How to tame my new skittish dam-raised doeling?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Golden Delta Alpines, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Golden Delta Alpines

    Golden Delta Alpines Senior Member

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    Well, I just got another Alpine doeling from Kim Hull, she is beautiful, only thing is, she was dam-raised (her dam was a FF).
    She is almost 3 months old and I got her today, so I'm wondering what I can do or what I can feed her to get her to trust me and eventually like me.
    She is very curious and gets along well with my other 3 month old doelings, but she gets startled a little bit at anything "scary" to her.
    If something were to fall near her, she would startle, and then go sniff it cautiously. I have not heard her snort in fear yet.

    The biggest thing is, she does not trust us and does not let us walk up to her and pet her, she'll run instead.
    I'm used to bottle-fed kids, so I don't really like this skittish behaviour.
    And it my be because we are brand new to her, why she is like that to us; but is there anything I can do to help her to trust us faster?
    I have been feeding her her grain from my hand, would that help?
    Any treats I can give her?
    I heard raisins will win the trust of any kid, but I don't know....
     
  2. fmg

    fmg New Member

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    Part of it may be that she is in a new place with new sights and sounds. Let her settle in a little, then see how she is. Even the bottle kids I brought here last year were very nervous after their car rides and new environment. I literally had to chase them down for a couple days to give them their bottles.
     

  3. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    Have her in a pen with others the same age. Go in and sit down and play with the other kids - this might take 30 min to an hour. Do not grab for her. Just ignore her. Let her come to you, smell you, eventually climb on you before you try to hold onto her. With horses they call this "join up". Once she decides you are part of her herd, you'll never have another problem. She'll watch the others and become curious until she can't stand it. Then she'll approach. Don't make the mistake of reaching out, or she'll back off.

    I also have had luck with a little perfume on. They want to come smell :lol
     
  4. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    You can try all of the suggestions. Sometimes it works some times it doesn't. You really really need to be there when she kids. Get that birth fluid on you and let her lick and clean you, just like you were her baby. Take her babies away from her at birth and you become her kid, being gentle, patient and milking her. It might work, it might not. All dam raised goats are different. Good luck with her. I hope she gentles down for you.
     
  5. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    You could try feeding her a bottle. I've done this with a mini nubian I bought at three months of age and also with my doe, Iris. I sold Iris' dam whe she was 3 months old and then started feeding Iris a bottle. She's just as tame as my kids started on a bottle at birth. I've also done what Tracy mentioned. I have mixed success with that. Freckles, my Alpine cross yearling kidded with a single doeling. I actually left the kid on her, but started bringing her in to milk from day one. She's as tame as the bottle yearlings. Minuet, on the other hand, kidded two weeks ago and we pulled her kid because he was too weak to stand the first day and she was too wild to mess with a special needs kid. She still needs to wear a lead rope so I can catch her to milk her. She's still quite jumpy at times when I lead her. She does behave well on the milk stand.
     
  6. Horsehair Braider

    Horsehair Braider New Member

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    I take such kids and put them in a small pen. That makes it easier if I need to catch them (for shots, hoof trimming etc.) and I don't end up chasing them all over Kingdom Come which just scares them more. It's easier for them if you can catch them right away.

    I catch the kid and get a collar on her, so that she's easier to snag. I put her with a tame buddy to teach her how to be civilized. I feed them the grain mix I feed (alfalfa pellets, rolled oats, rolled barley) but just a little bit. The tame buddy already knows how to eat this and the wild child soon learns to love that stuff. They start anticipating me showing up with the food bowl, get excited, rush over as soon as I put it down for them. Then I simply start gently petting or touching the kid as they eat. Usually they are so involved in eating they don't notice at first, then they back away... but they want that food, so they come back. It goes back and forth. Eventually they learn to stand there eating while I pet them all over, gently rubbing them. When they can handle that, I start letting them drag a rope for a short while. I don't leave them all the time or anything, just hook it on for a short while and let them walk around with it while I'm doing chores, filling water troughs or whatever. Pretty soon they learn (by having the other goat step on the rope etc.) not to panic when they feel pressure on the rope. From that I can start teaching them to lead, to stand tied etc.

    I know it sounds complicated but really it's quite easy to fit this into regular chores. When I feed the wild kid, I just spend a few minutes petting the kid while she eats. Just a few minutes, twice a day, really makes a huge difference. Next thing you know they are very tame.
     
  7. luvzmybabz

    luvzmybabz New Member

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    I had a dam raised doe I had tried EVERYTHING on until she kidded about 2 weeks ago not the best goatie mom but her skitzy level has dropped considerably. Will stand to be milked with no milk stand if we want to. Her buckling super super friendly it may be because we are constantly hands on to make sure she is being a good mom.
     
  8. Golden Delta Alpines

    Golden Delta Alpines Senior Member

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    Another thing is, I am planning on showing her next year, so hopefully, she'll let me stand her, and not crouch down when I touch her back...cause that's what she does right now...
     
  9. PrairieTrail45

    PrairieTrail45 New Member

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    I've got a dam raised kid now that I am working on taming down. I have two other bottle kids that are about the same age in with her, they are all out with my big does right now but get penned at night to eat their grain and have hay to themselves. My two bottle kids already knew how to run into the pen when I opened the gate, the dam raised kid would go to eat hay with the big does so I just caught her and put her in the pen with the other two. I usually spend some time in the pen just watching them so she gets used to my presence. It only took a couple days for her to learn to come over and go in the pen on her own. She used to run out of the pen when I let them out in the morning, but now she stands in the doorway and will walk out calmly and let me pet her.

    If you keep working with her and be very patient she should come around and be very friendly soon. Once she is used to you she should stop crouching down.
     
  10. Horsehair Braider

    Horsehair Braider New Member

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    Well, I was just at a show, and a surprising amount of those goats were dam-raised and not what you'd call friendly! I was afraid to show my dam-raised yearlings, but when I saw the other goats in the show... I thought, well heck, at least I can lead my goat, and she can be touched. But you know, a lot of those goats crouched at being touched, some leaped and attempted to run, a lot of them were screaming their heads off, a couple actually got loose... I bet your goat will be fine! Especially since you are working on it. And the judges were all really understanding, and tried to watch out for any child handler being overwhelmed by their charge. I don't think you have anything to worry about. :)
     
  11. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    Yea, just sit in the pen and ignore her. Goats have got to be the most curious animal there is. They are very easy to tame. They cannot stand to leave anything new along including you. Whoever said curiosity killed the cat never had a goat. :) when she starts nibbling you, try to offer scritches. Once they realize you hand those out, it's all over ;)

    My first nubian for was so wild she came home with a drag rope. And she was a long yearling! She really tamed down after she started getting milked. But she was always skittish with strangers. I miss her.
     
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Buck

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    All good ideas but it is so much easier to start with one that is tame and friendly in the first place, that's why we bottle raise all of ours.
     
  13. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    Ziggy, she bought the goat already raised by someone else. When I walk in the goat pen, the dam raised kids and the bottle raised kids are all at my feet. They don't have to be skittish, but you do have to have a game plan for raising them tame. I do think alot of people give more attention to the kids they are keeping. Picking them up early and doing the raising yourself is better if possible.
     
  14. Ziggy

    Ziggy Buck

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    Agree. I was just making a point for others to consider when looking to purchase.
     
  15. adillenal

    adillenal New Member

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    I bought a dam raised saanen from Barbie Hoyt in AK and she was as tame as the bottle kids. Loved that
    I bought a doe with her dam raised kid from a prominent Texas breeder and that kid is the wildest thing I have EVER tried to work with. I was surprised that the doeling acted and still acts like she had never been touched by human hands.

    SO there is a difference in dam raised. There is dam raised and handled and dam raised and never touched.
    Can't go back but I have tried everything to tame this doeling and she is still as wild as she ever was. Hoping that when she kids and I can deliver the babies that she decides I am not the evil spawn of the devil.

    My point is that she may tame down, she may not until she kids. And even then she may not.
     
  16. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    Arkansas = AR :biggrin
     
  17. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    I do notice certain goat families pass on skittishness. I tame them, but they are never quite as tame as the others. My buck Nosey is very friendly. He was dam raised mostly. I definately believe he has a genetic predisposition toward nosiness. His kids are born and leave their mothers to climb in my lap. It's the wildest thing. His babies are very cuddly too. Best to dam raise with tame friendly moms. Wild moms just teach their kids to be wild...
     
  18. happy vagabonds

    happy vagabonds New Member

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    i bought a dam-raised yearling doe with a newborn buckling who had been living with a large herd in a pasture. tho she had been cared for (ie: shots, worming, called to the barn for food daily) she had been handled very little.

    i have a 'thing' where i feel it necessary to wash any new animal that comes into my house or onto my property. i knew that goats don't like water, so i resolved myself to just brushing her.

    i tied her to a tree and that just resulted in ring-around-the-tree, so i ended up cross-tying her to two trees. it was still something of a one goat rodeo, but i did manage to brush her from head to hoof.

    the next day, the same thing. by the third day, i got smart and cross tied her to two fence posts, so that greatly reduced the amount of swing she had.

    i brushed her every day (and still do) and by two weeks i had her very tame, approachable and affectionate. i was (and am!) utterly amazed at her transformation.

    a week later my mother bought me a month old registered Alpine doeling for my birthday and i began milking my doe 3 months ahead of schedule! i was going to wait for the buckling to be weaned before i delved into milking! tho we have had our moments, she has been a dream on the milking stand. she's been so very patient with these slow, weak, disabled, inexperienced hands.
     
  19. adillenal

    adillenal New Member

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    I never suggested I knew how to type. :crazy Barbie is from somewhere North of me but not THAT far North.