I found a goat in my garage.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by JonnyJan551, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. JonnyJan551

    JonnyJan551 Hatching

    Aug 9, 2016
    So first, the story.

    As I was heading to work at 3am last Monday morning I stepped out into the garage only to be greeted by the feeling of what looked like wet dog kibble squishing between my toes. A quick pungent whiff coming from
    the nearby puddle confirmed someone didn't spill dog food and l probably wasn't alone. I walked over to the only corner of the garage I couldn't see from the immediate door expecting to find a particularly large rabbit; an animal that's managed to trap itself in once before long ago (along with a black bear some years later with a craving for milkbones) but lo' and behold, it was a darn goat. It came as a bit of a surprise considering the adjacent suburbia, but I was more so at a loss at how the fella managed to slip in the day before without anyone noticing - the garage is only ever open a few seconds a day!

    It was fairly small, probably about 25-30 pounds, and most certainly male confirmed by the presence of a pair of small horns and some already well developed family jewels. He seemed startled having been awaken at this hour, and was not keen on getting close. After dodging my attempts to touch him to judge his tameness it was apparent he wanted no part as he stood in the opposite corner from where I did. Perhaps this was just some strange feral suburban goat that evades detection during daylight hours only to snooze in people's garages while ninja'ing out when least expected. He did appear fairly roughed up. I opened the garage to observe his next move. Nothing. So I tried to shoo him back out into the wilderness of the neighborhood expecting him to sneak into the comfort of the bushes, but he circled around the parked cars in the driveway and back into the garage. Okay, another try. Same result. Again. I quickly close the garage at a distance with the remote and the little onlooker appears bewildered as it seems to search for his next sanctuary. This time he heads to the front porch and plops himself right in front of the door, and let's out a stream of rolling balls which quickly bounce down the front steps. So goat poop is literally balls. Huh, fascinating. Obviously the little ruminant was accustomed to humans, so I decide to assure him with the next best apparent idea as he began to chew on the welcoming mat my deceased grandfather gifted me.

    Some chopped carrots. Old fashioned dried oatmeal. Apple slices, and some old wheat bread. I hurried out with the offerings folded up into my shirt. Upon sight of the food his little freaky rectangle pupils dilated in excitement, but drawing closer up on his feet he went as he jumped the porch and hid in front of my car. Time to toss the food - and sure enough, he was hungry. Down went the offerings and within minutes he was tentatively taking bread from my fingers. Suddenly I realize I had a purpose this morning as I checked for the smell of farm animal in uniform. A quick check of the clock and... Holy sh*t I was an hour late for my new job from playing ring-around-the-rosy with a goat at 3am in the morning. I snapped a photo for proof of the ordeal (and that a kind hopefully animal-loving boss wouldn't be too upset) and regretfully ended snack time by grabbing his hindquarters in an attempt to put him in the backyard while I would be away at work. He wasn't very happy as apparent by the initial struggle, but after acquiring a firm grasp and lifting his hooves of the ground he went limp and seemingly accepted the fate of whatever I imposed. I placed him in the patio and hurried off, looking back only to see him watching with surprisingly gentle curiosity standing at the spot I placed him in as I closed the gate behind me.

    8 hours later and work off my mind, my immediate intent was to tend to my new guest. I grabbed a fresh bowl of water and ventured out into the patio (which is unscreened due to renovations that were never completed) once again expecting to find the animal huddled under some foliage hiding from an alien world - but he was nowhere to be seen. Assuming he'd escaped out from the surrounding 6 foot fence using those amazing goat acrobatics I've seen on cute internet videos, I sighed in relief yet disappointment only to be interrupted by a noise behind me. There he was, laying down, nuzzled between the treadmill and a stack of pavers from the unfinished pond. The nearby excrement and urine told me he hadn't moved from the patio since I left. I placed the water down, surprised by his unwillingness to move as I approached and cornered him. He took a few sips, but not much. I retrieved his now slightly stale unfinished breakfast in hopes he'd finish, and sure enough he did eagerly. The once flighty animal seemed more amicable with time to calm down and hopefully more trust for the now human-slave which brings him foodstuffs. I offered him my hand like I would a dog I just met. Shockingly, the he-goat (buck?) stood up, gave my hand a few licks, and proceeded to shove his face into my hand and rub it all around. Quite adorably I might add. Head scratches were definitely well appreciated, but as I moved to pet his body it became apparent how skinny he was. I could feel his ribs easily, his spinal ridge was prominent, and his hip bones even more so. None of which was too pronounced to the eye, but definitely to the touch. I spent the next few hours sheparding the newly named Billy (cliche, I know) around the yard for forage. He ate some weeds, grass, and chowed down on some sapling oaks that cover a few feet of space under a larger one. Sure enough, Billy followed me around like an imprinted duckling, and upon meeting the bewildered neighbors and the rest of my family, showed his calm and friendly nature. His now nightly bedroom consists of a 10x3 bird aviary that fell into disuse in the middle of my yard. Tuesday, I had Billy roam the yard some more for food and let him fill up on bird seed. (consisting of milo and millet, OK?) HES now sleeping again in the aviary. When I or anyone else is not around now, he looks fairly distraught but calms down shortly. It seems he doesn't forage much on his own however.

    This is still my parents house, and being 20 I'm looking to move out within the next 6 months. As enjoyable as he's been the last couple days I won't be able to keep him as even if I were to stay, I'm assuming (and confirming from research) that the life of a single goat is a stressed and paranoid one as would be for any flocking/herding prey animal. Getting another one would not be an option as the now manacured backyard with wildlife attracting plantings wouldn't survive long with two mouths.

    I tried to look online for notices on missing goats, but none are from the area or suit his color. I notified animal control but no one reported losing a pet goat, or even seeing one. So, that leaves me with caring for him until I find a suitable home. (I'm looking at a petting zoo and will notify a feed store) I definitely want to find a good one. I have lots of experience with exotic animals such as birds, reptiles, fish, and kept a flock chickens and ducks here in suburbia for 6 years. Goats, however, are a bit new to me...so getting to the point, I have some questions that could use answering regarding his care/health.

    1. A trip to the local feed store is in order. What should I get for his immediate care? Food? Minerals? Medicine? Etc

    2. He has a hole in his left ear. It seems fresh and a bit scabbed over. Was this from a tagging? Should I treat it?

    3. Are there any notable diseases that I should treating or worried about? He's not in prime condition. He's skinny and his coat seems a bit messy and rough. Droppings and pee seem fine, at least I think so.

    4. Water. Billy doesn't drink much, but his pee seems consistent. Is this normal?

    5. Billy has lice. A quick search confirmed they're species specific. There's not too many of them, but they're there. He seems a bit itchy. Should I treat them? How?

    6. The front top half of both his horns seem worn down as if he's rubbed them constantly. I haven't seen him rub anything since he's been here though. Normal?

    7. Billy seems to have lost his voice. Im pretty sure goats are supposed to be loud... or atleast, erm, auidible. He makes noises occasionally. It sounds like a goat sure enough, but the sounds are very muffled and quiet. His lungs sound fine, his nose and mouth look good too. Thought?

    8. Just how old is he? Like I said l, he's about 25-30 pounds, skinny. From his horn growth and my assumption he's a pygmy goat I've guess his age somewhere around 4-6 months. Any idea?

    9. He IS a pygmy, right? Finding a goat around here is already a stretch. A pygmy goat, I know some keep these guys as pets even in populated areas.

    10. So he's a male. He's not castrated. Do male goats show this in age? Will it effect his adoptability?

    And of course, a picture. The leash was temporary after I found out he followed me everywhere.

    2 people like this.
  2. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    He needs to be castrated. You need some good hay. I would get a salt block, some louse powder and some sort of wormer. You can get some grain. Since he is skinny he can use some. I fed my goats COB which is corn oats and barley. Offer only very small amounts of grain at first and gradually increase it to maybe a half a pound to a pound a day. No more than that. Too little is better than too much. PUT THE GRAIN SOMEWHERE SAFE WHERE HE CANNOT GET TO IT!! If he gets into the grain it will kill him. Once he gets to a decent weight he won't need any more grain. He should be vaccinated for tetanus and entertoxemia. Get a vial of CD/T from the feed store. That will take care of that. You will need to rig some sort of a hay feeder so he can't tromple and soil the hay. He needs plenty of fresh clean water. Contact the American Dairy Goat Association and ask for a list of breeders in your area. Their web site is adga.org. Goat folks are usually friendly and are willing to help you with advice and maybe you can even find someone who is willing to band him. If you don't have any luck PM me. I have a membership directory and I can see if there is anyone near you. Good luck.Check out caprinesupply.com. Send for their catalog. The catalog contains a wealth of useful information.
  3. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    I'll leave the goat advice to the goat experts but I just have to say that I was in tears LMBO reading your story. I see writing in your future. Billy sure is a cute little buggar. Here's hoping you find him a proper home. Thanks again for the laugh. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  4. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    I'm just posting so that I don't lose this thread. I'll post a reply with some info when I have some time later today. :)
  5. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    First of all, I loved your story! And second, I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can and if I don't know the answer hopefully someone else does. :)
    Hopefully this has helped and thanks for helping this little guy. :) Some more pics of him will help with the hole in the ear thing and more with breed, plus he's just so cute........
  6. heartofdixie

    heartofdixie In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2012
    Intact male goats are harder to rehome. If you do rehome him, try to make sure the ppl that get him aren't wanting to just eat him.

    Thegoatspot.net is probably a better forum for asking goat questions and you might get lucky and find its owner there.

    I have Nigerian dwarfs about his size and they get 1/2 cup goat chow twice a day along with free choice goat minerals and a leaf of hay. But mine also free range. If he can't browse, let him have hay free choice. Be careful about giving male goats too much grain, it can cause them to have kidney stones they can't pass.

    For lice, use 3 ml of cydectine pour on back down spine.

    Apples, grapes,carrots and raisins make excellent treats and can be used for training.

    My goats (and all those I know of) hate getting wet. Will avoid rain at any cost. Trying to bath him might be challenging for you :)

    My wether (fixed male) is very quiet and you can't hardly hear him over the does. I wouldn't worry about him not making much noise.

    Look in the phone book for a large animal vet, one that handles horses and cows usually handle goats also. He's not that old and fortunately for you not in rut either. Make goats in rut pee all over themselves and get quite obnoxious. If you do have him castrated, this will keep him friendly and smelling much nicer. You'll need to keep him in a clean dry area for a few weeks while he heals. Make sure the vet sedates him. Some don't.

    If you have a tractor supply close by, they should have everything you need. As far as his horns, mine use them for rubbing on trees, and it helps them to pull down tree branches and scraping off tree bark to eat. There is normally wear on them if they are free ranging. Their horns also help keep them cool.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  7. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    any update? have you found him a home?
  8. kysilkies

    kysilkies Songster

    May 3, 2009
    Elizabethtown, KY
    We're in central Ky and will take him and NOT EAT HIM, would never ever even consider that under any circumstances.

    We have a 3mth old dwarf that would love a buddy! Let us know!!
  9. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    i could help find him a home if he was up this way, but who knows where he is, there's been no update
  10. CoelhoFamily

    CoelhoFamily In the Brooder

    Aug 17, 2016
    Northern California
    Make sure you keep him away from any chicken feed to prevent bloat and death.
    I'd look into wethering ASAP bucks tend to smell terrible
    A steady diet of alfalfa clean water and loose minerals. I prefer Manna Pro minerals it has Ammonium Cloride in it. This will prevent UC.
    If you plan on keeping him I would suggest looking into getting another. A wether. Goats are herd animals and do a lot better with friends around.

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