Boer Wether Showing Agression

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by meadow-vista-fa, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. meadow-vista-fa

    meadow-vista-fa Hatching

    Jan 30, 2015
    Hi all,

    Have a question/concern I hope you can help me with. About a year ago, I decided to get some goats and raise them on our farm and I have loved having them around! Hilarious little creatures! I decided on getting Nigerians as a friend of mine raises them and loves them. In my quest to find my goats, someone gave me a young Boer wether, named Curly! I absolutely fell in love with him and he's been the greatest pet until the last few months....

    He's probably 1.5 years old now and still has his horns. For the first 6 months I owned him, he was the friendliest, most docile goat of all of them I owned. But in the past 3 - 4 months, he has started to show aggression towards humans he doesn't know, especially young kids and men.

    A few things have happened....the first time I ever noticed him being like this was back in August and a very little girl was at the old farm feeding the goats for me and he acted like he wanted to head butt her. He didn't, but tried/thought about it. In October, I took 2 of my Nigerian females to be bred, so it was just him and another goat at our farm. In November we moved to our new farm and then in December the two bred females came back to the new farm.

    Now any time there is someone new around him like the kids who visit the farm, he will rare up on his hind legs, blow through his nose and chase them or try to head butt them. A couple of weeks ago, I had the goats running around the farm with us while we worked outside and my dad was there and Curly did NOT like him at all! And he should be somewhat familiar with my dad - nobody new. Is it just him getting older and bigger that he is showing aggression? Or is it because of the move and work, I haven't had as much time to spend with the goats??

    Is there a way I can change this behavior? If not and he continues to scare the kids at the farm (I also teach riding lessons, so kids are around a lot) I may be forced to find him a new home, which I really don't want to do as I love him!

  2. Is he actually hitting people or just rearing up and landing near them? My kids have a pet Boer wether around the same age, and what you have described is how he "plays". He never ever hits us, but he does rear up in front of us, tips his head, and lands right at our feet. We push his shoulder away, and he does it again. Over and over and over. And he chases the kids and plays "hide and seek" around his shelter... He plays with us in the same way that we observe him playing with the other goats...

    If the goat isn't making contact with anyone, then I wouldn't worry much about it.
  3. meadow-vista-fa

    meadow-vista-fa Hatching

    Jan 30, 2015
    Thanks so much for the reply back - I hope that is all he is doing! He doesn't do it to me though - only people he isn't used to and smaller children, that's why I wasn't sure if that was aggression or not. Hopefully once warmer weather hits and more daylight soon, I'll be able to spend more time with them and see if it's him being silly or not! Because he's so cute...don't you think? :)
  4. H Diamond

    H Diamond Songster

    Jan 26, 2014
    Carry a spray bottle with water with you all the time. Every time he exhibits a behavior, give him a stern "no" or other loud noise and spray him in the face with the water.
    Goats hate water, and it's an effective way to change behavior. Do not push him back, swat him on the face, etc. To him that's a sign of you trying to play with him or wanting to fight with him.
    You must correct this behavior now, or it will just get worse. And letting him continue to do it, will not end well. A goat with horns even trying to "play" fight and small children do not mix. Someone will accidentally get hurt some day, and that's not liability I"m willing to take on my farm, lol.
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    I like the spray bottle idea; much better than what I had to resort to.

    Out of a herd of 5 goats, I only had a problem with one; a female that was second to the bottom of the goat pecking order. When adults were around, she behaved herself, but if a child was in the pen without an adult chaperone, she would follow them around with her hair up, and do the rear-and-come-over thing. She actually knocked my preschool aged daughter down twice. There wasn't a great deal of risk here - for a few years, my kids just didn't go into the pen without me, and there wasn't any reason anybody else would be in there. But when my daughter was about 7 years old, she was in the pen, and the goat was following her, and she was getting pretty upset. I had just finished lunging a miniature horse nearby, and I handed the 4-foot-long lunging whip to her. "If she comes after you, you get after her," I told her. "I don't want to hurt her," she said. I told her, "Honey, nothing you would do with that whip would come anywhere close to what they do to each other. This is dominance behavior; she is just trying to push you around. You need to make her understand that that isn't going to happen, and she isn't going to like what happens if she tries to do it. You don't need to be mean about it, but if she comes into your space, you get her out of it."

    Obviously, being smacked with the lunge whip wasn't any fun for the goat, and my daughter only had to do it a few times for the goat to get the message. She carried the whip with her into the pen for a few weeks, but never had to use it after the first day. Pretty soon, a stern "no!" from my daughter was all it took to make the goat go find something better to do with herself.

    The point here is that the goat needs to understand that this is not acceptable behavior, not with any people, at any time. You can't let it become a game for him, or have any type of reward for him in it at all. The sooner he gets that message, the easier it will be for you to break him of it. Good luck!
  6. poultry bro

    poultry bro Chirping

    Oct 4, 2014
    I have seen similar behavior from my friends pygmy goat buck Clyde he smells just as bad as his attitude and he got the horns to make something serious happen so be careful I have raised sheep for 8 years and picked up a few things from friends about goats. P.S. when I first red the title I thought you were talking about swine I was going to say that a castrated male pig is not a wether its a barrow.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015

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