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11 day old bottle babies where to start training?

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Old 04-27-2017, 05:52 AM   #1
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Default 11 day old bottle babies where to start training?

We just got two 11 days old bottle babies only had them for 4 days now. Wondering what all we need to do to start training them for pack goats. I know their to young for any real training for hiking with a saddle that will start around 6 months old, but is there anything we can do to get them use to certain stuff. Kinda get a jump start on desensitized on stuff like dogs, bikes, cars. They are brother and sister. Kiko breed. Past couple of days we've been walking them around they yard for a few mins everyday as long as it's not raining. The male does pretty good but the female wants to wander some, mainly to the flower bed. Sometimes even showing her the bottle won't get her out of it. I end up having to pick her up. I put a dog harness on the buck today just to have some kind of leash on him while dealing with his sister, just in case he decided to run crazy lol. Most of the time he is stuck to me like glue, he walks either right behind or tries to be between my legs, trying to break the bad habit of between my legs. Is there any thing we need to start doing with them now to get them use to stuff? We are completely new to training any goats. Any tips on training older goats ( mama and two 6 month old kids) to a halter would be greatly appreciated too.

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Old 04-27-2017, 07:39 AM   #2
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Default Leash training

Hi and congratulations on your new babies!! You are right they are very young. Good to get them used to sights and sounds, but take it easy and go slow so they don't stress out.

I would start with daily leash-training sessions, no more than 5 minutes at a time. (You can gradually add to this, but I would do it by adding more sessions in a day, rather than making the sessions longer.) I just started this with our almost 2-month-olds.

Get a little dog or cat collar and a leash or string maybe 5 feet long. Make sure the collar is tight enough not to slip over their heads when they balk, but also not too tight to be pressing into the flesh. Give them time to get used to their new gear (mouthing the string is not a big deal; they are babies and that's how they explore their world).

Then you can just walk along slowly, holding the leash. They will be distracted and that's normal. Praise them when they come with you and put slack in the line. They will get the idea that pulling back is pointless and that they are most comfortable when they follow the gentle pull of the collar and stick close to you. If they run out in front of you they will also figure out that it isn't comfortable. You don't have to pull on the leash at all. Just hold it steady as you walk (or stand still) and they will train themselves! :'-)

You could do the same thing with a little halter/headstall if you prefer. Collars are easier to put on and off for most people, but eventually you may want to get them used to both. It all depends how you plan to outfit them when you are packing... and I am not an expert in that! You might look for a good book on pack goats and goat training?

Please don't leave a collar on unless supervised, because you don't want it to get caught up on anything and choke them. It can damage their trachea. I know some people leave collars on their animals all the time, but I'm personally not a fan of doing this for any livestock for safety reasons.

The baby who goes between your legs will learn that it's not a great place to be. Give him time to figure it out.

In general, I would just take it easy and let them enjoy a little leash time. You will notice a definite improvement as the days go by.

Lisanne in W. OR, with Gerta and Peaches (2-month-old Boer X)

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Old 04-28-2017, 02:43 AM   #3
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Thank you. Ill pick up some collars tomorrow. We're actually heading back to the same breeder tomorrow to pick up two more bottle babies that were born this morning. So now we're really gonna have our work cut out for us lol. We've been blessed to be able to grow our herd so quickly.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:05 AM   #4
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Right now just love them. Let them play with you, climb on you, chew your hair, and cuddle in your lap. We like to bring ours in to watch movies with us at night until they get too big. I don't really start training our kids until they get too big to pick up. Once they hit about 25 lbs. (usually at around 1 month old), and I can no longer carry them easily, I start using collars. This is also about the time I start discouraging some of the rowdier behaviors. I never let kids butt me even when tiny, but as they start to grow I stop letting them jump their feet on me, climb in my lap uninvited, or chew my hair and clothes. If you ever have a herd, you'll notice that mamas and even other adult goats are fairly tolerant of rowdy behavior when kids are very young, but as they get to be 4-6 weeks old, everyone starts becoming more strict with them. I like to take a cue from the adult goats and do things a similar way.

For collar training I usually start out by tying the kids to the fence with supervision for a short while each day before I begin leading them. That way they get used to the collar without me having to tug on them. This is not necessary--it's just convenient for me because I can milk mamas without kids interfering!.

I don't usually halter train mine until they are around 4 months old. That's about when my smallest halters start to fit. I take them lots of places with me as they get older. I don't usually take little babies very far because their immune systems are not so strong, but once they are 2-3 months old we start hiking with them.

They're so much fun! You're going to have a great time.
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