While taking care of animals, it is crucial that your animal trusts you and gets accustomed to your presence. Even if you are a beginner you should know that goats are no exception, and you must tame them in such a way that they don’t fear you and follow the instructions that you give them. I have worked with many chickens, cats, and donkeys, as I live on a farm, and therefore I know all the techniques that can be used to take care of goats. In some cases, the methods I use are similar to the other, but in other cases, the techniques are entirely different from the others.
Taking care of a goat is a demanding process, and a person must have to try harder to achieve the goal. Goats are highly social beings and can live with other animals happily. But keep in mind that don’t leave your goat alone; if it is single, it will make so much noise that you will have no choice but to sell it.
How to herd a goat? (Single or multiple)
Herding goats is much easier than many people portray it. One must have to assume the position of being a leader while herding goats.
Herding goats (Traditional Way)
There are a couple of ways that you can herd goats. Being a goat farm owner, I will share some of the tips that will help you if you are thinking about raising a farm or are just planning to raise a couple of goats on your farm.
While taking your goats out on a walk, ensure to carry a stick with you to define the path for your goats. You cannot softly slap them when they are going in the direction that they aren’t supposed to go. A stick will keep them in line, but you don’t have to use it on them. Rather “HUSH” them with it by waving it in the air. If you plan on sitting somewhere on the way, ensure to carry small-sized rocks with you. When your goats try to roam around and go along the way where they aren’t supposed to go, you should immediately throw a rock on their front or sides to make it clear that it is dangerous for them to go that way.
Both of the above-mentioned techniques work only if your goats are calm and can be herded easily. However, if your goats are panicky and a little jumpy, or they are feeling a lot nervous, you shouldn’t do any of the above techniques and should only use the below-mentioned techniques.
Herding goats (The Effective Way)
Even if your goat herd is huge and is always a little over the edge, you shouldn’t use a stick or throw a pebble technique. Instead, you should think about making them friends. Most of the time, I myself found it effective to herd the goats in a more friendly way. When I started herding my goats outside the farm on a daily basis, I followed the technique of carrying a stick, but that way, my goats became jumpy, and on the other hand, they assumed to stick to be their leader, while I was their leader.
As soon as I thought about this, I immediately stopped taking them outside and started training them on the farm. I used many methods of training them and taught them when to eat when to stop, when to move, and when to stop moving. I took a piece of the herd each day and applied these techniques on that part of the herd, and after weeks of training, my goats finally became fully trained, and they became super friendly. After that, I took them out on a walk and found out that when I asked them to stop, they stopped. Although some of the goats still weren’t following the rules, the training was successful.
The purpose of building a friendship with goats and of carving out the fear is that this way, goats will feel your authority and will not get jumpy or nervous easily.
Get the job done (The Right Way)
The goats won’t easily accept your authority over them. It must be awkward at first, but things will get easier over time. You just have to have the right amount of confidence. Goats are inquisitive and overall unpredictable beings. To overcome their unpredictable and curious nature, here is a technique that I personally use and would like to share with my other goat herding fellows.
You must use your observational skills to find that who the leaders among the goats are. Goats tend to follow the leaders amongst themselves. Training the whole goat herd is hard. But what if you grabbed the leader by its collar and began leading her? You will finally note that other goats will start following you. Herding goats isn’t an easier task, and that is why sometimes you have to get physical with them. Once you have the leader by its horns, all of the others will start following you. Pay attention to the hierarchy, and you will finally see that the herd will start following you.
Always pay attention to the element of surprise.
Goats can be a source of extreme delight and amusement, but their overall behavior can be frustrating at times. That is why you must have to assume the role of a leader rather than a role of a master. You are keeping them for milking and breeding, but this doesn’t entirely mean that you have to punish them for their behavior if they aren’t following you. Goats will surprise you whenever they get a chance, and they will try to stray away from their path, but you have to keep a calm mind and ensure that they are following you. Here are some tools that you can use if you want some help while moving your goats.
Rattle paddle: It is a plastic paddle that is lightweight and highly durable. It comes with a plastic head that acts as a visual barrier for goats. Its wide paddle section contains metal pellets which, when shaken, startles the goats and serves as a notice that they should immediately stop what they are doing. It is highly effective when the goats are straying away from their path.
Water pistol: Goats do not like water, and this is what you can use to your advantage. Get a long-range water pistol, and if goats are moving in a direction that you don’t want them to move to, you can use the water pistol to your advantage and spray water on them and get their behavior in line.
Traditional whistles: If your goats are far away, and you cannot use the above tools, get yourself a whistle that is used by the coaches in sports. First of all, use the whistle on a farm. Train them inside the farm by using a water hose immediately after whistling. This would ensure that the goats will immediately stop doing what they are doing whenever you start whistling, as they will think that they will soon get sprayed by water if they don’t stop whatever they are doing.
Herding goats is easier spoken than done. You must have to train your goats before you take them out to graze on greener pastures. That is why you must be vigilant and should always pay attention to them. All of the techniques mentioned above are highly recommended by me, and I myself have used these over the course of time. Happy Herding!