1st Time with Goats

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,304
2,538
262
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
We got 3 new goats 2 days ago and it has already been a fiasco. They are fainting goats so no worries with climbing and jumping. Containment seems to be sufficient....for now....but they are 3 does between 1-3yrs and have never been socialized.

I fenced off (2) 1/2 ac sections of our field for them and future expansion. However, we have coyotes and bears and have no desire for guard dogs. So each night they have to be wrangled into their shelter to be locked down for safety. Last night took 1hr of tromping through tick infested waste high weeds to get them into a makeshift coral i threw together as we were doing it and staking out until after dark to sneak the door closed. Not a very efficient system.
Today we have spent as much calm quiet close proximity time as they would allow and have tried several treats at each visit to teach them we are friends. I also install an old aluminum gutter as a "treat trough" so the pellets will make a noise they csn associate with good food INSIDE the shelter.

Already, one was brave enough to take some sweet feed from my hand before backing off. Its going to be a slow process but its just another adventure to share with the family.

We are considering getting a donkey for field protection but have no experience with them. I was told to only get females or gelded males. Anyone have one and can clue me in on care costs?
 

lomine

Crowing
7 Years
Aug 7, 2015
2,994
3,402
396
Peyton, CO
I suggest you keep them confined to the shelter for a week or two. They need to learn it's their new home and get used to you. Keep it up with treats and grain but be careful not to give them too much. I had a doe that, even though she'd been handled since birth, was a bit wild. She'd always run from me and didn't like being touched. Made for a lot of running about when I tried to catch her for milking. My silver bullet has been peppermint horse treats. I keep them in my pocket and give her one every now and then. Now she always comes up looking for treats and will let me pet her.

Also want to add that you'll want to check them for ticks. Thankfully I don't have ticks but I image that they'll be attracted to the goats.
 

Gizabelle

Crowing
Dec 30, 2018
589
2,555
317
North Florida
We first got goats a few years ago for brush clearing. Our first two were 4-5 mo/old wethers from the same herd, never handled, and wild as hares. It took a good long time and patience (and many treats) but they finally came around.
One of the two is now such a sweetheart you wouldn't know he's not a bottle baby. The other would come for treats and a quick scratch but never was much of a lover boy.
You'll have to wait and see what their personalities are like.
Good luck! They're lots of fun.

Edit: X2 on keeping them confined to a smaller padock until they adjust
 

cassie

Free Ranging
13 Years
Mar 19, 2009
7,487
5,121
531
I would not get a donkey unless it has been raised with goats and considers them to be family. Otherwise he will probably kill them. It will take time to tame those goats. If there isn't anything for them to get tangled up in you can put a ten or fifteen foot rope on their collar so you can grab it. A chicken catcher might help too. You do need to get them in a small area so you can catch and handle them.
 

citymeetscountry

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
752
1,681
246
Arkansas
We got goats last July they were about 4-6 months old at the time, both whethers. They actually live in an old chicken coop that was on our property when we moved in. We kept them in the fenced off area For a while when we weren’t outside with them. Eventually we let them roam free within our fenced in backyard. They put themselves in their shelter when it starts getting dark (sometimes before) and just shut the gate (which is pointless since they know how to open it, but they wait for us to open it in the morning). I got tired of all the goat poop on our deck so we eventually put a 2nd gate up to partition off our property. Our fainting goat doesn’t escape but our Nigerian Dwarf likes to push the chain link fence out and shimmy under it. Usually he just comes to the back door or if he ends up in the driveway he’ll “cry” until we get him back to where he belongs. We give them treats each night after they’re inside their fenced area.

I would definitely recommend confining them to their space for at least a few days-week or more so they know it is theirs/they feel safe there.
 

Gizabelle

Crowing
Dec 30, 2018
589
2,555
317
North Florida
I would not get a donkey unless it has been raised with goats and considers them to be family. Otherwise he will probably kill them. It will take time to tame those goats. If there isn't anything for them to get tangled up in you can put a ten or fifteen foot rope on their collar so you can grab it. A chicken catcher might help too. You do need to get them in a small area so you can catch and handle them.
100% agree with the donkey raised with goats...
I've seen a newly acquired donkey try to kill goats. Not mine, a neighbor, years ago. I helped get him away from their herd, total nightmare. He nearly killed several kids.
 

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,304
2,538
262
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
Thanks for all the suggestions. They seem very content znd are continuing to warm up to me. I give them a handful of sweet feed (divided amongst the 3) every time i enter the shelter. Whatever they don't take from my hand i drop into a make-shift metal rain gutter used as a trough.
Last night i shook the cup of feed and put it in the gutter and all three walked right into the shelter allowing ne to close the gate with ease.

This morning i was granted permission to enter without them even standing from their beds. I even gave one a few light strokes on the back before letting them outside for the day.

They are progressing much faster already than i expected but i intend to keep them in the temporary enclosure at least through the weekend. Their autofill stock tank of water is on the other side of the field so right niw the only water available has to be hauled out to them by buckets. I have a rain barrel set up but it has not rained in 3 wks.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom