Friday, April 4, 2008

Imprint training update.

Four days and all is well. Some things I've noticed with the imprint training.

1) Unexpected, but nice - imprinting the babies calms the mother! This mother (and my other two first timers) were not worked with at all by the breeder I bought them from. Not only are they first time fresheners, they're untamed to boot. Celtic here was the least tame. However, now she lets me come right up to her. She's cautious, but willing to wait and see what happens. Why? Because her babies don't move away from me like normal momma-raised babies. The first two days she'd move away and her body language would clearly be telling the babies "Human! Careful! Come with me!" - the babies would ignore that and just look at me. So *they're* taming *her*! I hope that holds when I start milking...

2) The book I have only deals with imprinting horses. You're told to imprint before the baby gets on its feet for the first time. Horses have one baby. Goats have two. While you're imprinting one, the other will get up. This happened with me. I imprinted the white and black one first, before she got up. I had to lay the brown and black one down to imprint it. The imprinting process was noticeably longer. Now the white and black one is without a doubt more "imprinted" than the black and brown one. Interesting. Must remember that. If I have a twin set that is girl and boy I'll need to imprint the girl first...

I'm excited that this appears to be working.

6 comments:

Cindy said...

That is really cool! I have never heard of this.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

This is very exciting!!! I'd love to know more about your imprinting methods. I clicked on the link that you provided in an earlier post, but he spoke in such generalities - clearly stating the benefits, but not the specifics, that I'm really no clearer on what the steps are. You mentioned before that you are touching the animal all over, staying in any spot that they seem uncomfortable with, until they are comfortable. Do you do other things as well? Why do you think it makes such a difference whether the baby has gotten on its feet yet or not? And this may be a stupid question, but by having a bottle baby, isn't the end result basically the same as with the imprint training? It would seem to me that the trust is built and the animal comes to depend on you in both situations. I'm sure there is a difference, though, although I'm not sure what it is. :-)
I really wish I were there to watch!!

Christy said...

I'm glad it is working. I will try this with lambs when we have them.

Stephanie S. said...

Hey - do you want this one listed, too?
Steph

Pichinde said...

Yeah, Steph - that would be great!

Pichinde said...

Farmgirl, I'll post more about the imprinting after Physion has her babies.