Massage & Bodywork with Farm Animals - Jealousy within Herds

Massage & Bodywork with Farm Animals - Jealousy within Herds

In the second year of this study of bodywork with farm animals, an important development was observed.

Bonding with farm animals can be easy for some, and the majority of friendly animals such as tame farm animal goat herds will enjoy the attention.  However, when there's a sick animal, and you spend individual time and attention with the sick animal amongst the herd, you could create some negativity within the herd and against the sick animal.  In human terms, we equate this to, and call it jealousy.   

What I found when working with an individual goat whom was walking on 3 legs (aka as "Gimpy"), a normally friendly goat started aggressively chasing and ramming Gimpy when Gimpy received individual human attention. And it wasn't just one goat that was aggressive and changed against Gimpy - it was at least half a dozen of them!

Gimpy is a white goat and it's her rear hind-quarter leg which is lame and was was injured as a kid.  Despite being able to place her 4th leg on the ground, she prefers to walk around on three legs and keep her 4th rear leg in the air while standing or walking.

The sick animal actually rejected and shied from human care in front of the herd, when other animals were present.  It's like the sick animal knew that if they received individual human attention, they would receive this negative repercussion amongst the herd.  However, when the sick animal was isolated away from the herd, the sick animal was changed and very receptive to human care.

Lesson learned:  take sick animals away from the herd and work with them in isolation.  Goats tend to be very social animals, so you may want to bring another extremely tame and loving animal to the individual sick bay for company - but working with a sick animal in front of the rest of the herd could create "jealousy" and negative repercussions for the sick animal.  

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#farmanimalcare #animalmassage #goatcare

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