Goat Lessons Served Daily

| 10/6/2014 12:03:00 PM

Brandon DinsmoreGoats are a wonderful animal to keep around the property, and they serve many functions, including brush maintenance, destruction of poisonous plants and weeds, fertilization for your lawn, and good-hearted company while you're hard at work outside, just to name a few. Since I raise goats, I've had to learn several goat lessons the hard way.

goat lessons/doing what they love

There's no other way to learn, no amount of hand-me-down knowledge from the older farmers concise enough, no book informative enough, than simply trying hard, struggling, and learning through a constant series of mistakes that give way to glorious success.

The first lesson I learned was how important it is to have as much contact as possible with your goats from birth. This includes bottle feeding them and showing them affection. Oftentimes, we assume that simply throwing some bulk feed on the ground is enough to satisfy all of their various needs, but feeding is just one critical part of a larger whole in goat care.

If you want your goats to be people-friendly and to actually heed your beckoning, you must exercise a level of interaction similar to that with the family dog. Bottle feeding is the easiest and best way to make this happen. When you put a goat's nutrition into your hands, you teach it that you are its source of food and drink. This allows them to bond to you. It's also true animal husbandry.

I learned quickly that even being away from my goats for a few days was long enough for them to assume that I might never come back. They took a couple of days to warm back up to me. Since then, I've maintained plenty of contact with them just to be safe. The last thing you want to deal with is a two-hour-long nightmare of chasing your goats down throughout your property, one by one, wrestling with them to get them back into their fence or their pen.

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