how do you avoid not pushing back?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Faithful Heart, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Bucks, being bucks, like to push with their heads.... right? Well my little baby buck just started doing that with me today, and I'm trying to think of how to avoid this becoming a problem. Right now he's short, and only weighs I guess 30 pounds or so. But he won't be little for long.

    He was feeling rather playful and frisky, and start coming at me, head down, to do the head butting thing. So.... natural thing for me to do is put my hands out to "protect" myself. His head hits my hands.... he pushes.... I hold/push back.

    I'm really not wanting this to become a game, (which he seemed to think it was) and I know it should not be encouraged. But how do you avoid it??? Do I just NOT put my hands out, let him hit me in the leg, and ignore it? That doesn't seem like a good answer.

    Please don't just give me the answer of - "you really shouldn't spend so much time with him, he's a goat, a MALE goat, and can become dangerous". I know there has to be a way to keep him tame & workable so I can always use a lead on him. Heck, there are lots of people out there that SHOW male goats, keeping them tame but safe. How do they do it?

    At this point... I'm guessing... that since I'm his only playmate he naturally sees me as fair game - as if I was a goat. Would getting him a doe change all that? Where he would be "goaty" with her, but respect me as a different species and "master"?? :shrug: Do I raise him like other pets and teach him the word NO? Maybe popping his little nose when he head butts me or does other things I don't want him getting used to? Or carrying a spray bottle with me for discipline? I'm trying to train him to some degree with him trying to stand up on me. I use my knee in his chest like I would a dog that jumps up. But he hasn't caught on yet. He still tries, and as I persist, he gets mad and tries to punish me with a slam to the side of my leg with the side of his neck/head. Quite the cute brat at the moment, but I know won't be when he grows.

    I WANT to be near him. And I believe it's very important to keep him workable, and able to be walked on a lead line. But how do I teach him to respect me and not think he can play with me like he would another goat?

    :help:
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Water gun. Carry a loaded water gun with you. As soon as he starts to butt you, he gets squirted in the face. Goats hate water, so this works like a charm. He'll jump back and shake a bit, then start doing something else.

    One of my goats will come up and press her head into me as sort of a cuddle. I allow that. It's the actual rearing up and butting I will absolutely not let them do with me. The thought of a 250# goat crashing into me just gives me the willies. I like my ribs right where they are, they really don't need to be rearranged.
     

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Oh, another thing I do is string a basket ball or something similar on a rope and use that to play with the goats. They can butt the ball, and I'll swing the ball at them. They're smart enough to know that the ball is fair game, I am not. One of my goats actually plays soccer with me - it's really fun.
     
  4. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    water gun, spray bottle, water hose, or if he were REALLY big and nasty like one of my Boer bucks were get a low voltage cattle prod, but thats only as a last resort
    the water works great on most all goats its just not always handy
     
  5. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Or you can hang an old tire from a tree too. They'll play with that, attack it like an enemy, lol.

    What I do to combat butting is when it pushes against my leg, I pull an ear aggressively to the side. I do NOT use my hands to deflect the goat. If a goat is reared up at me and comes down like it's gonna actually SLAM me (not faking it) then I kick at it. If a goat is walking up to you and butts you/pushes on you somewhat gently without charging you and whatnot, this is when I pull the ear.

    I don't like using the squirtbottle because it teaches them to be afraid of me, nto afraid of butting, IMHO.
     
  6. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I usually have my hands too full for a water pistol, so I try to rely on goat language. If a goat is annoying me with bodily contact I'll "bite" its ear, by pinching. If a goat decides to butt me, I'll butt it back a little harder (by kicking it with the side of my foot, like a soccer ball, sidestepping first if necessary to get the proper angle. I generally try to hit the rib area, and if the goat persists, I will do it several times, until the goat is running away from me. Then I'll chase it a small distance. This establishes my dominance, and so far, adult goats have not challenged me. I never play with bucks. Scratch and pet them, yes, but I never play with them.
     
  7. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    Giving toys is good, but he still has to learn to respect you. A water gun or air horn works great.
     
  8. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    I will pinch their nose or grab their ear and give it a twist (in my case as I have La Manchas I have to resort to pinching their nubin ears). My boys have all been real gentlemen but once and a while they will get a little burr up their butt and decide they want to "play". On the rearing what I do is knee them real hard when the come up or smack their nose real hard (it smarts something fierce). I had my two year old do that to me a week or so ago as I had grain and was keeping out of reach as to get to the feeder. He decided to use me as a ladder of sorts to get to it. He got a quick knee in the chest and a smack on the nose. Hasn't done it since.

    MotherClucker
     
  9. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is he your only goat, or do you plan to use him as a herd sire? If you don't have other goats and he's there as a pet or weed eater, I suggest you wether him. Bucks do not make good pets. Does and wethers do. Having another goat in with a buck does not stop agressive behavior. I have three adult bucks and a few baby bucks. The oldest buck can be very aggressive, even in a pen full of goats. When he's in rut, I cannot turn my back on him if he's in his pen. I take him by the collar and tie him to the fence when I need to work in the buck pen. This all started with him pushing into my hand or leg as a kid, which I wouldn't allow him to do. He will be sold this year in spite of dynamite bloodlines. If I can't find someone willing to deal with him as a herd sire, he'll go for meat.
     
  10. Egypt Run

    Egypt Run Active Member

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    First he needs a goat friend. Goats are by their nature herd animals. One goat is trouble, Two are fine, Three is a herd. Second I use a water spray bottle or flick them on the nose.
     
  11. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    I also use goat language - I "snort" (blow a raspberry) at them, and stamp my foot. They usually stop and look at me in surprise, and usually don't try it again. :) Sometimes I have to do it twice.
     
  12. littledoe

    littledoe Well-Known Member

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    You know, he will probably quit doing this if you find him a friend. I have several bucks, but they do this to one another...not me. You could just look into getting him a wether friend or something. Goats like to establish herd heirarchy on a daily basis. He probably just needs a buddy. :)

    It is true that his nature could and may change during rut as he gets older, but you won't know until he gets there. Individual bucks can be as different as night and day. I have a little pygmy buck who has been just a sweetie. Then one of the girls came into estrus early. Yikes. He was trying to ram me from behind and all kinds of nasty little tricks. I still go in and rub my stinky little man, I just have to keep an eye on him. He's fine now that no one is in estrus.
    I still love 'em anyway.

    Malissa
     
  13. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    This is crazy.... but I wrote out a post last night in reply to everyone.... and it's not here! I must not have submitted it. Darn.

    Well anyway.... I can't remember everything I'd written. :rolleyes: I want to thank everyone for all the ideas and suggestions. They're fantastic. I will be getting him a mate, just as soon as I can find one around here. I've got a few leads, just waiting to hear back from some of these people. I could get one at the auction this saturday.... if there appears to be a decent one. I'm not real hip on that idea though. I got to thinking about the auction animals, and typically the one's that end up there have problems - that's why there at the auction, last option. Especially when it comes to goats. Everyone knows that there's a guy that comes regular to buy up lots of goats for slaughter. If I had a nice, healthy doe, that was just right for breeding, I sure wouldn't want it to be going off to slaughter. But the ones that have persistant mastitis, terrible teats, abort often, or bite I'm sure are easy to get ahold of at the auction. Not so easy to see those problems by just looking the goat over.

    But thanks again. I'll be trying out your tips today!!
     
  14. midkiffsjoy

    midkiffsjoy Bedias, Texas

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    PLEASE dont do what my neighbor Bob (not on this list) does. He keeps bucks for pet weedeaters and then after he had a couple of bucks, got TWO does and put them all in the same pasture. The bucks wound up killing the does while fighting over them. Most of the time, bucks and does are kept seperate, and a buck's best friend is a wether. Bucks kept with does will become territorial and when you least expect it, do damage.


    btw....If you get attacked by a buck and you kick it (gotta be the alpha or he will) DONT kick it in the head!!!! He wont feel it and it wont stop him.

    One day Chris (then 3) was in the pen with me and the buck decided to go on his hind legs and ram the baby. Mommy's insinct kicked in and I kick that buck just as hard as I could......and broke my foot. Only slowed him down long enough for me to toss Chris over the fence, and then I had to scream for help and I limped backwards towards the gate. Boy do I STILL feel stupid everytime I try to pull my boot on over that foot that will NEVER be right again. (Doc told me it wasnt broek nand refused to treat it). MAN do water hoses with those 8 combination jets spray heads work WONDERS!!!!! He's been after the DH lately. Think I'll get him a super soaker. grin. (cause sometimes pens are just too far from the house for a hose to BE high pressured!) giggle.
     
  15. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    I keep my bucks together when they are not breeding.They are friendly and loving and want to rub their stink on me .They seem to reserve the play for each other.I have used the water gun a time or two just to keep from getting stinky and it works..Not agressive twards me so far.I think having goat company helps..
     
  16. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Having never had goats, I try to imagine all parts of what a year would be like - through breeding, dealing with different age goats, pasture rotation, and what ever else may come up or need to be done. We do plan to have 3 seperate fenced areas - for rotation, or to keep dairy and meat seperate, or for raising wethers and young does, or maybe to seperate out the two bucks away from all the girls. I don't plan to have both buck run together with does in heat. I'll have one meat breed buck, and one dairy breed buck. I only planned to have them together if all the girls are bred already, or the two boys will stay in a pen/small pasture away from the girls.

    Will the boys still be a problem together when there are no does (that they can reach) in heat?
     
  17. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    My bucks stay together in one pen when they are not breeding.They seem to enjoy the company.They can see the does but so far have not been aggressive twards me or each other.They head butt some but it never lasts long.
     
  18. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Things are going good for him and I. :)

    He hasn't been trying the push/play stuff, but I don't exactly encourage his affections. I take him out on a horse lunge line twice a day (usually), and I either will tie him and stay just at the edge of his reach or I'll hold the line in my hand. Either way works fine, and he's gotten to where he's not so needy. Hardly even fusses when I put him back in his pen and walk away.

    [​IMG]

    I think he's quite an "emotionally balanced" little boy.... :p ...... confident, yet loving. Only time he throws a hissy fit is first thing in the morning when I get home from work and he's quite ready to be fed NOW. The routine is that he gets tied with a short chain to a post..... I then prepare his food.... he has to stay there until I finish feeding all the chickens & get cut some browse for him that I put in a milk crate. He tolerates it very well. Once I bring him his browse I'll unchain him and go inside for coffee. After awhile I go out to take him out on the lead line with a big cup of coffee. I had started being careful about how much closeness he got from me - such as the scratching and petting. He's not begging for attention, but will at times come over and "touch" me (resting his butt on my foot while he eats, or a mild face rub on my knee). These are like little hellos - not overly desperate. We stay out there for an hour or more, and then he goes back in the pen with more freshly cut browse if he'd finished what he'd been given before. Basiclly the same routine in the evening, except we'll only stay out in the grass for 30 minutes or so.

    So far it's working quite well - for both of us. I really WANT to be near him, so I'm grateful for his passing rubs as he nibbles. But at the same time he's not demanding major attention, and I'm not giving it so that he doesn't get to used to being scratched and rubbed all the time.

    A very relaxed, casual relationship. :rolleyes: See his smile? LOL

    [​IMG]

    Actually in all the pictures I have of him he looks like he's smiling. So I'm guessing all goats look like that and hold their mouths that way. Sure is cute though.

    But on Thursday I get to pamper and spoil my new little doe! :banana02: Woo Hoo! :dance: Can't WAIT!!
     
  19. simplewannabe

    simplewannabe Member

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    Oh! He is so cute! Hey, I've noticed most goats look like they're smiling.. I agree, it's pretty cute.

    Good luck with your new doe! I'm envious. :)

    Kay
     
  20. Va. goatman

    Va. goatman Well-Known Member

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    I have a very strong 200 # buck About a year ago he acted up.I took him by the horns and pushed his face in the dirt and held it there. Now he knows who the boss is and hes still lets me pet him. He also first to the gate when I have treats for the heard