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Topic: Shelter  (Read 3016 times)
kristina
Bottle Babies
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Posts: 13


« on: November 17, 2012, 09:25:15 AM »

So I moved Molly and her baby to a new pen.  This was back in September.  Everything is great, except they are refusing to use the wooden shelter I built them. So I built them a new one similar to the old one. They still won't use it. I have moved it a few times, turned it around, put bedding in there etc, but they are still refusing to use it.  It wasn't a big deal in the summer, and I figured when the rains start they will be forced to go in there. Nope.  Now it's getting cold and wet and they are still sleeping outside.  One thing I noticed is that Molly likes to stand guard and watch over the property....we are on top of a hill.  Even before the baby came, she would do this.  On backpacking trips too....if I was sleeping she would stand over me and guard me.  I thought maybe this is why she is not using her shelter, she can't see down the hill to guard the property.  So is this obsessive guarding of humans, the property and her baby normal?  Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can get her to use the shelter?
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imalilbirdie
Herdmasters
Goat Genius
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Posts: 19071


Texas


« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2012, 02:00:08 PM »

We are talking about goats right?  Not dogs?  This behavior in an LGD is perfectly normal..but in a goat..that's odd for sure.  Rain will drive goats indoors eventually. 

If we are talking about goats...you'll probably have to lock her and her baby inside of it for a few hours and release them and then continue to do it until they get the idea it's a safe place to be.  Feed them and put their water inside of it as well, will help to teach them it's an ok place to be..there's food in there. Smiley
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~ Birdie ~
Earlyriser
Goataholic
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Posts: 118


« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2012, 04:01:32 PM »

My guess is lack of defenses mean they have to be able to flee and will not put themselves in a place they cannot get out of or see the danger coming from afar. Some of my goats are happy with shelter the ones that come from more feral stock and have been raised in a large pasture are what we (my wife and I) call watch goats, never seem to relax when outside. When in the barn and everything is closed they are totally content and seem much more at ease.
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kristina
Bottle Babies
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Posts: 13


« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 07:10:43 PM »

Ok, that sort of makes sense.  Molly and Baby B used their shelter when they lived at Big Sky Ranch so it's not that they are not used to it.  When Molly was born, she, her mom and brother were the only mini's in a herd of about 40 full size Nubians where she had no shelter until I adopted her.  I agree that she probably feels like she needs an escape route if needed and the shelter may be a little too confining for her.  It is more than big enough, but the entrance is on the side.  Thanks for your tips....not sure what to do next.  Maybe lock them in for a while.
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Sally P
Goat Genius
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Posts: 8923


New Sharon, Maine


« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 07:37:44 PM »

That is not normal behavior for a goat.  They should want to be where they are safe for the night and apparently the doe is not feeling that way.  I would make sure that their shelter has bedding in it (shavings or straw) and that it has a door that can be closed at night.  The ideqa of putting feed in their shelter is good.  They should have access to hay and water at night so a hay manger would be necessary.
I agree that the doe is sstaying on guard because she feels the need to.  She obviously has had an experience in her past that makes her act that way.  Our goats at this time of the year are shut in thier barn at night with hay and water available to them.  We also feed them thier grain at night inside the barn.  Doing so creates a positive feeling for them and they will run happily and greedily into the barn at night.
We also have dogs with them and the goats are well aware that the dogs are their guardians so everyone settles down and gets some rest at night.
Our goats also have a light on 24/7 as well as a radio playing in the barn 24/7.  The sound of the radio masks strange sounds for them.
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Sally P
Goat Genius
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Posts: 8923


New Sharon, Maine


« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2012, 09:05:55 PM »

Note:  your shelter should have a window or two in it---you can put screening in it to serve as a window.  But they won't be comfortable being in a solid building.
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kristina
Bottle Babies
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Posts: 13


« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 12:28:21 AM »

Thanks for the help, I have bedding in the shelter, but I will put their food in there and close them in there for the night.  Hopefully Molly won't be worried about guarding the property.  I will let you know how things go.  Any additional suggestions would be appreciated.
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Earlyriser
Goataholic
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Posts: 118


« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 04:24:46 AM »

Just don't worry too much, they react differently to small shelters than they do fully enclosed barns. I had the same problem, still do in fact but they go in when they want too. Some mornings they will have a layer of frost on their backs but they remain happy and healthy. You can lead a goat to shelter but you know what they say.
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imalilbirdie
Herdmasters
Goat Genius
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Posts: 19071


Texas


« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 07:30:41 AM »

yeah..I agree Earlyriser...small shelters do not need windows.

did the farm that you got them from have LGD's or LLama's or a mini Donkey running with them to be their guardians?  You see the goats come to depend on these guardians for their early warning and their protection. 

Do you have a goat guardian with them?  If not, and they had one/two or more with their herds, your Doe knows she needs to protect and watch and be ready to flee.

you may consider getting an LGD for them if you don't have one.
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~ Birdie ~
Sally P
Goat Genius
*****
Posts: 8923


New Sharon, Maine


« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 09:08:15 AM »

I hate to disagree, but small shelters do need windows or at least a window.  Ventilation is extremely important for the goats.  Even on a cooler night when the shelter is shut up, humidity just from the goats exhailing will build up and that is not a good environment for the goats to be in.  It is possible that such an environment can result in respiratory problems.
Windows do not have to be a big affair---even small long holes up near the roof will work.  It is the ventilation that is important.
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kristina
Bottle Babies
*
Posts: 13


« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 10:58:01 AM »

Molly was born at Mountain Meadows Ranch and there was no LGD with them.  Since she was a baby, I think she understood that the larger ones would guard her in the herd.  Then I adopted her and she moved to Big Sky, no LGD there either.  Molly was always the one guarding the herd of about 10 -12 Nigi's.  Do you think if I get them a guardian she will settle down a little?  I am not sure if this is something they need to have since birth to understand?  Will introducing a llama of dog at this time make her nervous or calm her down.  They are protected from predators in their pen and always have a human around when they graze during the day.  I am wondering if she may feel she needs to guard the LGD since she feels that way about humans.  I am working on revamping their shelter to provide a small window, some lighting and some music.
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