Taming Goats

lin01(NW Cailf)April 27, 2010

We just got two boerX wether goats that are 1 yr old. They have always been out on pasture and never feed grain.

We have two fields that we will move the goats between to keep the grass down.

Last year the goats we had would follow us from one field to the other by us holding a bucket of grain in front of us and walking from one field to another. Those goats are now in our freezer. These goats are wild and seem afraid of me. How do I tame them!!! I am too old to play rope them cowboby!!

Thanks for any ideas!!!

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pamghatten(wny5)

I don't have goats, I have miniature donkeys.

But, seems to me that you need to teach the goats about "grain". Start by putting some grain in a bowl in their current pasture and let them eat it without you hovering by it. Every day give them some grain and start being in the pasture with them while they are eating so they get used to you.

The more used to you they get, the closer you can get. Eventually you can probably lead them around by carry the dish of grain. If you want to tame them enough to touch them, then you need to get them to be comfortable enough to come up to you and eat the grain that you are holding ... then you can slowly reach out and touch them.

It's all about doing it slowly and gaining their trust.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:24PM
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littledog(z7 OK)

Sounds like you put the wrong goats in the freezer. ;^)

If you're going to be butchering these guys anyway, why bother with taming them? As they've been on pasture their whole lives apparently with minimal human contact, trying to "tame" them is just going to stress them , and stressed animals don't grow well. If you're planning on feeding them grain to fatten them up (I don't know why anyone would do that, no one eats goat fat anyway, but some people think they just have to slaughter a fat animal), just walk out where they can see you, call out something (be consistent, say the same thing every day) pour the grain out, and walk away. Goats are good at simple math, it won't take them long to realize "you + weird hollering = something delicious". They'll run up to eat, but don't expect them to be hands on friendly. Then again, who says you have to make a pet out of dinner? ;^)

If you are going to be relying on pasture only, as long as the two fields are connected, it's easy to move sheep and goats by walking behind them and *clapping* your hands. Not shouting, not whistling, not running or chasing them, not trying to lead them or rope them like a cowboy, just slowly walk behind them and clap your hands. They'll move away from you (it sounds like they do that already). When you decide to put these boys in the freezer too, set up a corral in the corner of one pasture with cattle panels, get a couple of friends to help and and just clap and walk them into it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 3:46AM
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lin01(NW Cailf)

We need to tame them to be able to move them around the property. We have a lot a berry bushes as well as 2 fields that are not connected. All I want to be able to do is put them on a lead and walk them from one place to another, as well as put them on chain during the day to eat the berry bushes that are not fenced in. We have 6 acres.
They are cute, but I do not want to make them pets, makes it to hard to eat them later. Thanks for the idea, that is what I have been doing, seems to be working with one, but not the other.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 5:09PM
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littledog(z7 OK)

If you need them to graze in an area that is currently unfenced and aren't going to be permanently fencing it anytime soon, order a roll of Electronet fencing and some movable posts. Goats, especially goats that are browsing on shrubs, tend to become tangled when tied out like a dog and it's very easy for them to panic and strangle themselves. the cost is reasonable, and the fence is reusable for years.

Premier sells the fencing and posts; good company, great customer service.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 8:33PM
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