Monday, 11 June 2012

A Daisy of a Problem

The phone rang the other day and a friend of mine was on the other end with a problem she hoped I could help with. Her son had a pet goat that wouldn't stop escaping and eating the garden. Would I take her? Mountain Man immediately thought it was a great idea so not too much later I found myself on the way to pick up another goat and trying to ignore my misgivings about the whole venture. We raise purebred Nubians and I'm not sure I want any other breeds here. Then again how do you say no to a good friend. We certainly have the space and what's one more goat?

When we got there we found a very sweet little goat which, while certainly not purebred, must have some Nubian in her due to the long ears. She was very friendly and walked easily on a lead. My misgivings melted and I couldn't help but like this friendly, docile little girl. So, we tied her in the back of the truck so she couldn't move much, (we didn't want her jumping off!) and toddled off home laughing all the way at how we looked like the Beverly Hillbilly's.

Her ears are actually fused together so will never be able to hang down properly. I've never seen that happen before.

Over the next few days we spent some time each day introducing her to the herd. Unfortunately Daisy wants nothing to do with any other goat. In-fact I think she thinks she is human! Poor Daisy! She has no idea how to interact with other goats other than to bully them. This is not improved by the fact that she as horns and all my girls, and boys are dehorned. My herd is also very docile and friendly. They have been quite timid in trying to win Daisy over and I suspect the young ones would love to play with her but she will have nothing to do with any of them. The minute they make an overture to her she gets mean and starts to butt them around. Its not long before they give up and run away in fear.

Those sharp horns are a serious problem.

To top it all off, she is a serious escape artist. I had thought that once she was a part of the herd she would want to stay with them and I think this could happen. She has other plans however and will scale any fence or structure in her way. Including a 9ft high stack of straw. Stacked straight up! So, for now she is relegated to a run and a rope with plans to build her a special "tractor" which can be moved daily to a new feed area. We still spend time every day trying to integrate her into the herd but with little success. One thing we have discovered is that she loves chickens so at least she finally has some company.

I've been doing research on dehorning but there is a lot of controversy about it. I would love to talk to someone who has dehorned their adult goats to see if it is a viable option. Without the ability to bully everyone else she might fit in just fine.


  1. Well, my total lack o knowledge of goats will soon be very evident, but, I wonder... what would happen if you secured a semi-soft "hat-like" structure to her head so that if she does "butt", she does little damage? Would it inhibit her behaviors until she changed her behavior? Just wondering......

    1. Actually its a great idea and I've been looking for something like that but haven't found anything that would work. :(


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