I’ve recently been replying to inquiries on various subjects… kidding, worming, etc., and many of the folks I communicate with are dealing with goats that are totally not people friendly. Not just shy goats but goats that you have to lasso to catch & tie down to administer meds or simply for routine hoof trimming.
When I started my little farm I didn’t have a clue what was out there & what was available to me. I was so eager to start my “menagerie” that I just bought (or accepted), what I could quickly find. My first goats were 3 little Pygmys that were so skittish & afraid of humans that we chased them for about 30 minutes before we caught them. They were about 8 weeks old and with daily attention they became very friendly. Not long after a neighbor traded 8 nannys with me & only one allowed me to touch her & that was because she was so sick she couldn’t run away. I spent a lot of time, money & heartache on that goat who once healed, never let me near her!
Then I bought an expensive herd of registered Myotonic goats, 3 does & a buck. The seller refused to let them go until they were 6 months old. They arrived here wild & left a year later just as wild. These goats are over 100 lbs of solid muscle. Just trying to trim their hooves took so much energy out of you that it was a chore I would always put off!
At some point I guess I got smart and started to think of my herd in a more reasonable way & not with my heart and my emotions. Over time I sold all the animals that I had that were not people friendly. Some I sold for half of what I paid & others I simply gave away & cut my losses.
I love all animals but I’m not stupid nor do I have an unlimited supply of money! Perfect example is with the Pot Belly Pigs I used to have. Only one of the 3 allowed me to barely touch her. The food bill alone for those 3 was about $18 per month. Not to mention the time I’d spend cleaning their huts & making sure they were safe from predators. Their little pasture was in an area that I really had no view to. Only my neighbors actually saw them on a regular basis. I’d see them daily when I’d bring feed to the trough. I kept those pigs for about 2 1/2 years. Do the math… I cut my losses & gave them to a fellow who really wanted them, tame or not. He just likes pigs.
During the course of the last few years, I bought several animals that I thought I could tame over time but after a few months if I didn’t see progress, I’d find homes for them. I had a beautiful miniature mare that I couldn’t keep because she would kick at anything around her. She just didn’t care for people or other horses.
In 2010 I thinned my herd because I couldn’t justify the expense vs the pleasure received from them. I also found homes for animals simply because they deserved more time than I could offer them. Life happens. Things change. You acquire an animal & a while later something happens where you no longer have the necessary time to spend with them & it’s just not fair to them. Like my miniature donkeys. I loved those two but even though they had food, shelter & care they needed more than an occasional scratch & that’s why I parted with them. They are now with a wonderful couple who will give them all the attention they deserve. This was a win/win situation & I try to make it like that for all the animals that I part with.
Although I have a “big” heart & love animals, I really don’t get it when people tell me, for instance, that they have a goat that they cannot get anywhere near but they persist on keeping them & fighting them simply to administer basic care. Maybe I was there once – did I get wiser or did my heart harden? That is the question!