A Greenhorn's Journal

Lizzy733

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Y’all are figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Getting goat bottle babies was a good decision as is getting lamb bottle babies. Bit of advice, don’t raise a ram bottle baby. He will have no fear or respect for you and will get Rammy sooner. Most rams take about 18 months for the monster to show up, but there are exceptions to every rule. But you might be able to use a ram for a couple of breedings before sending him to Freezer Camp.
We do plan on doing a ram young and being very quick to discipline and see what happens. Have had great success with our roos and toms when it comes to showing a firm hand while they were tiny and manageable.

That being said, we do intend to cull every year after breeding unless we end up pleasantly surprised and get a nice boy, so it's good to know 18 months is when they turn nasty. I've heard they are a bit different with women as handlers and consider them flock members with the husband getting the brunt of the bad behaviour as they are seen as competition.

We did have a ram that came with the property and he never once put his head down and always kept a respectful distance, but I culled him because he was a big boy and I didn't trust that I could handle him all by myself, as husband leaves all the husbandry to me even tho he's the muscly one😅
 

Lizzy733

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Yep it's been a while! 😁. Glad you posted -- come back sooner 👍. That is one hairy pig🤣
My kune kune boy. He's over 2 now, so should be full grown. Cones up to about my knee. He and his little bro are our dogs\lawnmowers\orchard fall cleanup crew. Well behaved and one of the few allowed to come and go as they please in the greenhouse.

Everyone else except the lap roo gets kicked out 😆
 

Baymule

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I’m raising 2 young rams myself. One I traveled 1500 miles round trip to get, at 6 months old, one I’ve raised from birth. His mom is flighty and so was he, but his sire, Ringo was the most gentle laid back ram ever. I’m pleased to have a registered son from him.
So I have Rocky, who stomps his foot before snatching an animal cracker from my fingers and Ringo 2.0 who is becoming quite friendly. I’m closely watching for the first hint of aggression. Woe to the one who tries to assert himself over me! There will be serious repercussions! LOL Don’t even think about it!

Rocky stomped his foot at me a few days ago and I stomped my foot right back at him. Both rams ram for their lives! Hahaha!
 

Skiesblue

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I rarely work around my sheep without a stick or a crook. I have a bottle ram that Hubbs brought home because he liked the color. He’s around 8 months old and not trouble yet. I had a homegrown bottle ram named Donald (he was part of an election year bottle baby group that included Hillary, Bernie and Jill- who ironically broke her leg) he did ok sold to an experienced shepherd. Be careful with all rams however, stuff happens I have dental work to prove it.
 

Lizzy733

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O
I rarely work around my sheep without a stick or a crook. I have a bottle ram that Hubbs brought home because he liked the color. He’s around 8 months old and not trouble yet. I had a homegrown bottle ram named Donald (he was part of an election year bottle baby group that included Hillary, Bernie and Jill- who ironically broke her leg) he did ok sold to an experienced shepherd. Be careful with all rams however, stuff happens I have dental work to prove it.
Ouch. I worry bout my lil horned goats being too pushy sometimes already. Wanna rub up on you like a cat.. right into the back of your knees. I know they just want love, but they just do not watch it with those things XD.
 

Lizzy733

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Summer is getting off to a tricky start.

Due to two naughty serial escapees, we decided to let our goats roam the front gardens which has resulted in a bit of strip-foraging for some trees. To be expected, but they are not as gentle or conservative as pigs when it comes to browsing. To be fair, my overgrown lime had it coming and is looking way more manageable at the least 😅

Aside from a bit of tree damage, they've been really sticking it to the overgrown areas along with the sheep, but their life of freedom needs to be cut short as my worst fears, them trotting down the road, was realized yesterday when I got back from town. They hadn't gotten far and weren't even browsing, but still. They looked like they were only just about to start out and immediately ran back to slip under the fence as soon as they saw my car. They ran all the way down the drive, around the greenhouse, down the lawn and back to their stable where they proceeded to play innocent 😂

It's definitely not lack of browse sending them off. Perhaps curiosity or they might have seen me leave that way and possibly were starting off on a manhunt since I'd been gone longer than usual. Haven't seemed interested again since, but they've done it once, so now I'm worried. 😅

Our road is private and we are on the end with most immediate neighbors having fenced properties, but the property across from us is not fenced save the occasional minimal hotwire when the neighbour puts his 2 heffers on the driveway. They could definitely do some damage to their garden - also, a few lots down, there's a neighbor whose dog tends to roam and is a persistent concern if it ever decided to pay us a visit. We do not know that it is livestock aggressive, but don't want to learn through it having one of our animals down.

Our fencing is all 8 wire post and batten, but they've picked up the naughty habit of lifting the bottom wire from my kune and are slipping under. We aren't very experienced with fencing, so I'm not sure if this is something a retensioning might help with?

Regardless, I have a box full of 150mm standoffs and two full spools of polywire I bought for the top paddocks. I'd planned one wire at 400mm tall, but now worried I should take it way lower and run another at 800 or higher all the way around - one of my girls is a little trick pony and has been seen wall-jumping to clear a 1200mm tall pool gate and takes the electric sheep netting with ease.

They've never ventured into this paddock, which has lots if gorse and a few established coastal ash they can browse. The pigs don't even sneak into this one, so the 8-wire there is sturdy, but it's also bordering our native bush and the far side, which has a heavily vegetated sheer drop-off, so making sure they don't get out is very much for their own safety as they could get injured or be nonrecoverable due to the geography around that area.

If anyone has advice around wiring for livestock that tend to slip under tensioned fences, I'm all ears.
 

Baymule

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@Mini Horses has been rebuilding fence to keep her goats in. The old saying goes, “ if it will hold water, it will hold a goat.”

I have sheep, they don’t challenge the fence and could care less. Goats aim in life is plotting against you! LOL
 

Mini Horses

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Goats are smart, athletic and determined. Once jumping or crawling to free range browse it's almost impossible to correct entirely. 🤣🤷 Not all have wanderlust intentions. As you saw, they will return to their escape location....fix that with some real fence. Jump?? I believe they would win a contest with deer! 4 of 30 here are brazen jumpers!! I have 4' goat fence & horse fence....hot wire added. I've raised height with more white hot wire in their fav places, to 5'. That has halted 2 of 4 for most part. Oh, they often jump back in, also. Always return home from adventures.

Your fence just makes them laugh. BUT they will clear under brush to something resembling a well maintained park. Your veg garden will be at risk. Fruit trees are favorites...I've stopped buying trees as I've "buried" 5 apple, 3 fig & several blueberry.

BEST correction -- sell these, buy different ones.🫂
 

Lizzy733

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Nooo...

These are our babies 😢

So I've taken a few additional precautions, been keeping a close eye on our girls and spoiled them with treats on one occasion and they've still been sneaking out (of the stsble, not over the road), but one is stumped and the others have not been roaming far. I've a few more things I can implement short of putting in something like high-panel fencing. Will be tentatively proceeding and getting that paddock wired on a weekend when it's not so rainy. There's always do much that needs doing here 😓

I've also fone something a little naughty and deviated from my stocking plan in having two blackshire ewe lambs reserved for pickup in January 😅 They have not been raised on the bottle, but are coming from a well-handled flock, so we hopefully won't have a hard time taming them down. Means I could possibly go for a bigger cull with the older flock, but there's plenty of graze so it's not really a concern with two extra mouths to feed. We already have the neighbour's cows in the xl paddock helping keep the grass trimmed and knocking crossbars outta the fence..😓 Need to get out there with a crowbar, mallet and muscle-bound husband to see if we can't get it back in its notches.

Anyway, still not plans to tup these girls till they're 2, so plenty of time to get these new recruits comfortable with handling. Wish us luck XD
 
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