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Goats Behaving Baaadly

By Palani_CML

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Is there a goat terrorizing your Millsap farm? Many farms that include goats have one or two that aren’t exactly always on their best behavior. In fact, it isn’t unusual for goats to be a bit on the ornery side.

They may be utterly adorable, but goats can be quite a handful. Some goats actually run afoul of the law with their misconduct. In one widely publicized incident in 2009, a goat in Nigeria was arrested after a vigilante group reported the goat as an accomplice in an armed robbery. A few years later, another group of Nigerian goats caused quite a ruckus when they took over an airport runway, thereby effectively blocking planes from landing. Another notorious goat is Voldemort, who chased a 14-year old paperboy up a tree. Then there’s Gary, the goat who had to go to court after eating flowers outside a museum in Sydney, Australia.

Not all goats achieve such notoriety with their naughty habits, however. Biting and head-butting are much more common forms of insurrection in goats, and rarely make the evening news.

Why are some goats so feisty?

Goats that bite or head-butt people often are displaying signs of dominance. Goats are herd creatures by nature, and as such, live in a hierarchal society. Male goats will often fight one another to try to prove their superiority. Goats don’t necessarily treat humans differently than they would other goats, so if your goat seems to be trying to boss you around, he may be trying to push you beneath him in the herd ranking order. Goats can also bite or head-butt out of fear or just in play.

Since aggressive goats can be quite dangerous, you’ll want to take steps to prevent or correct the behavior. Goats learn things young, so don’t let your cute little baby goat get away with head-butting you. Never strike your goat; just tell it ‘No’ loudly. Also, never push back; your goat may think you’re head-butting it.

Once a goat has matured, it may be harder to correct the behavior, but there are still methods. The old-fashioned way, which some still swear by today, was to sit on the goat so that it was restrained and couldn’t get up. This is to be done in a manner that doesn’t hurt the goat, but will force it to submit, and thus, recognize you as its superior.

We feel it’s pretty safe to say there are some goats in Millsap with bad manners, and wouldn’t be terribly surprised to learn that some of them have pretty funny nicknames. After all, a sense of humor and a lot of patience are required if you’re going to keep goats.

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