I had a breakthrough today with one of the farm bucks, Zeus. Nearly four years ago I joined in with K and R and chased Zeus in order to collar him for grain. We could only catch him with a bucket of grain and K said enough was enough and the chase was on.
K ended up snagging one of his horns and catching him. Zeus never forgave me, and I have used that story as an example to the young help as to why you never chase a goat. Then you are looked at as a predator.
I have been diligently working on winning Zeus over. I believe in using kind words and soft cheek scratches and have won fans out of most of the farm herd that way. Most everyone else uses grain or treats. In fact the filly has become a nipper because of treats, but that is another blog.
Still I could not win Zeus over. It had to be a bucket of grain at his place and then collaring him was simple. I guess you could say I gave up.
The bucks have been roaming far on their walks with the boss. Yesterday while going to bring them in, I had to go way down past the garden in the far field, and then down the woods road. While on the woods road, I found an apple tree that had tiny apples, so I filled a pocket with apples.
The last two days I have been solo collaring the bucks, and I have decided since they are so rowdy, I would only let a couple in at first, and then one at a time as I collared and chained them. The rest of the bucks have to wait in the parking area. Since there are three bucks including Zuess that can't be caught until the grain appears, I have been making them wait until last.
But, I have discovered Zeus' weak spot. Apples. He watched yesterday as I offered apples while I was letting bucks in, and he pushed to the front and stared at me with his big blue eyes.
"Oh, do you want an apple?"
So I gave him one and collared him and let him in.
Today was the same routine, but he backed off after the first apple. I ignored him and went on letting in the other bucks and giving ones apples that like them. Zeus could not bear it. Again he came to the gate and I gave him an apple and slipped a collar around his neck and led him in. Then I gave him a third tiny apple. (today I had two pockets full since I ran short yesterday)
After graining everyone, and pulling three out separate for hooves and picking up their grain dishes, I started releasing the rest. Zeus was my new best friend. He followed me all around as I untied each buck, and I kept showing him my empty hands to see that I had no apples, and then I would pet him and we would repeat with the next buck.
I called Y's attention. I was still in the pen with Zeus following me like a puppy and letting me scratch his cheeks while he stared up at me.
"I can't believe it!" Y exclaimed.
Sometimes it takes the right apple to win them over. ;)