The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
BethM
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm new here and to goats. I've read up on basics but have much to learn. My questions for today are behavioral...

1) My four goats (Mom + babies) CROWD / HERD me (and only me), whether I have food for them or not. They do love me and miss me since I temporarily moved out and see them only 1-2x/week, though they have 24/7 human care). The babies learned this bad behavior -or maybe normal goat behavior -from their Mom. She body blocks me so I end up having to walk in a long squiggly line with many stops and redirects to bypass them and get where I'm going. "Move" and gentle pushes have limited effect -how surprising.

2) They love eating supplemental healthy treats (like carrot slices, stringbeans, cassava leaves) from my hand. I so enjoy hand feeding treats and would like to continue. As the babies grow, they exhibit slightly AGGRESSIVE behavior when it comes to vying for my attention and food. They play so sweetly and are all best and cuddly pals, but when I'm hand feeding (or sometimes even brushing) they PUSH/BUTT one another away. What I do is start by throwing some food on the grass rather spaced out, but they still all prefer eating from my hand. They rarely wait more than a second for food (while one is busy chewing I rotate to feeding the next). They aggression isn't too bad and not all the time, but as they age I fear this bad behavior will become increasingly problematic. Sometimes, I just throw everything on the ground when they look like they will be too aggressive.

I really hate pushing the goats, because it is just teaching them that this is a good way to behave. I also don't want that to be my "go to" response as they continue getting bigger -I don't want to develop bad habits either. Any tips on how to continue hand-feeding without having them be aggressive? They are smart and seem to understand the words "no (oya)" and "down" but rarely respect them. Oh, and jumping up on me is yet another problem as they get bigger -their Mom is huge and she knows not to jump on me... she did before but I would say no and push her down and she stopped that.

3) This is the worst problem for me... PRESSING HORNS INTO MY LEG. So, the babies are used to sitting next to me or across my lap... they are nearly nine months now and that's still OK with me. They also love to nuzzle me and press their heads into my body as a sign of affection or request for head scratchies -also OK. However, when they lovingly press their head into my leg, their horns get me and it really hurts. When they were small, I would just tell them stop and gently push them away, but they have yet to break this bad habit. They are otherwise very gentle with me and careful with their horns around me -sometimes, I think they see me as a very big goat.

What can I do? I still want them to cuddle with me but need to set boundaries -can you do that with a goat? (I hear you laughing). Look forward to your replies.

-Beth
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,185 Posts
Try a spray bottle full of water for bad behavior and yes, the blocking you thing is a sign of aggression. She is teaching her kids that you are lower in the herd order. She has lived as she has but, she can be taught basic manners. Goats hate having water sprayed on them, most of the time. I do realize where you are, if you can't get a spray bottle or a squirt gun, there are other ways :)
 

·
BethM
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Spray bottle -simple and excellent idea. I can get my hands on one -likely an old window cleaner solution bottle that I just have to thoroughly rinse before use. Wow, so I'm at the bottom of the herd -how consistent with my life. :wink:
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,185 Posts
Yeah, kinda sounds like my life, you're probably glad you missed tonight's soap opera without even knowing it existed :)

Window cleaner is not normally a real poisonous substance so, that should be fine. African goats won't know what hit them, unlike Oregon, USA goats, who laugh at water :lol:
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top