Socializing Your Adult Goat
The easiest way to have a people friendly goat is to raise it from a baby. But that is not always an option. Sometimes you get an adult goat that has been raised out in the field with hardly any human contact. This is what my first 2 goats I purchased were like. One of them did not have any horns and they had to catch her with a lasso when I purchased her. I knew they were going to be a challenge.
Patience is the most important tool when it comes to taming any animal. Most will respond as long as you let them come to you on their terms. There will always be some that just do not want to be handled. I have had several born here and some I even helped deliver that grew up to be very standoffish. They just are not as affectionate as the others
Blaze & Yuki
These are my first goats. We bought them to clear some land for our miniature donkeys. I would soon realize that I actually enjoyed working with them. I did not realize how intelligent and sweet goats could be. My only previous experience with goats was minimal and the goats were not friendly at all. I no longer raise miniature donkeys, I now just raise miniature goats. Within a few months of bringing Blaze and Yuki home I realized they were both pregnant. I had to tame them or I would have some real problems when birthing time arrived.
Blaze & Yuki With Their Babies
Time & Patience
These are the two things you need the most of to tame a wild goat. We had the 2 girls in an enclosure 25'x25' with a small barn type shelter. I would go inside several times a day and just sit on the ground for about 1 hour at a time and let them just do what they do. They began to get used to me being around them and realized I was not a threat. I didn't try to pet or handle them for several weeks. Then I brought in a small cup of sweet feed (which goats absolutely love). I put a small amount in a bowl about 5 feet away from me and let them eat. Each day I would move the bowl closer to me. Finally they were eating right next to me. Then I had them eating out of my hand. While they would eat I would pet them. They jumped away at first, but soon got used to it. When they were finally comfortable with me they really started enjoying back and neck scratching. Then I put collars on them and started taking them out for walks on a leash. I would give them treats each time I took them out so soon enough they were begging to go for walks.
Fun With Goats
Once you have a friendly goat there is no limit to what you can do together. From simply walking on a leash to jumping through hoops, there are plenty of ways to enjoy owning this unique pet
Not All Goats Are The Same
In a perfect world every goat you work with would be tame and sweet. But unfortunately this is not the case. I have one goat I bought as a baby that has never been completely trained despite my best efforts. Rambo is our main buck and he is excellent at guarding the herd and making beautiful healthy babies. But he never quite warmed up to people. I can handle him when I need to give shots or worm medicine but it is not easy. I also have several girls that were born on my farm that are skittish. Their mommas are very friendly so they did not grow up with a reason to be standoffish. Each goat has his or her own distinct personality and that is something people cannot control or change. When working with these skittish goats I use the best persuasion I know for goats. TREATS! They can work magic with most goats, friendly or not.
Training Your Goat
- Working Goats - Goat Trick Training
This is a great website for learning to work with your goat. I have used it to work with several of mine
Working With Baby Goats
I have found that the easiest way to tame new babies is to just sit down and let them come over and check you out. They will watch their mother come over to me and get petted and loved on. It usually does not take long for them to be climbing onto my legs and lap. I will just let them climb and play on me slowly touching them and letting them get used to me. The last 2 babies we had Orion and Maxwell tamed faster than any babies we have ever had. By the third day they were running up to us wanting attention. As soon as you get out of your car or come out of the house they are calling for attention. Sit down and they will jump on your back. People thought they were bottle babies because they are so friendly. But no, they are mother fed and just very loving. I think being there for the birth makes a difference most of the time. Handling them right away helps them to recognize and trust you. My daughter and I were there for Orion and Maxwell's birth and helped clean them and helped get them nursing on mom. I have had a few that I helped deliver that did not tame up very well but for the most part I believe it is very helpful to be there if possible.
Orion & Maxwell
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Patti Downey (author) from Loudon on February 04, 2014:
That is actually my daughter holding Jasper. He was the first baby born on our farm. He was born Feb 29, so he was a leap year baby. He was her baby and she carried him everywhere, so he didn't think that should change even though he got bigger.
Maria del Pilar Perez from Nicholson, Pennsylvania, USA on January 29, 2014:
You're strong! That goat looks big. I've a shepherd dog I wish I could carry like that. You're right on when it comes to taming animals: treats help win confidence, but not all succumb to their weaknesses. Each animal's personality has to be learned and respected if you want good results.
Thanks for an informative hub on goats.