Usually most of the goats are calm, friendly, social, lovely, energetic and playful in nature. Although there are some goat breeds too which are rude and aggressive naturally. But their numbers are limited and most of the goats are friendly and well behaved in nature. You may be surprised if you notice one or several goats of your flock have suddenly changed their friendly nature and turned into mean goats. They can start biting, kicking or other forms of aggression toward fellow goats and even humans. Sudden behavioral change can happen due to various reason. Try to understand the source of the problem and solve it. Some reasons of why friendly goats turn into mean goats are described shortly below.
Goats are hardy animal. They can survive for a long time. Generally in normal condition, a goat can survive for about 12 to 14 years. Their lifespan can vary depending on their raising purposes, whether you are using them for breeding and for how long. Older goats in your flock need extra attention, affection and space. Goat’s immunity can lower with their age, and various health problems often creep in and that affect the goat’s good temperament. Your goat may be startled or tentative when people (especially children) approach, if their sight and hearing is affected. Never delay vaccinating your goats. Always vaccinate timely and perform regular health check. If possible, keep children away from an old goat for avoiding unnecessary confrontations. If you notice too aggressive nature in your goats, place them in a separate pen and keep there for several days until they are suitable enough to rejoin the flock.
Never let your goats do everything whatever they wish and don’t allow them to think that ‘they are above you in the herd’s pecking order’. The goats that head-butt, kick or bite are usually attempt to show their dominance with other animals, even with humans.
The adult goats with horns that have learned head-butt, kicking or biting can do lots of harm and sometimes a severe injury can occur by them. For example, this type of goat can seriously injure a child. Spent some time with your goats when they are babies and try to make them well behaved. If you notice a goat is continuously trying to show it’s dominance, then separate it from the flock and place it in a subservient position or use pepper spray to halt the behavior. Once again, never let your goats to do everything whatever they wish.
Illness can also causes behavioral changes in your goats. Perform regular health test on your goats for any potential illness. Sometime a goat become aggressive or rude if it become ill or feel bad. It will behave rudely if anyone try to bother it when it is in physical discomfort. Usually sick goats avoid eating foods and drinking water and it stand alone, apart from the rest of the flock or other animals. Look for signs of some diseases which is causing discomfort in goats.
Some common diseases like diarrhea, bleating in pain or constipation can causes discomfort in your goats. Affected goats experience weight loss and they usually lay on a side or corner. Any of this common diseases can harm a lot to your goats, even death. So contact with your vet as soon as possible if you notice any signs of illness in your goats.
Sudden behavioral change problems can also causes due to stress. So first of all, look for the possible stressor in your goat farming environment. Usually goats are easily stressed by a variety of factors. Your goats can be stressed by dog, small children, a ride to the vet, other animals approaching the pen, a change in habitat and by various types of predators. Goats become fearful and apprehensive when stressed, and often retreat or hide. The gentle goats can also begin to show health problems (for example diarrhea or dehydration) and start acting mean or aggressive with other goats or even humans, if the stressor is not removed immediately. So it will be better, if you can remove all types of harmful animals and predators form your farm area. Thus you can ensure a good environment for your lovely goats.