I have long had an interest in goats fuelled by a friend who bred and showed them years ago. Having been spending time at an animal sanctuary in Wales that rescues livestock,I have been lucky enough to get back into treating their behaviour. Nym, luckily for him, has owners who love him and who wanted to keep him, despite being advised otherwise.
Nym was terrorising these lovely people and the other goats and is already improved into a very nice and rather clever boy. His owners have resumed their cocoa and wine drinking surrounded by the goats without risking life and limb being near him!
Read Nym’s story:
We have 4 female Pygmy Goats, all born April 2007 who we bought in September 2007 from White Post Farm in Nottingham. The girls were fantastic as they had been raised and weaned together, so have very good manners and are very easy to handle. The only problem was the biggest female Blossom has very noisy seasons, so we were advised that a wether (castrated male) would help put them all at ease (which has worked).
So in December 2007 we found Nym at a nearby farm. He was born in January 2006 and seemed perfect. He led very well and happily hopped in the car and was great on the journey home. We were told that he had been returned due to his former owners’ breakup. He was very overweight but we have lots of playthings and room so this wasn’t an issue!
He settled into the herd quickly, but pretty soon he started bullying the smallest female, Buttercup. In the following months it got so bad that one day he wouldn’t let her in the shed when it was pouring down all day. When I returned from work she was soaked and shivering so I had to wrap her up in towels as she was close to pneumonia. He then turned on the other girls and within a few weeks was pushing them all around and dominating everything. He also took to destroying their shed / fencing / gates by bashing them with his horns.
We placed a kids playhouse facing the shed and this eased things, as the girls had a retreat. We had a quiet few months and thought the problem was solved. However roughly 6 months since we bought him he started trying to push me around. I didn’t pay much attention at first, as it wasn’t that bad….at first! As the months went by, up until December 2008 when we called in Debbie we tried everything to ease this new problem, such as herbal products, tying him up, using water filled spray bottle and ignoring him. Nothing worked for long (I will say they did work for a while, perhaps a week or so). Feed times and bedtimes became something I dreaded and so did the females. Several times he knocked me over and caused me constant bruising and injury. My experience is mainly horses and cats, so I didn’t really have a clue what to do with this clever goat! It came to a head in December 2008 when nothing had worked and we were scared there would be no choice but it either take him back or have him put to sleep. We don’t give up easily as all our cats were rescued and it has taken years to gain trust.
I rang the RSPCA for advise and they gave us Debbie’s number. After contacting her Debbie called me back and we had a long in depth discussion. I was hopeful as she mentioned that at 3 years old he is still not too old and she would work with him. A few weeks previously he attacked my youngest sister Rosie (aged 10) and bruised her. He also attacked my mum several times and it was very upsetting. Me and my partner Paul agreed we couldn’t carry on.
Debbie has been twice now, and we do keep in touch via email and texts. Through the methods she has shown us both in the days she visited, life is a lot easier. On the most recent visit we discussed lead training with Nym and I am happy to say he behaves excellently on the lead, and seems to enjoy it! He is changing, and although he has off moments he is becoming a happier goat as he understands I am head goat so he doesn’t have to worry. I advise anyone with goat problems to give them this last chance and not give up. At times we really wanted to, and spent many hours discussing what to do. I am very happy with the goat he is becoming and am very glad he came to us as we didn’t give up hope!