushed by them when you are carrying in their milk bucket. If you try and pour the milk into the bucket when it is already in place, it's usually next to impossible to get the lid on with the kids trying to climb in. Welcome to the world of baby goats. When I have to treat a baby with medicine, I generally take the baby out of the pen so I don't have to deal with the whole lot of them at once. My other option is that I have one of those large spools that electrical wire comes on in my baby pen and I sit on it and hold the kid I am treating. It's also a great place to put the bottle of medication when the babies are too small to reach the top of the spool. I have found that usually once the babies have grown and become mothers themselves, they no longer try to jump up on me. I never allow a goat to butt me in play. I wouldnt hit a kid or doe with a stick, but one of those "noodles" that they make to use in swimming pools is good to use on a doe that needs direction.
I usually just push the bigger ones down and say "DOWN!" But when we are running outdoors with the babies (we all love to jump up and run around cause all the babies sproing up and jump and twist and run wherever we do) the 2 Alpine teenagers get all excited and run too. Then they will also get on me because they get jealous when I pay attention to the babies...
And also when I am in the barn either talking over the kidding stall wall or trying to herd the babies IN while not letting any OUT or letting any big goats IN...then they jump on the door, my back, the wall next to me...they just HAVE to know what is going on!!!
I don't have the best setup to do things for one set of goats w/o the others coming around. I have to lock the big girls out completely when I go in to the babies with the bucket, hay and grain for them...we put the big girls' grain out in the pen and while they are playing musical buckets we lock them out and take care of the babies. Otherwise when the babies do the Charge of the Bucket Brigade thing, we could never get them into the kidding stall w/o the big girls coming in to steal their grain and be nosy with the heating lamps...
It's getting too cold again...that makes things harder too...
I think it is more humid in Vermont which is probably making your babies colder. In Montana, I don't have to use a heat lamp in my baby goat house, even in cold weather. I just make sure they have plenty of clean, dry straw to cuddle in. This makes my setup easier. My husband built a small shed from two by fours and plywood which has 3 1/2 sides to protect the babies from the wind. This is connected to a circle of cattle panels with an inner circle of hog panels to keep the babies from getting out, and a gate. The panels are attached to metal fence posts for support. When I don't have any small kids, I can then put a buck in there with a couple does during breeding season. I love having a separate pen when the babies come.
anyway, i use a sawed off mop handle, and just whack at them. not hard enough to do any damage, but hard enough to let them know i mean business.
it's the pecking order thing again, that is in every herd of animals i know about. you have to establish yourself as dominant leader so they'll mind you.
that's what goat herders used to do- make themselves "lead goat."
frankly, i'm afraid that letting them jump all over you and your children, you are setting yourself up for a dangerous situation when they are all older, bigger and stronger. a butting goat can hurt you. get control now, and they'll mind better when they are older.
Originally Posted by Jillis
Um, what part of the goats do you wield it on?
You really do need to try the squirt gun. Our don't even rush us at feeding time thanks to the squirt gun.
Recently, Sandy has been interfering with our calf's pulling training because she jealous that Connie is getting so much attention from my husband. All he had to do was show her the squirt gun and now that habit has come to an end.
They really hate getting wet, and they really respect the squirt gun.
sorry to butt in here, I have a nubian buck I raised from 5 wks old who is now 6 mos. old. I was pregnant when I bought him (he was as big a cat with long legs when I carried him home)and my last trimester he would try to maul me when i came to feed him. well I definatly couldnt risk that -period! and hubby works nights so I had to do the feeding. One day when I came up with his first flea & tick spray I noticed how he wiggled so much to get away because he did not like the spray bottle! So i bought another bottle and put water in it just to see if it may help me get in & out of his pen w/o his loving mauls. I t defineatly works and now I just leave a spray bottle by the gate (or now in winter by my back door) so it is handy whenever feed time comes around. mostly I squirt it in the air and that is enough for him to stay back w/o a fuss.
I recommend a squirt gun as well, but I have to say it won't always work. I have 2 wethered boys that love me sooo much they will brave the water to jump on me and one mama doe that will do anything for food come hell or squirt gun.
I think that the squirt gun would work well for you with so many babies because if one runs, they all might run. Do be careful, of even the little ones, I don't disbud mine and my DH almost had his eye put out by a jumping goat! I actually have a "goat jacket" for when they do jump on me because they always get poop on me!!! I hate that! Hope my neighbors can't hear what I yrll at them in the early am! LOL
"If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
i, too, use a stick, it only takes one gentle whack most of the time to get them to respect you. i've also used a hotshot when i kept a buck. after a shot with it, sticking a stick in the belt or waistband or carrying it in hand is sufficient-never have to use it...i had to hotshot about every 2 months....
Let a smile be your umbrella against the thunderstorms of life.
have a great day.
when i call on Jesus, all things are possible.
Yup...works like magic. I always said "NO" (in a firm school teacher voice) at the same time i sprayed them in the face (and only use water, not vinegar or any other liquid)
Now, i don't even need the squirt gun, the word "NO" instills the fear of getting wet into their hearts and stops them in their tracks. Getting wet is THE one thing I think goats hate the most (besides not getting fed on time or getting their usual treats LOL)
My goats are all trained to (and know the meaning of) different commands. "Get" means they better move away from 'my' space, "Out' means leave the barn immediately, "Let's Go" means we are going out to one of the pastures (and that's right where they head too) "Treat" means line up and wait your turn when i dole out crackers, and "Eat" means go stand by your own feeder for your grain ration. I don't have a 'trough', but rather sperate feeders for each goat so i know each one is getting their share and there is no fighting or a dominant goat butting smaller ones away and stealing their food.
For the most part, my goats are very well behaved, but they have their moments since goats will be goats and sometimes they'll act like they don't hear you (very much like spoiled human children). But they are very intelligent animals and with patience and some perseverance, you can train your goats to a variety of commands.
My two cents is any animal on my place will have good ground manners, they will not jump on people, butt or bite. And will not crowd. Someone is donating goats as a 4H project and I went to see them, Mother bites and butts and both one year old daughters have never been on a lead and one daughter loves trying to take out your knees. Had these animals been taught manners when young it would be much easyer to find them homes. All livestock on my farm are grained trained also, so in a emergency I can get my hands on them quickly. Goats are smart and learn quickly, any of the suggestions above will work, just be consistant.
as said before, it is the pecking order thing. you have to
establish that your the leader. squirt bottle or taps with a stick, but you are the boss,,,as we all know goats are and
can be a bit overwhleming. firm but not abusive.
Thanks everyone. I am very new at this and not really aware how much you can train goats or how to do it. I find this forum invaluable.
I know that I have taught my girls that if they crowd the gate thta I won't open it. So now they wait a little bit away. Also they don't try to get OUT the gate when I open ot from inside the pen. They also are fairly good at going into the barn at night when I lock them up. The 2 Alpines actually hate to go in for the night and will do a few little escape attempts but nothing serious anymore. When my 16 yo son tries to put them they run all over to get away from him. I think this is because they sense his impatience. He orders them in and then he'll grab their collars and be rough about putting them in. I told him if he is just quiet and patient he'd get them in a lot quicker, but frankly, he doesn't care to try.
I am going to work on leading them with the collar, and using the squirt gun to train them not to jump.
Like any indulgent parent, the cute factor was probably in effect too. But I need to think ahead, for sure. Someday I hope to have about 150 milking goats.