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Old 03-28-2013, 10:57 PM   #1
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Default how do you introduce new goat kids to the herd?

I'm going to be adding some new kids to my herd this year. They'll be future breeding stock. In the past, the kids were born here so they have always had the protection of their dams. I'll be adding at least 3 just weaned kids to a herd of 4 pregnant does, a yearling doe and a yearling buck. I have a small barn with a tiny paddock that they can stay in for a little while but there's no browse there so eventually they'll need to join the herd where all the pasture is. Even if I fenced off a separate pasture area for them they would still need to be in the barn at night with the big goats. Any suggestions on how to make this go as smoothly as possible?



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Old 03-28-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
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Sorry, I'm no help but I'm interested in the answers.....



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Old 03-29-2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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I like to start with putting them in a stall next to the other goats. Then I put them together for short periods of time and slowly increase the amount of time together. I also make sure the babies have somewhere to get away from the big goats like under a Little Tikes picnic table or something.

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Old 03-29-2013, 05:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winky View Post
I'm going to be adding some new kids to my herd this year. They'll be future breeding stock.

I don't introduce new kids to my herd. They are kept separate with other kids their age until they kid at roughly 15 months of age. You do realize that these kids will start cycling in roughly 3 months and, given the yearling buck, will probably be bred at 6 to 7 months of age?

In the past, the kids were born here so they have always had the protection of their dams. I'll be adding at least 3 just weaned kids to a herd of 4 pregnant does, a yearling doe and a yearling buck.

There is no way these kids can compete with the other members of your herd for food, and they will also be beaten up regularly. Are you sure you want to do this?

Any suggestions on how to make this go as smoothly as possible?
Given your set-up and circumstances, I would suggest you don't purchase weaning kids and go with at least yearling doelings who should stand a chance against your current herd. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but what you're proposing just isn't going to work well.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #5
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I think you are fine with getting weaned kids. BUT, you need to be set up for them.
They definitely need to be in a separate pen for a while and separate stall in the barn. If you give hay, make sure there is plenty of room so they can get to it too. Feed them separately from the big goats too.
We bought 2 new does last spring - first purchases of kids,we have a very small place and we kept them in a pen with our 3 weaned doelings. They went into the barn at night or if the weather was bad <no shelter in that pen except trees>, after the kids were done with 4-H at the end of summer, these new kids were about 8 months old, and we started slowly introducing them to the herd. The goats already 'knew' each other through the fence. Sure, they got picked on a bit, but they learned who they could and couldn't be around, we made sure they had their own area at night all the way up until early this year.

You just have to be prepared to do this stuff. Now, one of those does that we bought is 2nd in command. Her buddy is bottom of the totem pole though, but she's pregnant and just doesn't want to mess with or be around anyone, but then she's our best behaved goat -ever- lol



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