My Goat Hurt My Friend's Goat
So my friend and I took our goats of a hike today. He has three dis budded boys around 7 months old. I have three goats one 8 months, one almost 2 years and one who I just adopted who is 3 with in tact horns.
All day the younger goats were sparing and rough housing but not the big guy, until.. 

I heard Otto (my friends goat) make a painful cry. I turned around to see the smaller goat on the ground with the big goat standing near. Long story short we got Otto and noticed he had a pretty good rip near the base of his penis. Not much blood but looked painful. He peed twice since it happened so I don't think much damage happened but I'm concerned.

Strange thing is earlier this week my little goat actually somehow got his collar somehow around the big goats horn. Instead of freaking out and trashing the little goat to peaces they both walked around like a two headed goat and when my wife noticed she ran out and unhooked them with no injury.

 I guess what I'm asking is if this is normal, a fluke, or is my goat a bad goat?

I relay like him and want to have more packers in the future and think (for now) that goats with horns are better, but am feeling terrible that my goat hurt my friends goat.
Do your 8 month and 2 year old have horns? Many people do not mix horns with de-horned due to the obvious disadvantage of the de-horned goats. It will be wise to see what kind of alpha this 3 year old is trying to be. My alpha of many years was very strong willed and pushy to the younger goats. My saving grace was that he was de-horned and slim built. The babies out grew him by 50 and 90 lbs. That never really stopped him from being a pushy pain in the butt but everyone was safe. If this 3 year old is bossy but not mean you should be ok.
A fluke would be a misjudgment of pressure applied to young goat. A bad goat would mean he attacked to injure. How can you know? You'll have to watch his behavior closely to get a feel for his style and keep him on a lead around younger goats until you are sure.
Further to Idaho Nancy's advice I think it best to take the collars off the goats when out in the paddock due to the choke hazard associated with getting caught up with horns Smile
Happiness is a baby goat snoring in your lap
This sounds like an unfortunate accident. I hope the little guy is ok. The muscle layer on the underbelly is very thin, so goring can be deadly if a horned goat really means business, but it sounds like he only took off some skin. I know you feel bad, but accidents do happen.

It's impossible to hand down a "bad goat" judgement based on what sounds like a single isolated incident. The goring and the collar thing are unrelated, and when it comes to mingling two separate herds it's important to keep in mind that this can create a volatile situation between even the nicest goats. From your description, your big fella was quite content not to involve himself in any physical confrontations throughout your hike, which sounds to me like a mellow, laid-back personality. From the sounds of it, he wasn't going out of his way to look for trouble or pick fights, but when a fight came his way he really laid down the law. This is not unusual and isn't by itself an indication of trouble. We must judge our goats on patterns of behavior, not isolated incidents. A high-ranking goat is often very protective of his own space, especially around unfamiliar goats, and he is also protective of the other members of his own herd. If the goat that got gored challenged your big goat by cutting him off while walking, or if he was picking fights with lower members of your herd, this would be cause for your big boy to go after him. If your big fella is normally very mellow and doesn't have a goat his own size to spar with, he may not know his own strength.  

When we combine different herds on a hike, we try to be very aware of the interpersonal dynamics because things can escalate quickly. We try to keep our big goats from getting near the youngsters from the other herd for exactly this reason. Our goat Finn is quite dominant and will pick on smaller goats relentlessly, so we keep him behind us and let the goats from the other herd walk ahead. With people standing physically between them, the goats leave each other alone. Sometimes Finn has to be kept on a leash to keep him from chasing and butting. It's annoying, but it's more important to keep everyone safe. He doesn't do this when we walk with only members of our own herd, but Finn behaves very differently when there are unfamiliar goats nearby, and he seems to think he has to prove himself to them.

Horns are beautiful and I love them for many reasons, but they also take a bit more management. Luckily, as a goat ages his horns curl back to the point where it becomes more difficult for him to gore with the tips. If the horn tips are very sharp, you can blunt them with a hoof rasp. You don't have to take off much. Another thing you can do when you are going out with a group of other goats is pad your goat's horns. We do this when we take our goats around a lot of kids, not because our goats are mean, but because neither kids nor animals are 100% predictable. I got some of those mini tennis balls from the pet section, cut a slit in them, and I plop one over each horn. Then I vetwrap them in place. They look silly, but it prevents accidents. Someone once described horned goats as little boys running around with sharp sticks. They can cause injury without meaning to. I like that analogy because it makes me more aware of what I need to do to prevent problems before they occur.  

The collar hooking thing is not a sign of meanness. My boys do it to each other all the time. A lot of folks remove collars when goats are in the pasture for that exact reason. I prefer to leave collars on, so all my goats wear leather collars or nylon ones with a flimsy plastic snap. Either of these should hopefully break under too much strain (and in fact we've gone through several of each collar type over years and so far no strangled goats or broken necks). Our boys will deliberately hook into each other's collars and drag each other around by them. They eventually unhook themselves without intervention. If your boys were just walking around with the horn through the collar, don't be alarmed. But do make sure your collars have a weak point. This is important not just for horns, but for getting caught on fences, trees, gates, etc.

Good luck with your boys. I know you feel bad about your friend's goat, but it sounds like it was just an accident and one that you can prevent in future now that you know what can happen when goats from different herds meet each other, especially when those goats are different sizes.
Thank you for all the input. I am going to bring tennis balls next time. I'm glad to say Otto is doing fine. I don't think my big goat is overly mean. If he wanted to he could have done much worse. He is actually more stand offish than anything. I will say that he is serious when it comes to food and neither of my smaller goats contest him on that front.

My younger goats are both hornless because when i got them I lived in city limits and they have strict rules about goats with horns. All of them seem to get along well and even play together. The two smaller ones will sleep together but the big guy seems to want his space. but they will all share the shed when its cold. They will even all pile into the back of my suburban together no prob, which is tight.

I think it was just a case of a goat, not is his family, getting between him and a tasty tree. I don't know how badly he meant to hurt the other goat or even cared one way or the other as long as goats stayed out oh his way.

Lastly, I have children ages 9 - 12 and he never acts aggressive to them. He is more ski-dish and not as affectionate as my younger goats, but still likes them.
I'm glad your friend's goat is doing fine. If you use tennis balls, just make sure you also bring vetwrap to keep them in place. Otherwise you'll spend most of your hike chasing the darn things down. Wink

It does not sound like your guy is aggressive at all. If he's willing to share a shed or the back of an SUV with two little guys, and they aren't scared to share it with him, then he sounds like a good herd leader. Many "boss goats" are not nearly so tolerant. Being aggressive about food is perfectly normal. Just make sure he's never aggressive with YOU about food! You can work him through that skittishness too with time and patience and cookies. Perhaps if your kids feed him treats on a regular basis he'll be less nervous of them. If this is the goat I bred, then he may still remember the tricks I taught him. See if he'll still shake hands. He also learned to "spin" and "repent" (go down on his knees), and "lay down". If he remembers any of those old commands, practicing them is a good way to get him over being nervous around you and the kids.
He knows shake and seems proud to show that one off. I didn't know he knew any others I'll try after work tonight.
Do you have motions that go with the other commands? He won't shake until I hold out my hand, so i wonder what other clues he was getting to perform the other tricks, I'll give them a try.

He is really a sweet goat. I'm not sure he will ever be a cuddle bug like my other two, but in the past two months of owning him he has become more affectionate.

Also I must say he is always hungry. I feed him probably more than I should and let them eat as much alfalfa/grass as they want and even so he always has room for more. I know more about dogs at this point than goats and he reminds me of a lab I once had who would literally eat herself sick given the chance. I don't know if that's normal but my other two are not as food driven, they seem to just want to play and love affection.

Again, thank you for the reassurance. My friend and I have another trip planned for the end of the month if his goat is healed to try again. I'm thankful he is not uptight about his goat being gored. I'm thankful he has patience while we both figure this goat pack stuff out. (of course it was his wife's favorite of his goat, so that makes it worse.) We both learned a lesson, and from now on I will be carrying a goat first aid with me into the backcountry.
Yes, we taught "Snickers" several tricks. He was over a year old when we sold him, so we worked with him quite a bit. It's too bad he's become somewhat shy. He was very affectionate when he was with us. He was the baby that loved being held and would sleep on your lap for hours if you let him. The folks who bought him took excellent care of him, but they also had a lot of other animals so maybe Snickers didn't get quite as much individual attention.

We've found that goats work better off hand motions than voice. I believe we only worked on the clockwise spin with Snickers. I'd make a hand motion over his head like I was stirring a pot clockwise while saying "Spin". Usually to start I hold a treat in that hand so they kind of follow it around with their nose until they get it.

"Repent!" is when they go down on their knees. I put my hands together in a praying motion and bow a little bit like a Chinese man. This is a harder trick to learn and I don't remember how good he was at it. If we schooled him on it well then he should remember because it would have taken longer for him to learn. He may need to you to pull downward on his halter a little bit to remember.

He probably doesn't remember "lay down". He was the best of our three boys for a while, but the training was never completed. I got busy and stopped practicing it with him when the 2015 babies came so he was already really rusty by the time we sold him. I would say "lay down" while pushing on his withers until his front end sank. Then I would push on his bottom until he went down all the way.

Greediness about food is a very common "top goat" trait and one that gets a lot of wethers in trouble because they get too fat. I wouldn't worry about it, but also don't let him trick you into feeding him too much. You should be able to find his ribs down there somewhere. Your younger guys will probably get "greedier" as they age too. A good appetite is much easier to deal with than a poor one.
I was going through some old videos yesterday and found the one where we first began training Snickers to spin. It was counter-clockwise. Wink

Any luck with tricks besides "shake hands"?
Yes He knows Shake and Spin. I've been working with him a lot. He does not remember "repent" or "lay down" at all, or perhaps does not want to.
He is getting more comfortable in general but still needs lots of attention. He is slow to trust compared to my other goats but I'm sure with time and patience he will get better.

We are going to try getting our goats all out again this weekend, I'll let you know how it goes.

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