Earning our goats trust

Discussion in 'Pack Goat Training' started by Marndan, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Marndan

    Marndan New Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Pacific NW
    Hey All,
    We have two goats that are almost a year but are super skittish still. They are both Nigerian Dwarf goats and both have had to be caught and taken places before they were ready so the trust has been lost... I am hoping I can get it back as these guys are supposed to be my sons 4H project and our hiking partners:). Is there anyway besides just hanging with them and treats that could help us gain their trust back? Thanks a bunch!!!!
    Moers kiko boars and Trollmor like this.
  2. Buck Naked Boers

    Buck Naked Boers Well-Known Member

    Oct 14, 2012
    Time with them and lots of it. Sometimes it's genetics I think. Or trauma. Our goats are always friendly because we spend lots of time with our goats and babies. But we bought a goat from another farm and she is wild skittish. They told us she'd be eating out of our hand in a month. Ha. Nope. She's still the most skittish in my herd. I'm not sure why. It's crazy. We spend lots of time with our herd. She is better than a year ago but still not tame.

    Lots of time with them will tell you if they can be tamed tho.


  3. Marndan

    Marndan New Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Pacific NW
    Thanks Tami! I have been spending time with them and petting them when I feed them but they just still are really skittish... I do need to just sit with them too I know and I haven't done that as much as I should ..I am just hoping I didn't lose the trust altogether and I can get it back:)
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  4. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Yes, you can definitely get it back, it will just take lots of time.

    Do they like to be combed or brushed? My skittish doe becomes the most obnoxious little thing you ever saw if she sees the comb in my hand :lol: Otherwise, she is pretty shy.

    I agree with spending time with them. They think of you as more of a part of the herd and get used to you being around them a lot.
  5. Bree_6293

    Bree_6293 Briawell6293

    Aug 3, 2014
    Yes a lot of time and treats and no rushing. We were made to believe the only way to have friendly goats is bottle babies. Which we did and still have a few bottle kids when we need to, but last year we moved and the does were bred before we moved and we didn't have time to have a set up good enough and safe enough for bottle kids so left a lot to be dam raised. To our surprise they are all friendly enough and will all come up for treats, dinner and pats. A lot of our older does that were dam raised that we bought in have been a lot harder to gain their trust but now 90% of our goats are really good. There is a few that just can't seem to get over their fear for pats :( but their kids here are great.
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  6. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    I think so just simply do not want to be touched and handled. I have a doe right now that got very sick and I am trying to get her back on her feet. It has been a month and a half of nothing but me giving her extras and sitting with her (to make sure her little friends don't eat her grain) and she still detests being touched. Since they are 4h projects you might have to force it if your getting close to showing them. Get your hands on them and tie them up and just keep petting and giving treats and let them know your not going to harm them. Of course not forcing it is less stressful for them but also may take longer
  7. Buck Naked Boers

    Buck Naked Boers Well-Known Member

    Oct 14, 2012
    Yes just like the doe I mentioned above....sometimes they never get real tame.
    But many times lots of time helps change them to be very tame. We wk with each goat that's born here. They are always friendly. But this one wasn't born on my farm and has been a real challenge.

    Boys are usually more friendly tho. That's my experience. They normally have such great personalities, wethers.

    We had a wether tho that took a lot to gain his trust and he did turn around. Is a sweetie!!
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  8. catharina

    catharina Catharina

    Mar 16, 2016
    Northern California
    Mine are a feral breed & very skittish too. Progress is slow. It helps if you can have them eat their grain ration from a pan you're holding, as well as treats. Making yourself lower to the ground makes you less scary looking & she might come closer to you then. I've had my buck 3 years but only recently found his "magic spots" & boy what a difference. Some goats it's a little spot behind their jaw. With Sam it's an area at the base of his neck right in front of his shoulder joint. I have to kind of scrabble my fingers around in his hair just so or it doesn't work. After he decided getting scratched was actually OK, he was open to me trying other areas & it turns out he loves armpit scratches so much that he reaches around & starts nibbling my arm.

    My daughter always had good luck singing to animals to calm them, but in my case it would probably be classified as animal abuse!
  9. Marndan

    Marndan New Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Pacific NW
    Thanks everybody those are great ideas.. They are both wethers and I really think I need to sit and actually hang with them more by the sounds of it.. I do a lot at feeding time but maybe just sitting there so there are no expectations and having treats/grain out more as just a treat and not always JUST at feeding time.. I also am having a hard time finding other treats they like, which would be nice to have other options that they REALLY like.. Maybe not even doing 4H with them this year and waiting until next year. Well let the work begin:)
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  10. Canadian Goat Mom

    Canadian Goat Mom Member

    Jun 28, 2020
    Alberta, Canada
    I know this is an old thread but I have a question. I bought a 5 month old Buckling that was totally tame and trusting. I got him vaccinated and wethered and then a booster of vaccines also. He was recently banded June 2nd so hasn't lost his dingle dangles yet. Soon I hope.
    My problem is he definitely isn't as trustworthy anymore and cries out now like I'm trying to hurt him. I think he is traumatized buy all the necessary things I have done to him. Any tricks that I can use besides a treat bowl? I don't want him getting too fat either.
  11. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Safe edible non toxic small tree branch or leaves, brush, safe for goats. Sit in a chair and have him approach you.

    Some fruits, vegetables.
    All in moderation.

    Banding is traumatic.
    But he will trust you again with time, love and treats.
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