goats and kids (the two legged kind) question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Lizza, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My 10 yr old got a wether for a present 3 years ago. He was cute and cuddly and she spent lots of time with him (not a botttle baby, he had his mom). Fast forward 3 years and he is 200 or 250 pounds and still wants to play with my daughter. My oldest daughter (13yrs old) usually does all the goat chores and handles the wether fine. My 10yr old though is now old enough to start helping out in the goat barn (and will start 4H this year) and the wether very much remembers his play mate. He doesn't want to hurt her but "play" with her like he does the other goats. My 10yr old is very scared of him now because of it (rightly so, he could hurt her with his "play"). He is the friendliest goat we have and we did use to let him out all the time to play with the kids (the two legged kids) when he was smaller.

    We are getting a buck next month and were thinking about putting him in with the buck to give the buck company (I'm not sure how the wether will feel about this because his mom and sister and the place that's always been home will be close enough to yearn for). That will put him out of the dairy goat field and barns and my daughter can then go in but again I'm not sure how the wether will do being displaced like that (we are building 8 ft high cattle fences though for the buck pen, it hopefully will be hard to get out of).

    If he stays, what can we do? He doesn't "butt" or anything but is very frisky (backs up jumping, hops like a bunny after her, twisting side ways in his joy when she's in there, today she climbed a tree stump and he tried to pull her down by her skirt with his teeth to come down). Should we arm her somehow or should someone just always be with her when she has to go get one of the dairy goats? She only weighs about 75-80 pounds.

    Thank You!!
     
  2. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    A spray bottle and a firm no might work. Also a smart smack on the nose that will smart works wonders also (ask me how I know :rolleyes: ). I have two 3 year old nubian wethers who are not huge but are pretty danged big. They are real gentle like and don't do any nonsence but if/when they do they get a firm no and a smack on the nose.

    He needs to learn how to be careful and relize he IS a big critter and she isn't. I would stay with your daughter or have somebody with her when around him until he respects your daugher more. She needs to be able to show him SHE is the ring leader not him. Right now he views her as a playmate and will treat her as such. All my does and kids can play with me and climb in my lap BUT if I say enough it is ENOUGH or if they do something that I don't like that is enough.

    It think it is fine if he hops around as long as he is aware and is carefull. They can do it just need to teach him how I guess. If he does anything like pulling the skirt or anything like similer a firm smack on the rump or nose and a loud but firm NO would work. It is hard when you have such a big animal like that doing things like a little kid would. Best of luck with what ever you decide!

    MotherClucker
     

  3. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would put him in with the buck and just let him get used to it. I would not risk having him in a pen that your daughter has to go through. In my opinion that is dangerous behavior given his size now.
    mary
     
  4. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks ladies! She doesn't go in by herself, I certainly know it is dangerous. Maybe I'll walk her out there with a squirt bottle in hand. Problem is she is so much smaller then he is, plus she was his playmate. He doesn't do it to anybody else, only her. We really do want to move him over with the buck, since the buck will be lonely and he is our only wether. It's just that his mom and sister that he's lived with his whole life will be right up the hill. Hopefully our new buck pen will keep him in.

    Thanks again :)
     
  5. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I don't know goats but do know other companion animals. IME they just need feedback to tell them when they are overstepping in play. The squirt or the nose swat or just bleating out the way another, distressed goat would might do the trick. I know for cats and dogs if they play to hard, a yelp similar to what one of their own would make for too hard a play, followed by leaving abruptly, generally teaches them within only a couple of instances, what is too hard.
     
  6. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Oh. I think a critical part of that is cutting the play session short.
     
  7. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Morningstar, try going over to the packgoat list -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/packgoat/ -- and explain the situation. They deal with large wethers all the time, and while I think they will repeat the spray bottle suggestion, they may have other counsel as well.

    By the way, I don't know if your wether is working for his keep, but he certainly could. It's not hard to build packsaddles, and as big as he is, with some training, he could even carry a small child. But get him under control first.

    Your buck will like to have company, but be aware that he will 'use' your wether, and make him smell like a buck, also -- if you decide to put the wether to work packing or carting, you might rather not have him stinking like a buck. And, if your new buck is a baby, you'll want to be careful about putting them together, also, because the big wether will be the boss (at least until the young buck grows enough to take him down), and could hurt the youngster.

    I have three goat pens -- two buck pens, which have only one cattle panel separating them, and the doe pen, which is about six feet away from the buck pens but in plain sight. Whenever one of the goats gets moved between the doe pen and the buck pens, it cries for several days just as bad as if it had been moved to a new farm! It doesn't seem to make any difference that they can still see their buddies, they can't touch them, and they don't like it! So I would expect some distress if you do move the wether to another pen.

    Also, have you tried turning the wether upside down and sitting on him -- and have your daughter help? I have to do that to my bucks periodically, and have done it to one or two of the does, also. They don't do the rearing up and challenging thing anymore for quite a while after that.

    Kathleen
     
  8. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No problems there, my 10yr old does not love her little goat anymore! :)

    She stays as far away from him as possible. We tried again yesterday to see if he had forgotten about her but no such luck.

     
  9. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    I'd arm her with a good squirt gun. It's a really good way to let a goat know that there's some new rules and that they are expected to follow them. Very useful any time any goat is infringing on your space - and a good way to keep them from getting pushy at dinner time, too.

    All it takes is a squirt or two right up the nose, and then just the sight of the squirt gun is enough. If you keep the squirt gun in a pocket, eventually just moving your hand toward your empty pocket will also work. :)

    Lynda
     
  10. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you so much Kathleen for the group link! I've already joined. My 13yr old would be very interested in training him. No, he certainly doesn't work for his keep. He's like a giant dog that sleeps on your couch and eats all your food (no he does't come inside, although he does try if he's roaming about). He really is a very friendly and our favorite goat because he is so personable. Besides his love for the 10yr old.

    Will he be abused by the buck do you think? The buck we are getting is only 6 months old and I hoped they would get along ok. I don't want him abused though. I suppose I can always move him back if need be. Do bucks just live alone or do they need another buck in there with them?

    I will try to turn him over and sit on him but he is a big guy. I give him his shots and my daughter does his hoof trimmings (older daughter) so in theory we could tip him over. We'll give it a try!

    Thank you again for all your help!
    ~Morning




     
  11. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I really do love the squirt gun idea!

    Frankly I could use it myself when I do the feeding. Our matron is very pushy and I have a hard time controlling a few of the more agressive ones. My older daughter does most of the goat chores and they listen to everything she says but when I go in there they try to run me down if it's me doing a feeding. We are in the process right now of doing a hitching post with leashes and individual bowls for everyone, so no one can steal the others food.




     
  12. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here's the offender and the offender with my 10yr old.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    I can't offer advise on the playing problem and hope it's quickly correctable.

    I just have to say what a nice goat. And your 10 year old is a country girl. I love it, but wonder how she snuck in my place and stole my boots! :p In my part of the world you don't see many 10 year olds that have rubber boots and know when to use them.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. They made me smile.
     
  14. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    One thing you might try is talking "goat" to him. When he does something you don't want - blow a raspberry at him, a short sharp "pfft", the same as another goat would, then stamp a foot at him. It should bring him up short.

    I have a Saanen doeling that kept jumping on me, so I used the knee in the chest routine, same as I would with a dog. She thought that was great fun and kept coming back for more. I then gave her the snort and stamp - and she stopped, backed up and looked at me. She then tried again to jump, so repeated the warning. It took a few tries but it did back her off.
     
  15. mygala

    mygala Member

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    If it's really play, the squirt gun idea should work, if he's trying to exert a little dominance over his old playmate (your daughter), he might be a lttle more persistent. They take that herd dominance stuff pretty seriously.

    There is a possbility that the buck and the whether will not get along. Are they both dehorned? The buck is definitely going to try the be the dominant one, and if the whether resists (which he certainly will), you'll just have to see how far they take it....
    The bucks I've had don't have much use for anything they can't dominate or breed (and not in that order).
     
  16. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you FlaGal, I love those boots myself :)

    Pookshollow: I will tell her about making that noise and stomping when she sprays him, thanks!

    Mygala: I am worried that him and the buckling won't get along. I'm not too sure who to put in the pen with him, I guess he can be alone but it seems like he will get awfully lonely and try to get out. I guess we can play it by ear and see how it goes. I think mostly he is just playing (he isn't a very dominent goat, pretty goofy actually) but I'm sure there is definetly some dominence stuff thrown in to his attitude to my daughter. The goats seem to play/fight pretty much every day. They have things all worked out but still seem to enjoy battling each other.