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Old 11-07-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

How do you introduce your new goats to the herd? Any safety precautions to take? And what do you generally do if they don't quite get along?



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Old 11-07-2008, 07:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

New goats are separate until I feel they are healthy. I basically just let them go, if it is a new kid, I sit with her on my lap and let the others check her out, only when she's comfortable do I let her go, there is always the initial spookiness and of course, they all want to let her know who's the boss, it takes a week or more til they are all comfortable with the new one. Right now, my "new" goatie Bailey, is still adjusting to the herd queen....Bailey has been here for 3 months and has started to "boss" Heidi, who is a month older, but Bailey knows to get out the way of the bigger girls though she stands her ground with Heidi....so you pretty much have to let "nature" take it's course....the more you shield the new ones from the established goats, and don't let them work it out, the longer it will take for them to "Accept" the new one. I only intervene when someone is being extremely nasty, other than that, I let them be.



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Old 11-07-2008, 08:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

Liz said it all......I do the same .... ...except the part about putting the doe in my lap...LOL
Just like Liz...... I watch and if someone is getting to mean........ I make them back off.... but they do go back at it again...it drives me crazy... they are terrible bullies......
Also watch out for team players ...they will team up ......and 2 goats will slam the one...or try to lock up there legs.....If this happens ...and is getting to heated....you can remove one and wait til things calm down with the other and the newbie.......then put the other one back in the field and see how it goes

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Old 11-07-2008, 08:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

I just had a long, hard experience with Timber's Hope integrating with the rest of the herd. First of all, she wasn't supposed to be the only 6 month old getting added to the herd of 2+ year olds, but that's how it ended up.

I had Hope isolated for 3 weeks where she could see, but not reach the other goats. I took her into the other pen so the older goats could smell her & she could smell them, etc. She freaked out & jumped out of my arms & took off.... the other goats started butting her really hard..... I'm talking ganging up on her & very mean.... so I extracted her out again, left her in the isolation pen for a few days to recooperate, then took one of the "middle of the herd" goats from the other pen (Sarah) and left her in with Hope for a few days. It didn't take long for them to become fast buddies. About a week later, I introduced both back into the herd. Sarah defended Hope fiercely & within a few hours, Hope was accepted into the herd & hasn't been ganged up on at all since (that I have seen).

The only thing she needs to learn now is how to insert herself into the "grain chain" when I put grain in the feeders.

That's my story about introducing a new kid.

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Old 11-07-2008, 09:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

my goats are okay now---but at first, my nubian was REALLY MEAN. I had to smack her with a stick to keep her off the Nigies. . My Lamancha actually stood up for them----she head butted my Nubian everytime the Nubian made a dive for a Nigie! I think she thinks their babies. . . . But I seperated the Nubian from my herd to get her to cool down, and then after a day or so I let her in with them again for a few hours. She slowly learned to accept them. . .but I'm like after two--three weeks there has to be an easier way!

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Old 11-07-2008, 09:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

I am so glad that the majority of us do it the same

I too, bring them home - give vaccines, trim hooves, make sure everyone is good to go (I already have blood work results from blood I drew and have seen where they are coming from so i know that they are healthy). Then I release them with the heard and stay in the herd for a few hours. I, also, do not intervine unless someone is getting the poo kicked out of them. Typically they work it out nicely on their own and form "new" cliques. My 4 new goats that I got a couple weeks ago are fitting in nicely and have actually split up and made new bonds!

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Old 11-08-2008, 12:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

New goats at my place get quarrantined for two weeks - that means no nose to nose contact. On arrival into the quarrantine area they are drenched for worms, given a multi-vitamin/mineral drench and treated for lice. If they are carrying anything nasty I can generally pick it up in two weeks. It also has the added benefit of giving them time to adjust to my grain mixture, or learn to eat if they have just had pasture. If they are poor I will leave them in q a little longer, but generally at two weeks I kick them out into the group they will be in. That's it. Just put them out, yes they will fight thats what they do but if you prevent it it will only get worse. They have to sort out the pecking order for themselves. I do try to make sure it is a reasonably large paddock they are in, so the new goat has plenty of space to get away from the others. I check every couple of hours and look for broken legs etc. Not that it happens very often.

If it is a very small/young/timid animal, and I buy it by itself, I tend to buddy it up with another goat while it is still in the quarrantine area. I bring its new 'friend' in and put it in a pen close by but without nose-to-nose contact for the two weeks, then I put them together for another few days before letting them out.

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Old 11-08-2008, 02:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

i quaenteen my new goats for a month. when they are ready to go into the herd i bring one of my more melloow goats to the new goat and let them get to the point they are getting along. usually two or three days. when i feel they are good with eachother i bring another one of my older does to the pen that the new goat is in. two or three days later i bring one more doe from the herd into the pen with the new doe. I wait about a week or week and a half, and then i bring the four does back to the main herd. This way im not putting one new doe into a herd where they already have an established order. So they are not all ganging up on the one new doe. the other three have to re establish themselves. so there are more smaller fights going on rather then ten does ganging up on one doe. I do the same with kids older then sx months. Anytime before that i find that they go into the kid pen quite nicely.
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Old 11-08-2008, 03:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

Thats a great idea Sparks.. I'll have to try that sometime.

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Old 11-08-2008, 04:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

I also quarantine......but I started where the post was asking....LOL
I think it meant after the quarantine?
Introducing new Goats to the Herd?



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