Monday, August 31, 2009

Who knew?

I swear there is no such thing as a Donald proof fence. Right now the three fat bellies are in the "sick pen" somehow Donald let himself out. The problem though is that when he let himself out he left his cast in the pen. He was on the front porch looking in at 6:30 am. We spent 20 minutes looking for his cast though. Didn't take much to put it back on. The silly goof laid on Cae's lap and pulled his beard, and ears. As soon as we got the cast back and let him down he walked up to me with his face tipped up like he does for kisses. What a silly boy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Donald is doing much better

Yesterday when Donald called to me I went to sit with him and just love on him and the fat bellies. When I walked up to the gate Donald looked up at me and actually put weight on his leg. He only took a couple steps with weight on the leg, but he was very pleased with himself. Maybe he was so pleased with the loves he got.

He is still a little stinker though. When Cae got home today Donald called to him, and when he went out his cast was most of the way off. He had pulled all the cotton out of the cast, and it slipped down. While we were fixing the cast he was trying to eat the cotton.

It makes me so happy to see him recovering. I wish he had never gotten hurt, but he did, and I'm glad he's getting better.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Doing better

Well, got Donald's cast changed yesterday. What a trooper he is. He snuggled into Cae's lap and let me change the cotton bandaging under the cast with no fuss at all. He did demand lots of pets, kisses and of course he didn't mind having a goaty massage either. I think if he could have purred like a cat he would have over the pets and massage. He is really sucking up the attention he gets too. He's no ones dummy either. It started to rain yesterday, he and the other fat belly boys were inside their house. He decided he wanted one of us to come running so he cried like he was being hurt. I get out there, and he's looking at the boys like "see, if you cry she comes". Gotta love a smart goat.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Donald Update

Every day as we do chores we let all the kids out to graze for a bit. Donald was crying like he was being tortured so I let him out. I really didn't think he would go far, but stayed really close anyway. I turned to change the water from the dairy girls to the Angoras, that quick the little stinker was in my yard wagon. I'm still wondering how he jumped into the wagon. Got him out of the wagon, turned, got one of the doelings off the top of the hay stack. In that short amount of time he had gone 50 feet and jumped onto the stump.

I am amazed with Donald and his heart. I really think my little guy is going to be just fine. I truly thought that he would lay about for a bit longer than 1 day. I certainly didn't think that at 5 days he'd be jumping into and on things. In hindsight I guess I shouldn't have been too shocked. A few hours after the leg was set he had climbed onto the railroad tie that we play follow the leader on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tip of the Day

Brushing your goat daily will help you to spot any sores or injuries. If you brush them in water from a running hose they will have less fear of water, and won't balk at water crossings. I also brush my boys in mud then wash their feet. By washing their feet I can also keep on top of hoof trimming, and any other hoof issues. Because I do this so often, they are extremely easy for one person to trim their hoofs. Big payoff if you are the only one taking care of feet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Doing good today

Today has found Donald taking it easy. He's a remarkable little goat though. He's up and eating very well, as well as drinking. He is trying to climb and stuff, I might have to take his railroad tie out. He is staying in the play area with Acheron and Kyrrian for now. I didn't want the bigger goats to pick on him. Having the three fat belly babies together is turning out to be another bonding experience for them and me. Donald calls to us to come sit with him every hour or so, so while we are out there we are petting and brushing the other boys as well. All three of them seem to like having undivided attention, without the bigger goats pushing them away so they don't get pets.

Tomorrow I am going to go on with our training with Acheron and Kyrrian. If Donald wants to come out and sit with us, I think I'll let him. For sure he will continue to get daily brushing, and treats. I also think that I will make a halter for him. He likes to "model" when he thinks he looks handsome.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Very stressful day

This morning my hubby and I were trying different things to come up with a better goat halter when all of a sudden, Donald fell off a trailer and broke his leg. Thankfully we were right there and were able to instantly set the leg and do a temporary splint. Our wonderful vet gave us the supplies to properly cast it along with pain medication.
Right now Donald is resting well. He has been up and eating, and begging for kisses. He quickly figured out that if he cries we come running. When we get to him he holds his sweet face up for kisses. I have moved him to an enclosure that is right under the living room and my bedroom windows. I wanted to be sure that I could hear him.
For the next few weeks I will only be working with the other two weathers Acheron and Kyrrian. I will still post about Donald and his recovery. Tomorrow I will post pictures of Donald and his bright red cast.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Follow Me

Teaching this is pretty simple. I take a handful of the treat of the day and walk away from Donald. I stop after a few feet, and if he is behind me he gets the treat, if he's in front of me I change direction. I make sure to stop as soon as he is behind me and give him a treat. It only takes a couple times, and your goat will follow too. When they have followed for a few yards, stop and give another treat. After a few times of doing this I just hold my hand behind me, sometimes I have a treat, sometimes not. They still follow, after a few days they know that they are supposed to stay behind you.
NOTE: I do not turn around to give the treat for following me. I stop, and extend my hand behind me for them. When I'm working with more than just Donald anyone in front of me does not get the treat. Seeing Donald get the treat is enough to encourage them to stay behind me too.
Tip of the Day:
Even if you only have a few minutes to spend with your goats today, do it. Take a minute to pet them, pick up their feet, brush them, scratch their ears, and give them a kiss. Those few minutes will pay off. Picking up their feet will have a huge payoff for trimming, they won't have a problem with you doing anything to them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Today we worked some on the leash, and on following without the leash. All three of the little fat bellies are doing wonderful. I decided that I would add jumping onto the stump. Donald caught on fastest. But then he will do anything for a taste of bread or whatever is in my pocket. Today it was animal crackers and bread. As soon as the others saw him get a treat it was super simple to get them to jump up. Now we are going to work on having them jump up when their name is called.

The pics are Donald on the stump, Acheron behind me and Kyrrian on the other side of the stump.

All three boys following me. Acheron is on the leash. Sometimes he develops a bit of ADD and would rather check the world out. Today he was trying to get into the grain bin, so he got the leash.

Here is Donald jumping onto the stump. The other boys were by my hubby trying to convince him to give them a treat.
Every morning and evening when we do chores we let the "fat belly babies" out with us. I have been working on them following me. They tend to get underfoot when they are running in circles around me. For the last few days I have had a treat in my pockets. When I am walking I will offer the treat behind me, and only to the baby(s) that are behind me. They finally got it today, all three of the little fat belly boys. It was wonderful to walk with them behind me. Donald caught on first, he really wanted the bread, and then Kyrian, Acheron does everything his brother does, so it was just a domino kind of thing. I have let them out a couple times today, and they have all stayed behind me.

Next we are going to work on walking without the leash. I think I'll do that very slowly, and they will still have leashes until we get away from people and roads.
Tip Of The Day:

Vary the type of treats you give. If there is variety they are always willing to work for food. I use leaves from their favorite trees, favorite weeds, peanuts, triscuts, ritz crackers, saltines, animal crackers, grapes, bread, and of course, grain. In the summer I am very careful not to give them very much with corn. I have read that corn can heat them up too much in the warm weather. Don't know if it's true, but not willing to risk my pets

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This week I have been working with Donald, and two other LaMancha weathers. They are all three months old, and so full of energy and love. I am always amazed at how smart they are. They have been walking on the leash with me every night, and are doing wonderful. We take different trails all the time, and the new sounds, sites, and smells don't bother them at all.

Teaching them to walk on the leash is very easy. First let me say, NEVER LET A GOAT DRAG A LEASH IF YOU ARE NOT RIGHT WITH THEM, AND NEVER TETHER A GOAT UNLESS YOU ARE RIGHT WITH THEM. Having said that, every time we feed the babies are let out. They follow us around and munch on weeds. For us the first part of teaching them to walk on a leash is to let them drag one for two or three feedings. We NEVER leave them unattended. When they realize that the leash is not evil I pick it up. They usually balk at the pressure of the leash. That's where the treat comes in. I hold the treat out a bit in front of them so they have to walk to get it. Then I turn and walk again, when they balk I give another taste of treat. It only takes a couple times and they figure out that if they follow you they get something good. After they are following for several yards, I offer them a treat and a love. From there, it's just practice several times a week for a few minutes, or take walks.

Donald acts like walking on the leash is wonderful, he gets to taste things that aren't common in our yard. The other two weathers wait to see what Donald is eating before they sample it.
They are all following me or walking beside me, and don't make any effort to be in front of me. I really like for them to stay behind me, and am very pleased with how well they walk on the leash. The reason I like them behind me is simple, I don't want to trip over them and one or both of us getting hurt. That's why I teach them to stay behind me.

All three of the boys are jumping onto a platform to get a treat, and I've been working with them to get up when their name is called. I hope that by the end of the week they will be jumping up as soon as I tell them too. When they are proficient at jumping on the platform I will ask them to jump on something higher until they are jumping in the truck with ease. I'll write more on that over the weekend, along with how I teach them to do the trick.
I have discovered that by teaching one of the boys the new task the others learn much faster. I have been taking turns teaching either Donald or the slowest learner the new task. It works so wonderfully!!!! The others see what he just did, and are happy to do the same for the treat. I also work individually with them during the day to help reinforce the trick, as well as working with them in a group

I am having so much fun working with these guys, it is turning out to be really good exercise for me as well as the goats.