Transitioning Goats from Country to City

Transportation: Our two Mini Nubians comfortably fit in the back of our Honda Odyssey. We laid a tarp in trunk with some hay and a maple branch to keep them occupied. They didn’t make a peep or stir for the 1.5 hour ride. If the ride was any longer than this I would advise taking a pit stop for them to relieve themselves. Peppers and Nira didn’t poop or pee until we put them in the goat run!

Adjustment Period: We were told to expect a 3 week adjustment period to adjust and perhaps Peppers is still adjusting. We kept stressing and expecting it to take less time. Oh my word! Peppers struggled! Peppers is a country goat through and through. She misses her herd. Peppers cried softly A LOT. She wanted me with her constantly. Every siren, dog bark, loud voice, car door slam startled her. Her little meek personality would stiffen, cry, and either run to myself or into her shed. Her docile personality revokes her new role as herd queen. Nira will most likely take over this role in a couple months when she’s fully grown. Peppers even cowers from the squirrels. I mean grow a pair Peppers! I realize our squirrels are more like monster tree rats but still. For the first four days what Peppers wanted Peppers got. School became all day husbandry skills 🙂 and the girls spent nearly all day in the goat pen helping Peppers and Nira adjust and feel safe in their new surroundings.

Nira is my city goat! She loves her new surroundings and is unfazed by the noise. Nira rarely ever makes a sound and loves to jump and play. At three weeks we started to get very concerned that Peppers was not adjusting properly and unhappy being a city goat. I still think Peppers would do better with a proper herd. Yet, I’m hopeful she’ll feel more calm when Nira takes the reins as herd queen and a baby goat joins the herd. At four days we started to get into a rhythm with the goats. At two weeks we had a lot of people over for the Windy City Coop Tour. I think this set us back with Peppers. Her expectations shifted with all the attention and it set us back on the 3 week timeline. I will say that by 3 weeks Peppers no longer showed any visible reaction to city noises.

Training: Peppers and Nira came well trained. Yet new surroundings brings testing of new boundaries. Expectations for Peppers and Nira are that they never put their feet on the fence. They are not to crowd the gate or force their way through the gate, and they are to never jump or put their feet on people. It has now been nearly four weeks. We do need to spend more time with both goats on gate training. Peppers has started putting her feet on the fence when she sees us coming with food or she’s angry at us for ignoring her….not ok

Consistency: Consistency Consistency Consistency Just because Peppers sees or hears me through the kitchen window and calls to me doesn’t mean I’m going to come out and be with her. #stalkergoat Peppers is learning that even though she can see the girls playing outside doesn’t mean they’re a part of her herd and need to be with her. I’ve learned to keep my back to her when I leave the goat area no matter how much she calls for me. For me to turn around would be enforcing this behavior. At the three week bench mark, we started to have some tough love with Peppers. We realized our error in consistency of what times of day Peppers and Nira should expect our attention. Even as I write this, I can hear Peppers outside crying which is rare during the afternoon. She should be having her daily afternoon nap. Maybe she’s out of hay….

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