This goat's a pain in the expletive. I need advice please.


10 Years
Nov 8, 2009
Epping, NH
I recently purchased an overweight 2+yr old pygmy goat, but it's possible it may be a Nigerian Dwarf.. I'm not quite sure.. the ad said Pygmy, then I was told the latter..

Anyway, it's fat, consequently, not so agile.

How, if possible, can I get it to lose weight, besides the obvious which would be more exercise and less grain feed.

Next, it's a female which has not been milked, so, I'd like to examine her udder for health, as well as other areas to inspect her for health issues, etc, but she won't let me. It's excessively problematic getting her to stay still AND she has her horns.

I also want to examine her hooves and feet, but she won't let me.

What should I do?

I'm thinking I may want to just resell her and get kids so the kids can grow with me and become accustomed to me as their master and not have these issues.. plus no horns, etc.. I like the goat, but if she's gonna be a pain in the butt to properly manage, then perhaps I should sell her and get wether kids.
The milking stand suggestion was one I was about to make
that way she can't back out or turn around on you with her horns.
Have someone hold her by the horns for you to work on her, or have them support her horns so she doesn't break one while taking her down into a lying position on the ground. You're going to have to force the issue on the feet...I have yet to know a goat that will stand still for common husbandry practices on their own. I raised two baby goats here, even had them in the house for a few weeks and bottle fed them because it was way cold when they were born, and I don't think getting wethers is going to help you with any issues except bag-related ones, and having the horns burned early so they don't develop. Otherwise, goats will be goats and I don't think getting different goats will help much. It might help some, if you get them accustomed to being led and a milking stand early, but my experience with goats and sheep is that they will always struggle to some extent. They're a prey animal and they don't like having their escape route, such as their legs, being messed with. Just the nature of the beast.

ETA: The horns do have blood in them, so don't be surprised if she doesn't like them being touched! They will likely be warm to the touch and can be somewhat sensitive, surprisingly so, seeing as how they have no qualms about bashing something with them.
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I'd say cut ALL grain and feed only hay.

And she's a small goat, so use some muscle power and make her pick her feet up for you! You're going to have to tie her or have someone hold her for you. You're just going to have to be more bullheaded than she is.
I say if she's already 2 yrs old, its going to be a long hard row and unless you just enjoy a conquest for the adventure of it, Sell her and get one that has been handled more or a kid you can raise yourself. Its obvious this one has just been fed and never been made to do anything and you are in for a fight.
Well that would relieve the frustrations of the OP, but it's not going to secure the health of the goat, which seems to be the real issue here. It wouldn't be responsible to simply pass the goat along without a health check just because the animal is difficult unless the new owner demonstrates ability and willingness to handle the goat for its own good, imo.

The milk stand is a good idea because it somewhat restricts the movement of the goat. I once saw a particularly difficult goat that had to be hogtied whenever it was time to trim its hooves. Some other creative restraint methods may work, such as a frame similar to a milk stand with posts close enough to actually strap the goat's legs to so that you can free one at a time may be optimal. I would include some sort of treat for the goat whenever she enters the frame so it isn't an all negative experience for her.

I would think her weight would improve on a healthy diet and with plenty of room to play and things to climb on. Large climbing rocks or similarly rough surfaces will also help her naturally keep her hooves worn down. Also, proper minerals may help with the weight. Could it be waterweight from incorrect or insufficient minerals?

What kind of environment was she housed in before that allowed her to become overweight?
When we had goats we had a guy come out to do their hooves..all he did was plop them on their butt..sitting up.(kinda like a person sitting in a chair..)...and he straddled them from behind.. (so they couldnt move or fight him..) it was amazing to see how the goats couldnt fight him in that position...
as for the udders.. i'd tie her to a milking stand or something.. i dont know...

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