We thought the journey would never end. Yes, we were a little bit anxious to have these two! The dog kennel worked perfectly for transporting them. We feared they would soil the SUV we’d borrowed from a family member for the trip, but the girls kept their manners. They were silent as death, cowering from us as if we were the harbingers of evil things to come.
Once we introduced the girls to their enclosure, we added an old doghouse for a temporary, mobile shelter. They loved it…too much. Unfortunately our girls are very shy and untrusting of humans, reluctant to leave the safety of the house. The first full day was nearly 100 degrees, and our babies weren’t coming out to get any water. When we saw them panting, we made an executive decision to open their shelter and coax them outside.
It’s been 6 days now and the girls still cling to their shelter a lot. We take the roof off each morning and make sure they get the day started with some water and something to eat. They’re gradually becoming more confident, coming out more and more on their own. And by the way, the electric net fence from Premier has been working great so far. I’ve seen our goats and cats “discover” the barrier, and it’s been safe and effective. We’ll continue to keep a vigilant watch over it in the coming weeks to make sure no animal (or human) gets injured.
WRD and I sit with the doelings often, talking and reading quietly. They get quite close to us, but are skittish. We’ve read in our research to offer them treats such as raisins or animal crackers. The girls have adamantly ignored these offerings. Touching them is out of the question…they won’t have it. I’m hoping they’ll warm up to us soon.
Things we learned about bringing home new goats:
1. Never assume your goats have had interactions with humans. Ask the owners and be prepared for shy, terrified animals.
2. Avoid eye contact and pursuing your animals. Subtle interaction is best. Just stay near and let them get used to your presence and voice.
3. Find out what the owner has been feeding them. ( we purchased several things we’d read they would like, only to find they prefer the same old, same old they’re familiar with!)
4. Above all, patience, patience, patience!