for people who love the littlest dairy goats
Last year, I had to help my 4 year old ND doe (her first kidding) with a very large stuck baby. The kid was over 4 lbs, head first, but front legs back. So hard to get hold of to help, and it took so long the baby died. (No vets available as they were all out on emergencies.) The second, much smaller baby slipped right out. The doe first took to it -- but then became very aggressive. It took some hours of work to get her to take to it and for it to eat. Pretty traumatic start.
My question is this: This doe was always my friendliest, most approachable goat. Since becoming a mama, she remains approachable but almost always now will walk away (after some petting) and get a run at me to butt my leg!
I don't want to anthropomorphize but could this have something to do with the kidding? It's a year later and she still does it!
And any suggestions for curbing/eliminating this behavior would be appreciated. I can no longer trust her to be around my grandkids.
Hi Leslie! If I had to guess, I would say that this is due to a change of hormones. The fact that the kidding was traumatic is just coincidental. I too have a very sweet doe that had a change in personality after having her first kids. Over the last couple of years she has started to butt people out of the blue, especially if one of her offspring are around, so we always remove her from the area when we have visitors. It is much easier to control the situation instead of attempting to change such an instinctual goat behavior, such as butting. I am going to see if I can locate any articles that Deborah has perhaps written on either of these 2 circumstances and will get back to you.
I always tell people not to worry about an aloof doe being a difficult milker because so many of them have a personality change after kidding. And as Tammy said, they can also have a personality change that goes the other way. Luckily I have not had one get aggressive. I have heard people talk about using a squirt gun as soon as the goat raises up on their hind legs in preparation of butting you. But I have no idea how well that actually works. It really did not work on our kitten last year. LOL!
It is not unusual for a doe to reject her kids if she has had a really traumatic birth, but I have always been amazed at how "forgiving" they seem to be towards us humans.
Thanks to you both. I guess it must be the change in hormones...I'll take your advice and remove her from the area when the grandkids want to be with the goats. Since I'm a terrible shot with any kind of gun ;), the squirt gun would not be an option! LOL! Besides, Clemmie doesn't bother to raise up. She just takes a run and hits me in the leg. Crafty girl! Can't help but still like her! :) And she's never hurt me much, more just registering her opinion so far.
I so appreciate that I can ask ANY question of you!
I wish we had a magic answer for you on curtailing this behavior! But yes, that's what I do with my Queen Bee. I remove her from the area when we have guests or visitors just to keep everyone safe. =)