Friday, July 25, 2014

Deenis: Jeckyll and Hyde!

As of July 13th, Houdini (AKA Deenis) has been with us a year. It was all fun and games til April when we got our ewe Baa...
"O poor Deenis (I mean Harry Jeckyll!), if ever I read Satan's signature upon a face,
it is on that of your new friend"~Robert Louis Stephenson, Jeckyll and Hyde

I've often spoken of how sweet and well behaved our Mr. Deenis is. Much like a clumsy, lovable dog, he often laid at our feet by the campfire, and happily stole cans of soda off the picnic table. That is until Baa came to live with us back in April.

Our once docile, affectionate to annoyance Boer/Pygmy wether quickly has become unpredictable. One minute he is happily attempting to eat anything other than what he's supposed to, next minute he's rearing back on his hind legs and attempting to charge! 

I can only assume the change in behavior is somehow directly related to Baa's arrival. She is very docile, and follows him around constantly. It's clear he has dominance over her. Perhaps now that he's got a lady under his control, he's gotten haughty? From the information I've been able to find, it seems this is a plausible theory. He directs his aggression towards myself and Brittney, but doesn't think to attempt such behaviors with Brian.

It's gotten to the point where I am uncomfortable dealing with him without others present and in possession of my trusty water pistol.Water pistol? YES. Goats hate water, like Superman to Kryptonite, he immediately ceases his attack and backs away. It probably has not helped that Brian wrestled with him playfully in the past... (Other net suggestions included tugging his ear sharply while shouting "NO!" and actually wrestling him to the ground! Somehow I don't think manhandling a 150+lb goat would work out well for me...)

So from everything I've read, as stubborn as goats are, at some point if I consistently hit him with the water pistol every time he exhibits aggressive behavior, he SHOULD get the hint. I hope that's true. We promised his former owners we wouldn't eat him nor would we sell him to someone else who would, but at the same time, we can't put ourselves or our other animals at risk of injury, either. Thankfully, he continues to treat the other barnyard residents gently thus far...