I have never trained an animal before, and neither has Kevin. As we begin to train our Daphne and Lulu, I get the feeling that we might have even more to learn from this experience than than they do.
We are amazed at how intelligent and sociable the goats are. We were lucky to get two little goats who had already been handled a lot by humans. They really seem to love human company, and are surprisingly ready to respond to different calls and commands. They had never been on a leash before they came here, but after only a couple of days, they now come running to have their leashes put on.
After we had finished moving the cows the other day, I decided to take Daphne and Lulu for a walk. We went up the hill to check on Kevin and the cows. Cows and goats seemed rather curious about each other, but apparently the cows looked a bit big and scary to the little goats! We will not be grazing the cows in the goat paddock until the goats are older, and we’ll first be making sure that cows and goats have plenty of chances to become accustomed to each other under our supervision. This was the first close encounter.
We are also teaching the goats to tether. We think that prolonged, unsupervised tethering can be cruel and even dangerous to goats, so we don’t plan to tether them for a long time, and certainly not overnight. Our plan is to tether them in a spot near where we are working, so that we can keep half an eye on them. The goats seem to enjoy a change of scenery, and we appreciate their weed-eating services. At five weeks old, they are both already eating grass, leaves, and small branches like little champions. They are also great company and very entertaining. So far, we have tethered them in the house paddock for a while each afternoon. We have only had to untangle them a few times!