How to "friendly up" new goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by MillsFarmFamily, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. MillsFarmFamily

    MillsFarmFamily Well-Known Member

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    We had 2 goats that loved us dearly :eek: They run up to us as soon as we go out to the field and follow us everywhere. Then we purchased 2 new goats. They won't have anything to do with us. When we go out our 2 original goats are "swarming" around us and we can't even get close to the new goats. I've tried everything I could think of: hand feeding, raisins, bread, etc, but nothing has worked so far. These 2 new goats won't eat any of the treats I give them. One of them will finally take bread from me if she can get it before the other 2. But one of tne new goats will NOT take any treats, she gets close, sniffs them, and has even put them in her mouth and spit them out. Does anyone have any ideas of how we can get these 2 newbies to warm up to us?
     
  2. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    How old are the newbies and how long have you had them? I've had a couple kids take up to a year to "friendly up" but they became as affectionate as the others. I always start at night. When the problem goat is settled down in its stall (it's always good to have them confined to a small area) I sit down next to them for awhile. Then I slowly touch them and keep it up depending on how much they will stand. Even if it's only momentary at first and they move away. At other times I try to touch them as much as possible when they are distracted by eating. The more they get used to your feel the more comfortable they get. Now they may never be affectionate, but hopefully they will learn to tolerate some petting.
     

  3. ilikefathorses

    ilikefathorses My Horse Really Is Fat

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    I think in this case, the best remedy is probably prevention (not that this is a disease, it's just a figure of speech). If you get your goats (a.) either before they are weaned (b.) after making absolutely positive that your goats were bottle-fed. Bottle-fed babies tend to be friendlier because they have to depend on people for food. If you can't, then just spend as much time as possible with your goats. They'll come around once they get used to you.
     
  4. barbieny2

    barbieny2 Active Member

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    Honeoye NY
    We purchased 2 mother goats, an Alpine and a Saanan, last March. With them came 4 kids and we also acquired an extra kid that I bottle fed. The mothers were 5 years old and excellent milkers. We originally just wanted to get a couple doe kids to be able to have our own milk and we felt EXTRA lucky being able to take not only the doe kids but the moms too so we could have milk immediately. We purchased the goats from a dairy goat farmer who was in his 80's with heart problems and we felt soooo blessed!!!! To make the transition easy for the herd we copied the farmers milking stand exactly and kept using the same grain and hay that this farmer used. Then all hell broke loose!!!!! The mothers just did not like us. I am an experienced hand milker and could I get either of those mothers to milk for me?....NO!!!! They would bit me, head butt me, kick me, etc..... We tried and tried to make these miserable mothers happy but they were NOT!!! The 5 kids are just so sweet and loveable but the mothers did not like any of us at all. They would come to us to get treats and then they would run away or they would head butt me. The final straw was when I was sitting on the ground under a tree in our pasture reading a book and enjoying a nice Fall day. Angelica, the Alpine mother, came over to me and was sniffing me, I reached up and touched her and she proceeded to grab me by the back of my head and pull my pony tail. Once she caught me off guard like that she next head butted me in the face. I saw stars and was eventually overjoyed when i stopped seeing stars to find out that my glasses, nose and teeth were NOT broken!!! At that point I realized that this was a lost cause with these 2 mothers. We had had them for 6 months at that point and they were not getting any more friendly to us. I found another dairy farmer who happened to be male like their original owner, (I am female) and the 2 mothers went happily upon their way with him. I think the problem was that i am a woman and they were use to a male handling them. I still see them and they are interested in being petted but they are much happier with a man. I will never buy an adult dairy again. Good luck to you and I hope that your goats do not get mean :sing:
     
  5. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Three points:

    1. I was given two abused goats, a doe and her older doeling. They were mortified of people. After a year, they are not quite as tame as my other goats, but doing VERY well. I simply treated them well. They finally started trusting the fact that I wasn't going to hurt them. It took a very long time, consistant care and no funny business like children messing with them (my kids are grown and gone from home). They now allow me to pet them a bit and trim their hooves without too much trauma but will never be as tame as the others. They are sooo much better though. One will take treat now, the younger one will not. They are a Nubian and her Boer cross daughter. The Boer had a daughter (by a Boer) this spring and she is as tame as can be. The Nubian had twins (by a LaMancha) this spring and they are as tame as can be also.

    2. Kids do not have to be bottled-fed to be tame. My goats are not bottle-fed and are as tame as can be. I bond with them when they are newborns and they are as tame as puppies. It may be the breed (LaManchas) I don't know....hum...my Boers are tame too....maybe I have too much time on my hands. But my goats are just wonderful and I have never had wild or shy or problem goats (except for the abused goats mentioned above).

    3. Two of the BEST goats I ever got were from a working dairy. They are of wonderful temperment, do not even need a restaint of any kind to be milked and I would not take double what i paid for them. I don't have a regular milkstand. I just have them hop up on a platform and they start eating their feed. No "head-holder", not rope tieing them, no one helping me, they just hop up and squat over the bucket and volunteer to be milked. I am so thrilled with these two does I could go on and on. They are LaManchas. I have had horrible, hideous milkers in the past that would dang near kill me. I would take three people to milk them. They were Nubians and Nubian/Alpines. It very well may have nothing to do with the breed, but the actions of the previous owners. However, I will stick with what i got. The daughters of the goats I have now are not bottle-fed and are VERY tame and will "play-squat" over an imaginary bucket if you massage their tiny little udders as if you are milking them. I will be breeding them this month. I do imagine I will need a milk stand to train these little doelings though, but it won't take much...Diane
     
  6. Rachel K.

    Rachel K. Well-Known Member

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    Dyersville, Iowa
    Its going to take time. Some Goats are really friendly, some Goats just need to warm up to you, and some goats need TLC before they will trust you. When I got my first two goats it took time before they trusted me. My young Doe I was able to gain trust from almost right from the start. As for my young Wether that was a diffrent story. Before I got him he had been wethered and disbudded and so he was very scared of people and didn't trust them. It took well over a week before I could get close enough to touch him. He would also jump backwards away from me. It took at least a month before I could walk up to him and pet him. Now he is so friendly that he will down by me when I sit down in the pasture. He always wants attention or treats.

    Don't give up and just give them time. Sit in their cage and talk to them. Or just sit and watch them. Soon they will get used to you. Then go on to trying to gently pet them.
     
  7. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Like most everyone else said, it just takes time. Try to get the newbies in their own pen, and then take a chair in and sit with them. Hold some treats in your lap and praise them when they come up to sniff at them or nibble. The way I tame my new goats down (all dam raised) is by giving them treats only out of my hand. There's plenty of hay left out for them, but if they want sunflower seeds or grain that only comes out of my hand. Once they're eating out of my outstretched hand, I start touching them while they nibble - very softly and slowly so I don't panic them. Then I start touching them when they come up to see if I might have any treats. Always talking very softly and moving very slowly - unless they're being naughty, then they get the "I am the head goat and I demand respect!" treatment.
     
  8. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    When I first got my two Nigerian Dwarfs (twin sisters) in May, they were both pretty skittish. Now the more dominant doe will tolerate petting and handling, although she doesn't usually seek it out. The other one is still very skittish, at the most, she will eat sunflower seeds out of my hand - if one of the other goats doesn't push her out of the way. We got a bottle-fed baby Alpine in the summer, she is fearless and quite demanding, then a few weeks later we got the Nubian cross. She was dam-raised and the breeder said he had to sneak up on her at feeding time to stroke her. She has become the biggest pet - again, as long as no one else is bullying her. The Saanen is a two-year old, had been milked by a man. She is incredibly laid-back and calm about everything. It took a few days to get used to us, but now she is very affectionate too. The Nigerian Dwarf babies were dam-raised but I always handled them, so they're not shy and will come right up for attention.

    Don't know if the skittish Nigie will ever settle down - I think it's just her nature. :( Funny thing, though, she makes a lot less fuss about hoof-trimming than her sister - I'm surprised the neighbours don't call the SPCA :eek:
     
  9. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The skittish goat is why we sold out our Fainters. One of the first two adult does we bought was the queen and scared of people, but would take treats. THe other was just a follower, and if she wasn't constantly stiff, would have been hard to catch. When they had kids this past January, the queen made all the babies terrified of people by 2 days old. I could only catch them by fainting them. Bye Bye goaties. That was the most disappoint baby animals I've ever had. None of those stayed. We kept our few tame yearling doelings, and drove 9 hours to buy some new stock. Well, I thought the first ones were wild! nope, these were wild!! I bought Three only, one was young and she got managable at least w/in 2 months, but the yearling ran and jumped like an antelope and never fainted, took us 3 hours to catch her in a 3 acre field one day, the third was an adult bottle baby, so loved people. We then had pneumonia go thru June and take our only friendly fainter does, we sold the rest and kept our loveable boer does and buck.

    We are now sold out of boers, due to different reasons, and going Nigerian Dwarf and mini-lamancha. Our 2 lamancha does are the biggest sweethearts in the world! It's the breed in general, but they are bottle babies too. The nigerians are nice too, even our 3 year old buck that we've only had a week is a good boy, easy to hand breed, and non aggressive.
     
  10. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Skittish goats were usually dam raised. Most of my dam raised goats get friendly real quick once they have had kids, because I put them on the milk stand. Even if they are Boer goats, I will bring them in, trim their hooves and check them over when they kid. While I have them on the stand, I talk to them and pet them. Andromeda, a dam raised Nubian was really wild til I took her to a show and sold her kid. Between being led around the show ring and having to be milked twice a day, she is now very friendly.
     
  11. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    I would separate the two and hand feed them grain. Start by putting a pan down, then eating from the pan and touching them. They will pull away but also come back for the grain. Then more and more until they look forward to seeing you. Food...a great motivator.
     
  12. Rachel K.

    Rachel K. Well-Known Member

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    Dyersville, Iowa
    My two Goats were dam raised and they are very, very friendly. They love me to pet them and if I sit down while out in the pasture with them they will come over and lay down next to me. I can even take walks with them and they follow along behind (not on a lead).
     
  13. michael1

    michael1 Well-Known Member

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    Texas
    It took a long time for my goats to get used to me. I bought my farm in September of last year. At the closing there was a minor tax issue with the sellers and my wife asked for some goats rather than fiddling with the money later in the year. They were happy to give us 3 full blood boers, a young billy and 2 nannys. Every day I would take the feed bucket - the same feed bucket the old owners used - and go to the goat barn and put the feed in the feeders. The goats wouldn't follow me for a couple of weeks. Then they would stand outside until I left. Eventually they began following me whenever i had the bucket. Once they'd enter the goat barn with me I'd dump the food in the feeders and then stroke their backs while they ate. At first they'd lunge away from me at top speed. After a few weeks of this every day they got used to it. Now, after more than a year they come running to me when I got out in the barn yard, usually bellowing for my attention. They come up when I'm working and tug at my clothes until I pet them.
    We bought some new goats in July and I started the process all over. During the feeding frenzy in the goat barn I try to touch as many of the new ones as I can in the mornings. Some are warming up already and come over to be petted. A few are still stand offish but less so.