Taming wild kids?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by drafthorsechick, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. drafthorsechick

    drafthorsechick New Member

    37
    Oct 15, 2007
    Iowa
    Hi guys,

    I've been lurking on this site (thanks, Stacy!) while waiting for Goat Web to come back, but now I have a question and need some advice.

    I bought some pygmy goat kids at an exotic animal sale a couple weeks ago, and they are wild as march hares. Is there any tried and true method of taming these kids down? Right now I can't even touch them without taking a sorting board to pen them in a corner of the stall, and by that time they're tremblinb with fear.

    I just picked these guys up because they're cute (one is loud black and white, with blue eyes and waddles, he is ADORABLE!), they were cheap, and I thought they'd tame down into decent pets pretty quick. Was I wrong?

    Thanks for the help!

    Therese
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    well it depends. I bought a 3 month old who was just as you describe and still to this day (now almost 2 years old) she is still wild. I can catch her if needed and she doesn't tremble when I come into the pen but she does not like to be touched. Still not giving up on her though.

    But on the flip side I have one who was the same way and she now comes up to me for loving.

    So depends on the temperment of the goat if they will calm down or not and how much "damage" has been done to their trust.

    some ideas include:

    just sitting in the pen talking to them

    only let them have grain if they eat it from your hand (may need to gradually work this in, start by only letting them eat grain from a dish if you are in the pen and each day get nearer and nearer till they have to eat from your hand to get the grain).

    soft petting and soothing words as they get use to you more and more.

    Food tends to be my greatest asset when working with skittish goats. THey will stand still to eat but then bolt when finished and soon they realize oh wait she isn't that scary.

    For me there is no tried and true way, I tailor my tactics to each goat.

    But I never carry anything big in with me, I try my best to be as small as possible. My size tends to intimidate them (5' 4-5"). I don't chase them, but I have cornered before - sometimes you just have to do it because they need medical attention or it is the only way to catch them to hold them.
     

  3. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    Just being in the stall helps. Kneel down to their level so you don't look like a big predator. Sit quietly (no fast movents) and talk to them. :D

    Goodluck with them.
     
  4. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    Yep, what the others said. When I got Pace and Shanti they were wildish... pretty scared of people anyway, but not as bad as you are describing. We kept them in a really big wire dog crate in our garage for about a week, to get them used to us in an enclosed area. That way they couldn't run, which just makes them more wild because instinct takes over. If they have to face you, it will stress them out at first, but they usually don't go completely wild with fear which bolting triggers. Be quiet and move slowly. Give them tasty grain in a dish while you sit across the stall, and gradually move closer. Never try to catch them or move towards them directly head on, as a predator would. Go to the side and don't stare at them. Take a book and just sit against a wall reading, paying no attention to them. Have a dish of grain next to you. If/when they eventually get curious and come over, ignore them. Once they are coming towards you with some confidence, start petting them on the neck and chest, feeding them, etc. Sooner or later they will end up running to the stall door when you arrive wanting treats and attention. Then you can let them into a bigger pen. Now, this is how it worked for us. Yours sound wilder than mine were, so it probably will take more work. Usually there is a braver one that shows the other that people are okay. Take it slow, give lots of treats, and let them go at their own pace. Good luck, and welcome to the wonderful world of goats! :wave:
     
  5. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I agree with the previous replies...it takes CONSISTANCE and patience. Abit of grain helps as well as the time to just sit with them. If you have a box stall keep them in it and don't give them the freedom to run the pasture. This way they will learn to trust you. And sitting in the stall with them helps ALOT they are curious by nature and once they don't see you as the enemy but someone who feeds and loves them they will come around...and if they are small enough yet to hold catch them one at a time and hold them on your lap...petting and talking to each...they will struggle but if you do this every day you will win them over. Just make sure that you have them secure as they will want to jump. Binky was standoffish when I first got her not afraid of me she just wasn't handled previously like a "pet" needs to be. And at 2 years old...I still held her on my lap til she was comfortable enough to fall asleep. Now she comes up to me wanting her food just like the others do. And it also just may be that you end up with a goat thats not a "people goat"...these are the ones that pretty much have the give a care attitude that as long as you feed them they are happy...they just don't like the cuddles. My Tilly is like that.. I handled her since she was 2 days old and she is sweet enough..she just doesn't come to me for lovin's...food yes..cuddles no. :D Good luck and I do hope that you end up with affectionate little goaties soon.
     
  6. drafthorsechick

    drafthorsechick New Member

    37
    Oct 15, 2007
    Iowa
    Thanks, ladies for the great advice. I think I'd been doing most things right, but I didn't know about the bolting, and had been unintentionally being a predator, so I will certainly make sure that stops right here and now.

    Well this is really only a welcome to the wonderful world of mini-goats! I haven't been on this site yet before this post, but I was on GW, where I'd shared pics of my Alpines and LaMancha. I'm now up to three alpines, three LaManchas, one very pregnant boer, and one Nubian.

    I'm not sure what exactly the minis are--we call them the Lilliputians, but I'm guessing that they're pygmies. One has blue eyes--does that make him a ND, or can pygmies have blue eyes also?

    I just don't get how someone can not play with their baby goats--it's just such a shame to have them grow up wild and not trusting. If I'd raised these guys up I wouldn't have been able to keep my hands off them--they're just too cute.

    Therese
     
  7. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    You did mention that one was a "loud" black and white with blue eyes. This has me thinking Nigerian Dwarf as most pygmies don't have blue eyes and if its white on black...most times with pygmies its just a white belt under their bellies and white frosting on the ears and nose...pygmies can have waddles...so maybe you have a cross of the 2 breeds. Would love to see piccies of your goaties.
     
  8. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

    49
    Oct 5, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I agree pygmys dont have blue eyes...they might be half pygmy...just because they are small some think...Pygmy...but thats they Nigi that have the blue eyes...I do have some 1/2 pygmy and Nigi with blue eyes...its going to take some time to calm them down...some will and some no matter what you do they just wont let it happen...I have tried...I have had some that are all over you and some act like you are going to eat them if you get to close...almost heart attack material...
    I am about the only 1 that can get a hold of some that I used to have and it was basically because I was the only 1 to feed them as long as I didnt get to close...Well the years have slowed me down to where I cant chase like I used to do so sold the 1's that I had to capture and trim and worm ...now I just have goats that are brats...
    I have had some babies that just are not people friendly no matter what you do...these might change and maybe not...it just takes time and lots and lots of patience...Good Luck
     
  9. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    Yes, I'm sorry, I do remember you :D I just didn't pay attention to the name and didn't see that in your post. So what I meant to say was welcome to the GS :wave: lol
     
  10. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I agree about the one being a nigie rather thena pygmy. That first crossed my mind when you described him.
    I have gotten several wild does over the last few years. I go out in the pen and sing to them. Spend as much time around them as you can. When you feed them talk to them or sing, cleaning the barn i sing to my goats or carry on conversations with them. It sound crazy but its relaxing for them. They will soon learn that you are their mom you are the one that brings food. Its also relaxing for me. When im mad or upset i go sit with my goats. I will crunch down in a corner of the stall and pretty soon there are ten noses in my face. cleaning an e relaxig too and it always feels do goodwhen everything is lean.


    You can also try tieing some rope to collars on the goats. That way you can catch them when needed. When you get ahold of them just hold them talk to them at the same time let them get used to your voice. give them treats whether it be a little grain or something special like a carrot. pet them all over. touch their little feet and bellys. scratch their heads and faces.
    they will come around.



    beth
     
  11. Scott

    Scott New Member

    36
    Oct 8, 2007
    I would suggest animal crackers. After a few times of this they will be chasing you.
     
  12. drafthorsechick

    drafthorsechick New Member

    37
    Oct 15, 2007
    Iowa
    Nigerian Pyg?

    Okay, ladies, here are some pics. Huge apologies right off the start as my camera battery was going dead, and the pictures came out really dark. Adobe tried to fix them for me, but they came out pretty grainy. You can at least get an idea of his color pattern, and if you look closely in the one picture you can see his waddle on the one side.

    I LOVE waddles. I can't say why, I just think they're adorable, and I only have two goats out of my entire flock that have them.

    So, can anyone tell if this is a Nigerian dwarf, a Pygmy, or a cross?

    Oh, and I was able to get within about four feet of them today just by singing and avoiding eye contact, which is more progress than I've made in the past week. You guys are the best with the advice--I'm just irritated with myself for not having asked sooner! Thanks!


    Therese

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  13. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    arkansas
    I second this post as that is what I do too. I have tamed wild goats in a few months using this meathod. I also take a bucket out in the pen and sit with them and watch the way they act. At feeding time as they get closer to me, I won't feed them until they let me pet them. I did this with my most recent doe and have had great success with her. She doesn't mind petting anf attention as much now as she used to but she still gets intimidated by me at times. It will take some time and patients to do this but it can be done. Good luck and Welcome to The Goat Spot.
     
  14. Sara

    Sara New Member

    605
    Oct 4, 2007
    Ellensburg, WA
    Those are with no doubt Nigerian Dwarfs.
     
  15. drafthorsechick

    drafthorsechick New Member

    37
    Oct 15, 2007
    Iowa
    Sarah,

    Really? That's neat--I guess I didn't even know what I had!

    Though one of those in the bottom picture is definitely *not* a Nigerian Dwarf--he's a painted desert ram lamb. :wink:

    Since this little guy has blue eyes, does that mean he's probably pure ND, or do you think he's a pygmy cross?

    Therese
     
  16. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    My vote is for Nigerian Dwarf as well. With his build and the blue eyes and his color pattern yes i would say he is pure ND but you never truly know without papers.

    I say my Aspen is Nigerian Dwarf but who really knows what parentage she has in her background
     
  17. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I would say they are both nigerians. just judging by the build and the color. The shape of the head is more dished. Pygmys tend to be more square and blocky.

    beth