Taming a wild goat

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Hi! This is my first time using this. Around a year ago, I purchased a 4 year old miniature cashmere goat, which had never been tamed and acts as though she hadn't been around people at all - apparently, she was the smallest in her herd and the other goats used to victimise her.

It's taken her several months to calm down and become more relaxed in her new home (which she has to herself as there are no other goats here). I've taken her treats every day, spoken to her soothingly and generally tried to limit the amount of interaction I have with her, so as to reduce her trauma. Over the last couple of months, she's started running to meet me (she still panics at the sight of any other human less than 50m away from her) and eating out of my hand. She seems to be trying to 'play' with me by running up to me, running away again, rearing up and constantly jumping up and down whilst watching me all the time. If I turn to leave, she runs after me stopping when she's almost touching me.

She seems to want me to pet her between the horns, as when I hold my hand out, she makes a butting motion so that my hand is between her horns and then she allows me to scratch her there for a couple of seconds.

I don't want to lose her trust and was wondering if anyone can recommend any ways I can 'play' with her or where goats like to be petted or scratched?

-- Anita Krauklis (anita_krauklis@hotmail.com), December 02, 2002


Being A four year old it will take longer. With yours being by its self its looking to you for a friend. Keep playing with her as much as you can. You might consider another goat to keep her company. A bottle raised one will be calmer.

-- bergy (bbergbower@hotmail.com), December 02, 2002.

Any movements should be gradual and slow- goats do not like sudden moves or loud or sudden noises, and particulary sneezes (sounds like their warning and alarm snort). They like to be scratched on the poll (top of head) and petted slowly on their cheek on the side of the face. They don't much care for having their noses or ears handled, or their horns. As you gain her trust she may enjoy being scratched along her backbone and rump. It sounds like you are doing really well, the more time you spend with her the tamer she will become.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), December 04, 2002.

Anita, sounds like you have one lucky Goat. Have you tried getting back to nature with the goat? I suggest getting down on all fours and 'headbutting' the goat, a common play time antic of younger goats, this is best done with minimal clothing on (especially bright colours). Also, you will earn respect if you climb (on all fours) to the top of a large steep rock, whilst there, scratch your rear against the rock as a sign of 'marking territory' WARNING: a letterbox drop to the neighbours indicating date and times of this action will avoid an unnecessary visit from the authorities. The goat will soon understand your desire to be a friend (or at least it will be so amused that it will no longer be frightened).

Thank you and Good Luck.

-- Stephen (stephenk@mspl.com), July 10, 2003.

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