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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my does (the oldest one I have had the longest) is a bully. She is obviously the dominant goat but I have a situation. She kidded with twins in Feb as did two other does. Everything was fine with those does and the kids.

Another doe kidded much later and had a list of various health problems too long to list. I ended up culling her as soon as I felt the kid, a doeling, could make a go of it on its own. The doeling is fine as long as I separate her from the others during feeding. One doe continually butts her out of the way with enough force that she doesn't try to compete at the feeders. I have a dog run that I put goats when they need isolation due to kidding, etc. and put her in there a few minutes during feeding to ensure she gets her share. The bully will come over and try to get into the dog pen all while all the other goats outside with her eat all the food, including her share (serves her right). It is like she would rather bully this doeling and get very little to no food than eat her own food.

All the bucks and the does are separated so the bucks are not a concern. All the male kids have been sold off as was one of the doelings. I kept one of doelings from Feb as well as the one from April. The one from Feb is big enough to hold her own and still nurses from her mother which seems surprising. She is solid as a rock and very healthy so I guess this is why. I tried separating the two doelings as a pair which was a disaster. The doelings and the mother of the older one screamed for over a day before I let them back in together. I wasn't aware she was still sucking so much but the mother's udder had gotten HUGE without her baby and the doeling went right over and went to town.

I am considering isolating the bully and maybe one other goat to allow the doeling some time to get larger without having to fight all the time.

Any suggestions?

Conor
 

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sounds like a better idea to separate the bully and allow the young doe to grow and bond with the herd well. The bully will be able to hold her own once reintroduced
 

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Any suggestions?

Conor
If this were my herd I would separate the bully. That will give the doeling a chance to bond with herd and, after a few days to a week of being separated, the rest of the herd just might knock the bully down a few pegs.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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you need to make a creep feeder. This is a small feeding area that allows all the kids to eat from while not allowing the adults to get into. Now as I have no idea what kinda goats you have so I cant tell you how big to make the entrance but the creep feeder I have for the kids here is made outta combo panels. The graduated at the bottom cattle panels. I think the squares are 6" wide if memory servers me right. It would be a bit tough to explain so ill try to remember to get a pick tomorrow. But the opening is more or less 6" wide by 16" high. This keeps out most of our adult does though I did see a smaller milking yearling in there the other day. Its amazing how small of a hole a goat can get through to get to food. In any event, this saves the babies from the herd bosses and allows them to get as much food as they need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pictures of this would be great. My only concern is that one of my smaller adult does has horns. I had to run a couple electric strands so she wouldn't get her head through and then become stuck. Would this be a potential trap for her? I am sure the doeling will come into her own so I think maybe I should just isolate the bully for a bit. I have a small area of brush that needs to be eaten down and I will just put her there until the brush runs out.

Thanks,

Conor
 

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I agree to separate the bully, it changes up the hierarchy a little. I have one who's a bully and I'm bringing a new doeling in. Unfortunately I can't separate the bully because the pen she's in is goat proof (because of HER!) I'll be moving the two doelings to another pen with the new girl for a while. (Yes everyone is current on negative cae/cv/johnes and worming, this girl comes from the same situation. )
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have two goats in my isolation pen now and it looks like I will be having kids as a result of what happened today. The bully was being a bully so I put her in this pen this morning. I was also treating one of my bucks who appears to have really done a number on his horn scurs left from a bad dehorning job. It was bloody and I wanted to make sure the flies didn't get him. Well, he ended up getting loose and going right for the bully doe in the pen. He didn't seem to mind getting zapped by my rather potent electric fence and was on her in nothing flat. She was wagging her tail and just letting him go at it.

Obviously this was bad timing all around. She was in heat which is probably part of the aggressiveness and this puts her kidding right in the coldest part of the winter. I want this area ate down and am assuming the deed was done so I am just leaving the two of them in there together. I had her kid in the back of my pickup under a camper with a heat last as she gave birth on the coldest days last winter so I will probably be doing this once again.

Conor
 

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At least you have a plan in place. I guess now you will have no problems with the bully. At least for a while.
 

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We have a bully, and have made a separate pen for her to sleep and eat in. She can pasture with the others, but due to her behavior, she needs a pen when in a confined space. It's in the same barn and connected to the other goats, so she is with them even though there is a fence between them. This has worked very well. Also, our Bella the Bully had her horns filed off a couple inches this week, which is said to change their attitude some. We've noticed a little change, but not a total change. We may take another inch off.

I hope you find a suitable arrangement. I know the stress of having a bully and it takes away a bit of the fun. Hang in there. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How far can you file down horns without hurting anything? I would probably just sawzall them down to a safe length and file from there.

Conor
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Creep feeder pics. The first one is just to show the size we use. There are only a few babies still on their moms so its fine for what we need. If you only have a few kids you can make it much smaller. The second picture shows the opening if you look close. For our goats this size of a hole will keep all but the smaller yearlings out. So far this year, only one has manage to squeeze through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I like the idea of the creep feeder pen and may try this out with a small section of cattle panel. I don't think I am going to mess with cutting horns. This isn't something I know about and don't want to harm any of them. If they get stuck, I quit using the creep feeder....

Conor
 

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How far can you file down horns without hurting anything? I would probably just sawzall them down to a safe length and file from there.

Conor
We took off about 2 inches and didn't get a drop of blood. We could take off more if we need to. The lady we bought her from takes off about 1/3 without problems.

I started a notch with a bastard file, then hubby cut the rest with a hack saw. We filed them down so they aren't sharp at the edges. She didn't even flinch at any of it.
 

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I now have 5 goats... Two does and a whether that are the same age... The two new girls(about 7 months old) can not get anywhere near me without the other three butting them. Ugh! They are spoiled rotten and I made them that way but I wish they weren't so ugly to the new ones. I have to stand in the middle of them at feeding time to keep the peace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
One of mine with horns is a Boer-Saanen cross buck. The mother was the Saanen as I saw her when I got the buck. I have been told that crosses can be different depending on which sex is the father. The other is a Toggenburg-Nubian doe. The mother was a Nubian as I saw her when I got the doeling. She has all the Toggenburg looks and markings. The twin buckling I didn't get looked much the same. I don't know how this varies by breed but mine are mixed so that is a possible complication.

Can you shine a light through the horns and see any of the internal structure? I am guessing they are too thick for light to penetrate but was wondering. I seem to have the "goat getting its head stuck in the fence" problem solved for now by using electric wire. The bully doe is in with the buck that had his way with her as I figure the deed is done. The doeling is doing much better and able to bond and associate with the other goats.

Conor
 
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