Squirt Guns

I love my goats.  They are generally interested and interesting.  They will push on fences and gates but I don't think of them as particularly aggressive.  Except when they are.

The Angora goats are not quite so active or challenging to each other as the dairy goats are.  I have four of the Angoras and three dairy goats.  If I go into the pen and start clapping my hands in an attempt to get them to move back out into the pasture, the Angora goats may look at me placidly and not move or they may move.  The diary goats react differently.  They tend to get excited when I clap my hands.  And when they get excited then tend to rear up and get ready to butt.  They can butt each other all they want but when I am the target, I'm not happy.

Enter the squirt guns.  Goats hate water.  The first sign of rain and they run for cover.  And they stay under cover for as long as that hated stuff is falling from the sky.  With this antipathy of all things wet, a squirt gun becomes a very powerful weapon.  They will run like crazy to get away from it.

I walked out into the feeding pen for the first 5 or 6 days with the squirt gun in my hand initially.  They all wanted to smell it and try to figure out what it was.  That was fine with me.  I let them smell it hoping they would get used to seeing it in my hand and not pay so much attention.  Then came the first time they didn't listen at all to me when I called them out into the pasture.  I walked back around behind the group and started shooting water at them.  Each goat ran for the gate.  They weren't frantic or hysterical but highly motivated.  Just what I wanted.

I've only used the squirt gun that one time and mostly now they listen to me.  I'm sure they will settle back into ignoring me and when that happens I have my secret weapon.