Help leading my new milk goat with a leash tied to collar.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread
I haven't had a goat in 20 years - and here I am again - a milk goat owner. I just got the goat today - first time freshener, and I also have her doe kid (2 months old)- and they both have not been handled. I need to be able to lead them around - from the barn to the pasture, to the milking stand, etc. What is the best way to teach them about the leash? I have a collar on both of them now. They both dig their hoofs in the ground and refuse to budge (do I pull them along - push from behind, etc). She has never been milked, so the fun is just beginning!! Help!!! I have looked over the messages, and have learned a lot - thank you.
-- Debbie Perkins (email@example.com), August 23, 2002
Hmmmm...How much time do you want to devote to this "project" :o) ?
I'd try associating the leash, milk stand, milking, etc... with "good things" like (small amounts)of a grain mix that the momma goat is used to! Baby will figure out how to walk with you just fine esp. if momma is in the lead. We had no trouble at all getting our kids to walk with us but there were four people and four goats doing this at the same time. It seems that when we are consistant and gentle, the goats quit fighting with us and learn pretty quick what we are wanting. My son's little Oberhasli doe would go limp and flop on the ground when he first tried to work with her in showmanship training. I feared the worst at our county fair show- but you know, he kept on- regardless- working her nearly every evening out in the pen, and she eventually learned her way didn't work. She was a gem at the fair by the way
Maybe as you develope a more trusting/less newly stressed goat she will be more cooporative??? Let the doe drag the leash around with her as she walks for a few minutes each day while you supervise, and give me little mouthfuls of grain/leaves/a tortilla or two, etc... and stroke her, while talking "sweet talk"?
As for the milking?? Do you have a sturdy milk stand with a grain box? Make sure you have someone to help you- so that she won't fall off the edge with her head still in the (whatever you call that head holder part-stanchion??) That'll hold her head, and you can get her used to you touching her. Expect her to balk- but keep working with her- maybe milk one side and let the kid suckle the other side a few times??? Hopefully you won't get kicked too hard for too long LOL!
-- Wendy Hannum SE Ohio (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 24, 2002.
I got mine to walk on a leash by offering some cerel in a box, a little at a time and shake the box to get them to follow for more. They liked Honeycomb.
Another good thing about it is if they get out somehow, a little shake of the cerel box brings them running back.
-- Dee (email@example.com), August 25, 2002.
Thanks for all of the advice. It's working. I'm being gentle, patient, and firm. And the cereal has really worked for me. She doesn't seem to like grain very much, but she likes Crispex and corn chips. That's also how I got her to a possition to lock her in for milking. And yes, I do have a sturdy stand. It's needed with her - she fights milking. Thanks again.
-- Debbie Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 26, 2002.
Just stand with her on the collar and you on the leash. She will pull back until she reachs the end. Don't pull, just don't give any, either, and look past or away from her. Just sit or act relaxed while still maintaining control on the lead. If she freaks or digs her heels in, let her, don't react much except to keep control. When she calms down or seems to accept that she is on the end of a leash and stops fighting, pull slightly, then slack. She will fight again, wait until she stops and then repeat. Pull again, a little more fimly, until she takes a step. The minute she takes a step, slack. Wait a moment and repeat, always rewarding her by slacking on the rope when she takes a step. The point is to make her understand that she is only penalized when she pulls against the lead, but the pressure will stop if she gives in to it. This may take a few half hour sessions and a lot of patience, some are more resistant than others.
Do not ever just drag her along at the end of a rope whether she is taking a few steps or not, that doesn't teach her anything except that she hates being on a lead. You can try the grain, but only give it to her when she takes a step, and slack the rope at the same time. For me it is too many things to try to do at the same time, they may start out the first time with grain but not afterwards.
It is also important never to chase a wild goat, instead you need to earn it's trust by being calm and gentle when it comes up to you and not frightening it. Maybe offer some grain and while she is eating it, slowly ease your hand to her collar and clip her up to the lead. This is how I do it, I dam riase nearly all our kids and so they start out a little spooky but are all trained to lead by fair time.
-- Rebekah (email@example.com), August 27, 2002.