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One Doe singling herself out?! New goats &Buck

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Goats' started by kguthrie, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Sep 12, 2019
    kguthrie

    kguthrie Ridin' The Range

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    Hey guys !
    I brought home new goats (3 does,and a little doe kid) and a beautiful HUGE (buck) to my original other 3 does. I got the new ones all from my mom ,closed herd healthy ect. from colorado to my place in Missouri.

    Everything has been great ,no health problems or anything soo far (its been almost 2 weeks). The buck has bred almost everyone already! yay!

    HERE IS THE (wierd) PROBLEM....
    My Primadonna ,spoiled bottle baby,(1.5 years old,never bred before) original goat is singling herself out.
    She wont go near the new goats to sleep, butts them all away,wont go into the shed (which is PLENTY big enough)
    -she is not sick
    -she is eating
    BUT i noticed the buck really dislikes her also? he doesn't mess with any of the other does aggressively but he SLAMMED her all evening one night before he bred her sister.
    then i noticed this morning that he had been on her --she finally had an icky tail ,swollen vulva ,dirty sides from him ect. they laid together and he didnt chase her "off" all day.

    fast forward to tonight...right now. ..
    POURING down rain, lightning ,wind. and she wont go in the shed. we even went out and MADE her go in there soo she doesn't get sick and soaked ...nope ! she is out again standing in it. has anyone else had this problem??? the buck has singled her out , and SHE singles herself out. also ive never seen this before and worried she is going to get sick from standing all night in this!!! :( thanks for any input!
     
  2. Sep 13, 2019
    Hens and Roos

    Hens and Roos Herd Master

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  3. Sep 13, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Hello Kguthrie , sorry to read your girl is having social problems...the dynamics of the herd changed when the three doe's and new buck arrived. Somebody is always at the bottom of the social pecking order :(, I would just give them more time to adjust to each other and move the buck to his area as soon as you are sure all are bred.....
    sorry it's your bottle baby that is having the hard time adjusting , :hugs it's hard to watch any animal being the "outcast".
     
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  4. Sep 13, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    Sounds like she is at the bottom of the pecking order. Maybe she doesn't like the other goats. Like all prey animals, she would probably much rather be in the herd at the bottom than to be by herself. If you get too worried about her, you might build her own little pen in the shed so she can have shelter from the weather.
     
  5. Sep 13, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    Sounds like you are saying that you brought 5 new goats to your farm & turned them in with the three already there --- no intro, no fence line to meet time, no separation and you expected all to be just great! :eek: Am I reading this correctly?

    IF SO -- it's no wonder this is happening. In fact, surprised you don't have 3 standing in the rain. Goats are social but, they do not take kindly to dumping together. This isn't about health, it's about "meet & greet". I don't even like to bring a single to my farm as they need a friend until everyone settles in. (And they are fence lined a couple weeks with the rest of the herd before joining) Plus, you bring in a "big, bad buck" :rolleyes:.....your originals hadn't even seen such before. I see this as a socialization issue. It may take a while. Remove the buck and that may help a little. Even does are finicky about strangers & sharing their bed.

    Just my 2cents...after years of observation & raising them.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2019
    DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Ridin' The Range

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    I concur with PP.
    It's a lesson learned in goat social behavior.
    Animals, we often don't realize, have just as complex structures as humans do socially. Goats ARE an intelligent species with some level of emotion.

    Please remove the buck. He will not be housed with all the goats year round for breeding safety reasons. I understand being tight on space and needing to potentially leave the new girls together. Let them restructure. Offer additional shelters and feeding stations.
    Sounds like a very high number of pregnant does and new kids will be on the way. Get ready! Sounds like a heck of a ride!
     
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  7. Sep 17, 2019 at 9:34 PM
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    Any improvement in making friends within the herd?:pop
     
  8. Sep 18, 2019 at 11:17 AM
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    I agree with everyone who dvised you about the goats' social structure being severely impacted by the arrival of the new goats. Not only are they new, but they outnumber the original goats who are now thoroughly threatened by the new "herd" moving in on their territory. In addition, the new herd brought a strongman with them who bashes the girls who are not ready to breed. The new herd, on the other hand, has to fight for their places in the existing herd structure into which they were suddenly introduced. Their previous herd positions disappeared as soon as they were removed from their old herd.

    About the buck beating up your doe: It is not uncommon for bucks and rams running with a herd of females to become over stimulated and try to breed even the does that are not yet in season. If Primadonna was just starting to come in season (since her sister was in, she was probably a few days behind her since they tend to cycle together) she would not let the buck mount until she was ready. Since she wouldn't submit he beat her up.

    Primadonna, you said, has been your special goat, so she is especially threatened by these interlopers. Not only are they overwhelming her but your time (if she was a bottle kid you are her momma) is now taken up with them. She is definitely left with her nose out of joint, and on top of that she gets whacked around.

    First, remove the buck and only turn him in with the does in the am and pm which are the normal times they breed. Put him on a lead rope or halter and walk him around to the does to see which ones are in season and let him breed them You will also have a record of breeding dates and thus kidding dates.

    Second, you do not say how large your goat shed is. If there is not much room for all the goats to have their own corners, the new does may have driven Primadonna out of the shed in the first place. She won't want to get beat up again by a dominant doe so she is obediently following the orders of the new Herd Queen.

    The new Herd Queen - she is the dominant female, and the one that actually runs the herd. The dynamics of your old herd will completely change now. Since your old goats were all established in a pecking order (which can change according to the dates they kid by the way) there was an established Herd Queen. The Herd queen is usually the oldest milking doe. She is not necessarily the largest, but she has the most forceful personality and is dominant. She establishes and keeps order in her herd. Under her control, younger does will fight for a place, but not to the point that they injure each other. The position of a Herd Queen is indisputable. She gets milked first, is given first spot at the feeder, etc. In return, the other herd members follow her, watch her behavior, etc. In the case of danger to the herd, the kids are within the circle, with the younger does encircling them, then the older does and the herd Queen, then the bucks. In the wild she will taste strange bushes first, if she eats them instead of walking past, the other members will feel it safe to eat.

    If all your original goats were juniors, then it sounds as if Primadonna was shaping to be the Herd Queen. Trying to beat up the new goats was her way of asserting her position as dominant female in the herd. It sounds as though another herd member, probably the most dominant member of the new 4 member flock you turned in with them, is also battling for Herd Queen position. It also sounds as though the new doe won. The fact that Primadonna is being punished for insolence by being pushed out of the goat shed, seems to show that she lost the fight. The buck did not help in settling this either since he was seen by all the herd members beating up Primadonna. While bucks are very pushy about their breeding rights, the Herd Queen usually is immune from attack. Probably because she is already flirting with the top buck.

    I suggest you fence off a corner of the shed for Primadonna for the time being. Remove the buck to allow the herd to settle into their herd positions. Take him in to breed on a leash or halter and supervise. Finally, spend time just watching your goats to see what positions they occupy in the herd hierarchy. This will give you a big insight into their behavior.

    With dairy goats, the dynamic will include you. You will be the kid (milking the does), the mama (bottle feeding the kids), and often when you are with them, the Herd Queen yourself since you are controlling the herd movements and showing them what feed to eat. That is why all milking dairy goats want to follow their beloved owners out of the pen and be with them.

    Herd dynamics are fascinating. Hope this helps with understanding their behavior.
     
  9. Sep 19, 2019 at 12:10 PM
    Anthony Sr.

    Anthony Sr. Ridin' The Range

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    Hello Ridgetop, TYVM for the info, I'll be using this for when I finally do get more Goats around here at home. I only have a single Nubian Dwarf Billy, my Nubian Female died trying to give birth; He had been keeping her from eating and I hadn't noticed. Now when I do get a female here, he'll being going down the street (to daughters place) till after it's safe(?) for the female and her kids. I'm on a fixed income, so hopefully I'll be able to find a Good Low-priced (free?) female Milking Goat here around Eustace, TX.0
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019 at 12:19 PM
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