Hello everyone, I am new here. I just found this website today, and am excited to see what I can learn from it about dairy animals and cheesemaking.
I have a problem with one of my goats and I thought maybe someone here would have an idea. We have several dairy goats, mostly LaMancha. The problem is with our youngest milker, Ebony, who is two years old. We purchased her about two months ago. She seems to have an anxiety disorder; she screams like a wounded elephant nearly all the time--she can be heard over a mile down the street! She is being kept in a large pen with the other goats and a horse. One of the other does bullies her, but she has room to get away from her. She has twin kids (her second set of kids). She keeps the kids penned in a corner when they are in with her, and won't let them play. If they get out of her sight, she begins the screaming. If one of the other goats or our horse is taken out of her sight, she panics and screams and throws herself at the fences. (even though she still has other goats with her) If someone walks past the pen, she screams. If I tie her up or milk her, she screams and jumps around and kicks. She was being machine milked before we got her. She will stand if I hobble her back legs together--that actually seems to calm her for some reason. We joke that she has a learning disability because she just doesn't seem to learn anything when I spend time training her, while the other goats catch on quick. She won't learn how to be tied, led on a rope, get in a trailer, or stand nicely for milking. It only took a few days to teach the other goats all that. Her babies are nearly ready to wean, so we have been putting them in their own pen for a few hours at a time to gradually get them independent of mom, but Ebony goes crazy and screams and won't stop, which stresses the babies. The kids that aren't hers don't mind being in the baby pen, but hers have a hard time because of her behavior. We've been doing the separation routine at the same time every day for over two weeks and she won't settle down. She is very friendly, so it's not an issue of being untame. She's also healthy; we had a vet see her, but the vets here don't know a lot about goat behavior. She is getting plenty to eat, so she isn't hungry. Her screaming is driving us crazy and annoying the neighbors. Does anyone know what to do? We don't want to sell her because that won't really fix the problem, it will just leave someone else with a problem goat. Could her lack of ability to learn be a result of being brain damaged when she was disbudded as a kid? (It looks like they did a bad job; the whole top of her head is scarred up and she has bits of horn still left.) We don't know much about her history; we bought her from a dairy farm that was thinning out its herd. She was bred by that farm, so we are her second owners. The other goats we got with her are normal.
Thanks for any help that anyone can offer!