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Bekkidotes
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My other half and I recently got two 3 year old Angora goats. We were told they were "standoffish" but were surprised to see they won't even eat grain or treats out of our hands when we catch them for routine care and hold out the grain right to their mouths, and they consistently stay on the farthest side of the pasture from us as possible. We separated them from our pet Nigerian Dwarfs and Mini Boer because they were being a bad influence and teaching them to run from and stay far away from humans. :underchair:

They don't care if we have grain or treats, they just want to be as far away as possible from us at all times. I want them to like me at least a little, so I was planning on trying some old tricks like shutting them in a small pen with me while I read and see what happens. But, I've also been told Angoras are naturally standoffish and not pet material, and I'm concerned about their age making them a lost cause. I'm going to try because you never know, but do you guys have any thoughts or advice? Am I wasting my energy? :scratch:
 

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Angoras are naturally standoffish? I have had angoras before and they were pets and loved to be petted and brushed. What I do for goats like that is separate from each other and put them in small stalls. And be the only living thing they see. Also (though it sounds cruel) Make it so the only time they get food is when they eat from your hands. This has worked for me with goats and horses.
 

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This is what I would do if I were in your situation.

1. Put them in a small, but not too small, pen (and me being me, I would keep them together :) ).
2. For the first 2-3 days, put grain in a bucket in the pen for them once a day, and stand outside their stall (in sight of them) or in the stall with them but a few feet away.
3. They should soon realize that you are not there to hurt them. Gradually (it may take many days or weeks though) start coming a liiiiiiitle closer to them while they eat. Stay perfectly still, or, once they get more used to you, move around a little bit but no sudden moves. They may look up at you, and if they do, don't look them directly in the eyes - I read somewhere that that is what predators do.
4. Once (if) they trust you enough to let you be beside them while they are eating, slowly put your hand on the nearest one's shoulder (it will probably freak out mind you), but only for a few moments. Let that be all you do during that feeding time.

It will take a lot of work, time and patience, and they might never warm up to you completely, but in my opinion if you do succeed in taming them even a little it is well worth it! I have used this method on cows and calves before, and it has worked.

Also, if a week or more goes by and they simply will not eat out of the bucket while you are anywhere nearby, I would separate them and work with them individually.

Good luck!

ETA, if you have the time, sitting in their pen and reading or talking to them out loud may help. ;)
 

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Bekkidotes
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
This is what I would do if I were in your situation.

1. Put them in a small, but not too small, pen (and me being me, I would keep them together :) ).
2. For the first 2-3 days, put grain in a bucket in the pen for them once a day, and stand outside their stall (in sight) or in the stall with them but a few feet away.
3. They should soon realize that you are not there to hurt them. Gradually (it may take many days though) start coming a liiiiiiitle closer to them while they eat. Stay perfectly still, or, once they get more used to you, move around a little bit but no sudden moves. They may look up at you, and if they do, don't look them directly in the eyes - I read somewhere that that is what predators do.
4. Once (if) they trust you enough to let you be beside them while they are eating, slowly put your hand on the nearest one's shoulder (it will probably freak out mind you), but only for a few moments. Let that be all you do during that feeding time.

It will take a lot of work, time and patience, and they might never warm up to you completely, but in my opinion if you do succeed even a little it is well worth it! I have used this method on cows and calves before, and it has worked.

Also, if a week or more goes by and they simply will not eat of the bucket while you are anywhere nearby, I would separate them and work with them individually.

Good luck!

ETA, if you have the time, sitting in their pen and reading or talking to them out loud may help. ;)
Thanks a ton, I will do that! Just to clarify, how small of a pen (would 16x16 made of cattle panels work?) And do I keep them in there 24-7 while working on them? I have an 8x8 shelter that would be more than enough for them in their area and I could just put cattle panels around it to make a tiny pasture with a shelter area.
 

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I think a 16x16 pen would be fine.

If you have enough hay, keeping them in the pen 24/7 until they are a little tamer would be easier. But if you only have pasture and brush for them to eat right now (like us) I'd lock them in their pen for maybe half of the day and let them out to pasture the rest of the day.
It depends on what you think is best for them though, and if you have a set-up that would allow you to easily (and not stressfully) herd them into the smaller pen for socializing time.
I think that keeping them in their pen day and night though would be better. That is what I did with a wild, WILD Red Brahman heifer who almost trampled me the first time I got her (I learned my lesson after that, LOL). Now Soji, the Brahman heifer, is the tamest, sweetest calf ever. A month after getting her she was halter-trained, tamed, and following me around the pasture wanting to be petted. But, she was a pretty young calf at the time (5-6 months old, but HUGE because she was a Brahman) and that may be one reason she got to be so sweet.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! Also, would love to see a picture of your Angoras some time! I love that breed!
 

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Catharina
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You can do this! I have a feral breed that is born with a shy, fearful personality. After 3 years my goats finally resemble "normal" goats--I can pet them & put leashes on them. When I first got them, they wouldn't eat from my hand either. After a couple weeks, they'd take treats through the fence (so I couldn't "attack" them I guess--they seemed to think I was a psycho goat killer or something!) One other thing that can help is to put their grain in an old frying pan to hold out to them to eat from. It gives them a little more distance, but YOU are GIVING them the food. You can also hold out long leafy branches. Keeping them in a small pen as has been suggested is essential--they'll never know you're safe to be near if they're never near you. Sitting down lower than the goats also makes you less scary. The more time you have to just hang out with them, the faster things will progress--but it's never too late
 

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Briawell6293
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We have a doe that we got at almost 2 years of age. If I was in a yard with her she would be on the other side trying to run through the fencing. She was really bad and so scared. Used to have to chase her up a run to catch her to trim feet. We started feed her with a cup on a long stick. We slowly brought the stick closer. After 6-7 months we could feed her from a bowl we are holding in our hand but that's about it still. She will come in for grain so we can grab her and once caught she isn't so scared anymore. She likes a scratch once caught now. We have had a few like this now and most warm up quicker than this one.
 

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Bekkidotes
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, thanks so much for all the advice and encouragement guys!! :) and @Goat_Scout,of course I show you some pictures of my boys! They are beautiful :)
My boyfriend wants to put them back up for sale and focus more on our pygmies/nigies, but angoras are such a niche market here I'm sure I have time to work with them before we can find them a nice forever home. :)
I'll post their pictures here shortly!
 

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They're beautiful!!!

I agree, keep working with them! I got two adult Nigerian does last year (2 years old and 3 years old) and they ran with about 40 goats in an area of about 50 wooded acres.....so naturally, humans were something they just weren't used to.

That was late last summer....as of this spring, the most wild one is now my very most favorite. I honestly thought that she would NEVER warm up to me, but I always remained very calm around her, stayed close when she was eating and little by little, she trusted me more.

Now, whenever she sees me, she comes running up for attention. If I don't kneel down with her as soon as she's beside me, she grabs my pant leg and tugs until I pet her :)

I think the one thing that made the most difference is that I started "leashing" each goat at their own feeding station. It made her realize that I'm not going to hurt her, I also = food (the way to a goat's heart) and since she's at the bottom of the pecking order, she is now getting the food she needs.
 

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Aww, what handsome boys! I agree - never too late, time and patience and more time and more patience will do the trick.
 

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They are so handsome! :lovey:

I agree with @Realtree2429 - it would probably help a lot to tie them up as they are eating. I did that with an extremely wild 14-15 month old heifer I got a couple years ago. She was probably my biggest success in taming wild cows. It only took a few weeks to completely tame her, and only two days to halter train her. RIP Harper!
 
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