Crazy billy

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Breezy, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    23
    Jan 17, 2020
    Georgia
    Help! I have a crazy billy goat. I nearly didn’t buy him because of his poor condition, he was kept outside 24/7 in a 15’x15’ chain link pen and no shelter from the elements for probably 2 years. Anyway, I chose to rescue him. So I have spent many months getting him healthy. After a lot of TLC, he’s now in good condition, low worm load, coat is good shape, has a copper bolus, etc. He actually is a beautiful brown goat underneath his nearly bleached white coat when I got him . He has his own barn, and 1/2 acre good hay, minerals and forage. But we have two problems, his hooves and he is CRAZY and mean.

    At first I thought rut was making him crazy, but my girls are bred, and he’s still crazy. We tried putting a wether with him and he nearly killed him. He has taken down my 6’ husband and son. If we put grain in front of him, we can clip a lead on him. But any handling beyond that is like trying to lead a bull. It’s gotten where I will not go into his pasture unless I clip him and tie the lead to the fence.

    I spent months giving him treats, and he would let me pet him (through the fence) and then for no reason out of the blue, he will ram the fence. He’s nearly broken my hand doing that. Is it possible to tame him?

    Second, his hooves are a chronic problem. He has dry ground, but he gets the hoof scald on the outside of his hooves. I trim the hooves, and cut out the pockets monthly and koppertox them, but it keeps coming back. So this week I am scrubbing with iodine, and applying koppertox daily for a week. The skin under the part I cut away has hardened and dried, but how do I know it has healed? TIA for your help! Also, I’m waiting for some antibiotics to come in, I will start him on that per vet’s advice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  2. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    You can try using a squirt bottle to break him of this but at this point you might not be able to change his ways. If he was never socialized with other goats he may not be able to read body language and wont know how to act when around another.
     

  3. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    23
    Jan 17, 2020
    Georgia
    Yeah, we tried as did the previous owners. He is definitely not socialized. It’s so sad. He seems to like my petting/scratching him but he then he flips like a switch.

    Today, he lifted his gate off the hinges and charged me. That was scary. He’s only 40 lbs but still...
     
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  4. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    He might need to go to freezer camp at that point or you'll have to figure out a way to coexist.
     
    NDinKY and Moers kiko boars like this.
  5. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    @Damfino might have some advice for you. She's a master goat handler.
     
  6. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    23
    Jan 17, 2020
    Georgia
    We will figure out a way to co-exist. What we are doing works to a point, I’d just like to be his friend, lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  7. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    He may need a buddy that is much bigger than he is to knock him down a peg or two. Bu you need to decide if he just needs retraining or is he mean. By mean .. will he hurt you if he got a chance. If he is setting out to hurt you then he will hurt you or a visitor or a child. You don't want to beeed that into your herd nor risk someone being hurt. He maybe small but can do some damage.
    Goat-link.com has a page on how to deal with an aggressive buck. Read through and see where you think this little man fits. If you don't want to cull him, then he will need a safe place for all and a buddy who can handle himself.
     
  8. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    Have you paid attention to when his switch is flipped.... what exactly were you doing at the time to him? How were you doing it? Is it the same every time? Or is it just random?
     
    Breezy and Moers kiko boars like this.
  9. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    23
    Jan 17, 2020
    Georgia
    Thanks for the link and tips, I’ll check that out. Can this be genetic ? I figured he was this way because of neglect.
    I think he will hurt anyone given the opportunity. He even scares our 100+ lb Pyrs. But he has his own pasture, and four gates/fences between him and any visitors to our property, which is just one woman who feeds our goats periodically. We have acres between him and neighbors. You gave me an idea of putting up a beware of goat sign, though.

    We got a free wether (the owner told us he was a Nubian) to put with him. Well, I think he is a Nubian/Pygmy mix because he is smaller than my NDs, lol. So, we will have to keep looking. I’ve thought about a llama too.

    He is a real sweetheart with the does. He tries to mate, but if rebuffed, he just hangs out. No aggression.
     
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  10. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    23
    Jan 17, 2020
    Georgia
    Good question! I am usually just scratching around his chin, things my other goat’s love. Or giving him goat treats. He sticks his nose through the fence like he wants attention, and let’s me scratch and pet for a while then “wham”!
     
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  11. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    Maybe someone swatted him on the nose a lot? @Damfino is a great one to try to help you. Me... put his butt in the freezer from your descriptions. I am just not going to be anymore patient than you have been and him suddenly try to hurt anyone that comes in. :/. But i just thought maybe it is a certain movement or touch that flips his switch and you just know do not do this or this to him or else. You have been amazingly good to him it sounds like! So no matter what your decision... you did great by him and ever how long he has been in your care he has known love and compassion and been treated extremely well.
     
  12. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    it could be neglect, but also could be genetic. If he can be turned around and gentled then I would not think genetic. To me after all the time and care you gave him and all I would think he would have settled up some. He sounds like he has an angry wire loose.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  13. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    23
    Jan 17, 2020
    Georgia
    Well, I’ll keep trying. It’s not urgent that he’s my bud as long as I can restrain him to do care and as long as he’s healthy and content. He closes his eyes and leans into my scratches like he loves it, like my girls do, and then gets the wide-eyed panicky look. Kind of like the way a cat does that acts like they enjoy being petted then suddenly grab you. I have even wondered if he is trying to play. Face to face though, it is a constant rearing and charging.
     
  14. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    23
    Jan 17, 2020
    Georgia
    I wanted to add, in the stanchion, he is a dream. He is by far the easiest goat I’ve ever trimmed hooves or given a shot. He does just fine being brushed, as long as he has grain.
     
  15. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Well, I'd hardly call myself a master goat handler by any stretch, and I have never had one that acted quite like yours. I really think Goatzrule is onto something when she says he's not socialized and doesn't know how to behave around other goats (or people!). I had one mean wether and I could never completely train the ornery streak out of him and I think his problems when straight back to the fact that he was an "only goat" for many years. Goats really need other goat buddies to play and fight with during their formative years so they learn the meaning of body language and boundaries. When they don't learn these things as youngsters, trying to instill them at an older age may not be possible.

    I don't think meanness is usually genetic. It sounds to me like his problems stem from isolation and neglect, but that doesn't mean he's fixable. If you can find a large wether that is big and tough enough to put him in his place, you might find that your buck adjusts his entire outlook on life. He may be reluctant to attack people if he has a dominant buddy that stands first in line for human attention. The danger there is that the goats could harm each other. Does your buck have horns? If not, putting him with a big, horned goat may make him back down without a fight (if he has enough brains). If he's not smart, he may just get himself hurt.

    You can also try clicker training and see if that gets you anywhere. Positive reinforcement may be the key to changing his attitude. I don't think I would recommend punishment in this case. I normally suggest spray bottle treatment or using a riding whip to enforce boundaries, but with an animal that has such a deep distrust of people these things may very well make him even worse. But clicker training may win him over by forcing him to use his brain instead of running on pure instinct. I'd encourage you to read up on clicker training and start teaching him some basic manners. With clicker training, you would never give him a treat unless he did what you wanted first (like stepping back from the gate or lowering his hackles).

    Not sure what else to tell you except "good luck!" Rehabilitating a neglected animal is never easy and sometimes it's simply not possible. But if you like him and you can manage him without getting hurt, more power to you.
     
  16. NDinKY

    NDinKY Well-Known Member

    511
    Aug 3, 2019
    Kentucky
    Good luck with him. I’m on the freezer camp side, but I won’t tolerate mean/aggressive animals. Too much risk and there are a lot of nice bucks out there. Sorry I don’t have anything helpful to add. Just be careful, they can do a lot of damage.
     
  17. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Only forty pounds?? Which breed of goat is he? Seems light for any breed at 2+ year old! Is he really breeding quality or no? I know you mentioned you sort of rescued him from the poor conditions, not sure if you would consider wethering him.

    I think a 150 lb horned wether may be a good option but thats a lot to take on just to solve this problem.
     
  18. Angel A

    Angel A Active Member

    117
    Apr 4, 2020
    North Idaho
    345F6010-BDF8-4428-A28F-54C823B5AEFE.jpeg
    Stock Master Stock Prod 11”
    Made in the USA

    My husband bought me one of these. He’s gone to work a lot and we have a 3 yr old that is sometimes with me when I need to go in the pasture to feed etc.
    A zap from this and he ought to behave. All I have to do is press the button and hold it down and they typically stop in their tracks. I try to get them along their chest or behind their front leg where it’s fleshy. It may be just the attitude adjustment he needs. They can hear the buzz and they know what it is. They tend to get pushy at feeding time, but now that the sunshine is out and it’s warmer they are more mellow.
    I believe we paid about $32 for ours plus shipping.
    A lot of times I don’t even take it with me when I go out, but when they start acting up I’ll carry it with me for a while.

    Good Luck and be careful! I’ve been hurt when they get pushy. It’s not fun.
     
    Lisa Storksen, camooweal and Breezy like this.
  19. Keeping a dangerous animal is not something I would ever do. A broken leg sounds like it could be in your future. Why? Goat meat is very good. There are too many nice animals out there. My husband had to butcher a buck we had several years back that was aggressive and makes you unhappy that you have to do that but sometimes just necessary. My two bucks are so far pretty easy to deal with - the only way I want them.
     
  20. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    Being a pro lifer, the freezer could be a bit drastic. But, pro life means the human too.
    If you truly believe you can help this goat and you can co-exist safely go for it. But never put your life or those around you at risk. It just isnt worth the agony.