Annoying Nigerian Dwarf Goats-

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by nicefarmer4U, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. nicefarmer4U

    nicefarmer4U Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 21, 2014
    Leicester, NC
    Hello, everyone-
    We got 4 Nigerian dwarf goats over a year ago
    , this means 3 does and one wether. So far, they've been fed basically with Hi-Fiber Hay and Molasses, although from time to time I've given them Alfalfa Hay only. A few months ago, I knew about considering corn on a 20% of the daily ration. So, I gave it a try. But two days later two of them have developed diarrhea so I stopped giving them corn and that problem was gone. Again, hay and hay and least for winter time, that's all they get.
    But these guys have become quite annoying. Since one the windows of the barn is facing directly the main door that we use to get in our home (the door to our laundry room and kitchen), they do not necessarily need to see me (although that's what they usually do) to start screaming and yelling at me. They only need to get any slight evidence of human presence to begin their chorus. I then give them Hi-Fiber Hay with Molasses. That puts them at ease for a while. It takes them 20-25 minutes to chew on it, leave a chewed-grass-like residual stuff on their feeder, get bored and then start screaming for more food. I then give them Alfalfa (not much actually). It calms them down. After 20 min. eating, they're done. Then, they come out of the barn to start looking around to check if I'm somewhere. Barely they spot me at a certain distance, and then their annoying "concert" begins. Honestly, embarrasing as it may sound, but a very few times when I've run out of options to get them settled down and seen my efforts kinda fruitless, I've lost my cool, taken a little tiny piece of branch of any trimmed bush around, and whipped their butts. Thanks to God, my wife isn't aware of this, otherwise it would obviously become a nice reason to raise Cain just for a while.
    Does anybody have ideas to help me out ? Any solution to get these guys settled down other than puting up with them or start crafting ideas on how to slaughter one of them (the black doe, which is the one with the highest-pitching-annoying scream) and have my first own tasty-grilled goat of my entire life so far?
    Thanks a bunch. Any help will be much appreciated..

  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Do you feed them enough hay so there is always hay left when the next feeding time comes? They should have hay available at all times..........
  3. goats rule 101

    goats rule 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2013
    I agree with enola. They should have acsess to hay almost all the time. You could also try making them some sort of toys they can climb on or something to entertain them like a ball. Maybe put their hay high up where they have to climb for it but still make it easy enough to eat. Or put the hay in different places so they are climbing and going all over the place to get it. If you do that make the food easy to get at but make them climb over some sort of jungle gym to get it. You could also try checking out the website backyard herds.
    Good Luck with your goats!
  4. alyxl02

    alyxl02 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 25, 2014
    Get them something to entertain them, look on the internet for goat 'toys'

    Try and train them or tame them and they become more mature
  5. Pearce Pastures

    Pearce Pastures Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2011
    Wanatah, Indiana
    I have had NDs for a long time and some are more vocal and annoying than others but I would suggest two changes that might help.

    First, you have some feeding issues.
    Do not feed goats anything with molasses in it. It is very high in sulfur which can lead to problems such as polioencephalitis and urinary calculi (especially in your wether). They do love it and I bet if you stop giving them anything sweet for awhile, they will cut down on the pestering you.

    Any diet change should be made gradually.

    Grains should be limited and unless your goats are pregnant or lactating, they do not need it at all but if it is given, use something like Noble goat pellets and only give them about a cup each per day.

    The bulk of their diet should be grass hay, with limited alfalfa in it (again, you may end up with problems from too much alfalfa). If you have hay available 24/7, your goats will be full, healthy, and much more content.

    Second, goats are very smart, on par with dogs even though their behaviors are quite different. When they get in your space or if they jump on you, push them down and tell them NO loudly. They will learn (some quicker than others).

    Third, if you don't already have toys, call up your electric company and ask if they have any spools you can have--they will make you sign a waiver and you have yourself some awesome free toys and they goats will be well entertained.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Another tip- goats are VERY smart, by feeding them every time they make a lot of loud noise you are teaching them to make more loud noise.

    Make a feeding time schedule and only feed them on schedule, they will learn that constant noise will not get them anything.

    Plenty of food, fresh water and something to entertain them should help.
  7. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I agree with the others. Sounds like they have YOU trained! [​IMG]

    I would also cut back on the molasses. Not only can it cause nutritional issues, but also some pretty significant hyperactivity. A good quality grass hay (such as timothy) should be good. We used to give our goats a little bit of grain, but it was so little that they probably would have been fine on hay alone. This was also before I knew anything about nutrition and problems a poor diet can cause.

    I agree that toys would be nice. Ours used to love hanging out on these giant logs my dad left in their pen after he cut down some trees. They also had some kids toys like a small plastic slide and one of those play houses. They used to go down the slide over and over again until they got too big for it!

    To quiet them down, it will probably take a while. Give them enough hay in the morning to last most of the day and then don't give them any more until the evening. Just ignore their cries. Try to avoid going over to them if they are wailing. With things like this though, you have to be VERY consistent because even one slip could cause them to go back to crying when they want something. Another thing you could try is covering the window of the barn with something (Something the goats can't eat) so that they can't see you when you come out of your door.
  8. chickengirl1193

    chickengirl1193 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2013
    north Jersey
    I had a similar problem with my goats when I first got them. They never stopped crying... I couldnt walk out the front door without setting them off.. some thing that helped me to stop it was to start on a strict schedule. I go out with a small amount of grain when I let the chickens out in the am and the same amount at night when I lock the chickens up at dusk. I also started putting hay in a hay rack so they dont just sleep on it and now they always have hay in front of them. I just feed a straight grass hay and a pelleted feed. Now they only cry once in the morning if im a bit late going out and once at night when they coming with feed but other than that they are quiet. My dad brought home a cable spool for me that im putting out there today and they have a few rocks they jump around on.
    Good luck calming them down!
  9. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Sounds like you have trained your goats to call out for rewards - in this case, food rewards. Some of the above posts give you good suggestions for changing their (and your) behavior.

    Pretty sure that beating them with a stick is not going to solve your problem. Are you sure you want to keep goats?
  10. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I totally missed the part about the stick. Positive punishment (punishment by adding something undesired such as physically hitting an animal or person) is shown to have less of an effect to change that behavior. Goats (and dogs as well) just don't make the connection between making noise and being punished in that manner. It's like people who come home to a dog that has peed on the floor. Hitting him or shoving his nose into it at that point will only teach him that you don't want to be in the same room as pee. They don't make the connection to the act itself.

    Definitely try some of the other methods mentioned, but if none of those work maybe have a conversation with your wife about rehoming them.

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