Help us bond

Discussion in 'Goats' started by shelljo, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. shelljo

    shelljo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With our two babies, I really want them to bond with we humans more. DS and I go out daily to pet, hold etc these little ones, but they are still pretty nervous around us.

    Momma feeds them, as I work full time, so bottle feeding has been out. They are 2 weeks today and are starting to nibble on grass. I could take out some feed, but Momma will be more interested in it than the babies. Anyone have any other ideas?
     
  2. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I don't bottle feed either. I sit in the pen with the goats several times a day and the kids get so curious they can't stand it. They have a pile of cinder blocks they play on and I sit on those. They come and and climb on the blocks and then tug my clothes and let me pet them, they now anticipate the fun of me sitting on "their" mountain. The main thing is not to chase them down, that will make them wild fast. Mine have definate different personalities also. Some seem naturally more tame. I am trying to breed for temperment and udders. I don't show so comformation is not an issue at this early stage of my breeding program. I will eventually cull wild acting goats in favour of tame born goats. This isolates certain genes that you can breed for in my opinion. That is how i selected between a pair of bucklings from which I now have for my dairy herd sire. I took the smaller but tamer of the two hoping the temperment would be an inherited trait. So far all my kids from him seem naturally tame but one. I am just working on a theory here. Someone on this forum also posted something about taking a handful of raisins out to the pen and using them to seduce the kids into tameness. I haven't tried it but it sounded like it was a good idea. I think talking sweetly and moving slowly are important. Good luck.
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    lots of treats...raisins...when they are more interested in food. Sit down at their level and let them be curious and climb on you pull hair etc...try to catch them nursing and pet them then. When their bellies are full scoop them up and pet them until they relax on you lap.

    BTW this comes under "Be careful what you wish for"

    once they bond they will want to sit with you all the time and they will follow you and cry out for you if they cant follow....big babies!
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Also, be very patient. It takes some kids awhile to come around, but most of them do eventually.

    I also use lots of treats. They only ever get treats out of my hand, though, treats don't get put in their regular feed bowl. That way they're not starving or anything. If they just want their breakfast, grass and alfalfa pellets are right there. If they want a raisin and some granola, though, they have to come up to me for that.

    At first they just get the treats, then when they're used to eating out of my hand I start giving them little scritches while they nibble. I don't restrain them, they can back off and away from me if they want to. After a couple of days most of them want the treats enough that they'll put up with me rubbing them. Then it gets hard to walk through the pen because of all the critters begging for attention.

    BTW, when the buggers are used to you touching them (and liking it, although they still have to put up a little fuss to uphold the goat image) start picking up their feet and handling udders and bellies and ears. If they're used to having you handle their feet, trimming the first time won't be such a shock (though they still won't like it). Ditto handling their udders, checking their ears for ticks, and even just feeling down their sides for lumps and whatnot.
     
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    jen has it on the head,
    a dam raised goat CAN be almost as tame as a bottle baby, if its played with and handled, and yes the 15 minutes a dyain the goat yard does pay off on the milking stand when they grow up , a more relaxed doe makes more milk , and if she likes you , and you her it makes the whole process that much nicer
    however eventually you will end up with something like this when you go into the pen
    [​IMG]
     
  6. shelljo

    shelljo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    had to laugh at the photo. These two babies make 6 goats. The other 4--Mom and 3 yearling sisters mug me as well. I've been trying to figure out how to spoil babies and not the "sisters", but will probably have to share the love, like I do now. Which will mean, share the treats...

    Sounds like I"m on the right track. Last night, we carried the little ones out to the pasture. Mom had left them, and they were crying. They were so cute running to mommy, after being cuddled, and hopefully calmed down.

    The doe seems more receptive than the little buck, but we'll keep working!

    BTW treats I've used are peanuts, raisens, dandilion leaves. Any others?
     
  7. windyhollowfarm

    windyhollowfarm Well-Known Member

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    Graham crackers (plain)
     
  8. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I separate my kids at night so I can milk the dams in the morning. I'll frequently just go into the pen with the kids and sit for 15 minutes or so. After a few days, even the shy ones start coming over to see what's up. Then pet them gently, give them goodies, and they're yours!
     
  9. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    while its terrible for her, one of our senior does , shes 8 we are waiting for her to kid out, and my hubby has found out that she likes york peppermint patties....
    not a reccomendation

    also , and this is a reccomendation , my goats lovecelestial seasonings used teaa bags .... this i discovered by accident when i brewed some hot tea on a day i was spending in the goat barn with a doe in labor, after she drank all my hot tea, she then ate the tea bag , i looked at the ingredients, and hey why not
    since im already done with them :D

    we feed bits of cedar branches
    they like wild onion grass (ramps) but they dont get much of that , makes bad flavored milk....
    BOSS are a great healthy treat for them ,the girls are like vacuums with just that
     
  10. sonielikeasong

    sonielikeasong New Member

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    I agree bethlaf...our baby bucks are raised by their mothers and are so affectionate to humans. Of course, we have a small herd and are able to spend alot of time with all our goats. The three baby bucks were born the last week in February and are so hand tamed and are nursing their mom. When we first acquired our goats, one of the year old does was very stand offish and we were told it was because she was not bottle fed...She really became easy to hand feed and became more affectionate to human touch after she gave birth in February...it was like she wanted us to give her as much attention as she was seeing given to her newborns....I think the real key is alot of time spent with your herd....it is not really the snacks that you offer that produce the bond but the patience and time you take in being around them. Ofcourse the snacks are a plus...but I'm convinced that it is time spent with them talking and petting and sprucing up their barnyard area....I feel that Sweet Rosy Rosinski became more friendly after kidding because we made a point to be around the newborns and ofcourse she was nursing and she learned to enjoy us and finally trusted us enough to let us handle her and hand feed her and such. So not only did we bond early with the newborns but also with this young stand off doe that we purchased in Sept 2004