The goat kids go to school
Hello everyone! My name is Adrianna and I am one of our Outback team members taking care of our goats! If you have visited our petting zoo recently, you probably have met our five kids! In case you didn’t know, a goat kid is a baby goat! That’s right, we have five baby goats who are about 10 months old. They have really acclimated well with the other goats and sheep in our herd and love the attention from you all. As we all know, when kids get old enough it is time for them to start school, and that is exactly what our kids are experiencing now!
No, the baby goats are not getting on a school bus and heading to school, but they are getting training sessions with us! All of our goats get their hooves trimmed at least once a month, just like we have to trim our nails or our pet’s nails. Therefore, the first behavior that the kids are learning is to stand still for their hoof trims. The end goal of the behavior is to have one team member with the goat as he stands still and lets the keeper trim his hooves. There are a lot of steps to get to that goal, starting with getting the kid to place his front two hooves on a plank of wood. From there we use approximations, or baby steps, to work towards having them stand still and let us pick up all their hooves to trim.
So far the baby goats have come a long way with this behavior! Training is always voluntary, so if the goats do not want to participate they can simply walk away or not participate. Luckily the kids are incredibly enthusiastic to train and are already standing still enough to let us pick up their hooves. Next, we will work on touching their hooves with trimming tools, but not actually doing any trimming. As long as the baby goats keep up the good work, they will soon graduate and finish this behavior! Be sure to be on the look at for us training the babies or even trimming some of the other goats’ hooves!
Keeper I, Ambassador Animals