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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Does acting like bucks!?

Hello everyone :)

Okay, may as well start from the start. When we moved here 11 years ago we bought a bunch of goats, including a buck. We ended up selling the buck and a doe and her buckling, deciding never again to get bucks as their behaviour was too disgusting for us and we only wanted goats as pets :p

Fast forward to now and we had just 2 does, sisters, more than 10 years old now. They have two alpaca for friends and have lived very peacefully for all these years. We call them Fat and Skinny, simply because one of them is chubby and chunky and the other is slimmer. They are boer with some angora in them.

They have never shown any dominant or heat related behaviour. One time we had a calf who I guess came in heat for the first time and started mounting the Fat goat, but that only lasted about a week.

On the 20th we brought home three rescued animals to our animal rescue sanctuary - two underweight, mature aged female goats and a sheep.

The problems started immediately. Fat Goat seems obsessed with one of the new goats, Giselle. Fat mounts her constantly, so much so that we have to tie Fat up to prevent her getting to Giselle as Giselle starting developing an increasingly bad limp. Whenever they are together Fat acts just like a buck - mounting, blubbering, snorting, groaning and screaming, tongue flapping, leg pawing. She will do this as soon as they are in the same pen together and refuse to stop. She managed to get under, through or over the fence no matter how many times we separated them, so we had to start tying her to a tree and locking her in a shed at night. She would stand by the fence if she couldn't find a way through and stare at the new goats, barely eating. She used to be completely inseparable from her sister but she now ignores her altogether.

Giselle acts completely submissive and even encourages Fat goat.

Just recently, in the last day or two, they seemed to have swapped places and now it is Giselle who tries to mount Fat goat. She's not quite as insistent about it and at least doesn't try to get out of the fence, she only does it when Fat is in with her, but she still displays most of the other signs like blubbering and tongue flapping.

I know does can act like bucks when they are in heat (I read Fiac Co Farm's Goat Behavior page)but I'm just wondering if it is normal for it to last this long? Should they be quite this obsessed with each other?! They both ignore the other new goat and Skinny goat, and nice versa.

If this is normal behaviour, how long will it last? Will they ever stop? This has been going on for almost 10 days! It is horrible to tie her up every day and drag her to the shed at night and we were planning on letting the goats all out to graze together but so far we have had to keep the new goats and sheep locked in a small paddock by themselves. Are they in heat or just establishing a herd order... in a strangely sexual way? :p We got rid of our bucks for this very reason, and we're not really looking for a doe who just thinks she's a buck!

Any opinions would be a big help :)

Thanks,
Tamara
 

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hi, yes goats do like to play a bit . it is normal for does to play "the boy" sometimes just for fun which shows that they are happy and energetic;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
hi, yes goats do like to play a bit . it is normal for does to play "the boy" sometimes just for fun which shows that they are happy and energetic;)
Yikes. They've never 'played' like that before with each other, nor has any previous doe. In fact Fat and Skinny don't even jump on their log any more now that they are old. It is kind of scary. Fat goat is a little less obsessed since we started tying her up, but before she was practically starving herself just so she could sit by the fence and watch Giselle. She even fights off (butts and chases) the other new goat sometimes if the new goat gets too close to her and Giselle, like she's defending 'her' girl or something.

And it's not just a bit, it's constant, every day for the last 9 days... if they come in contact with other they start the buck behaviour. We let Fat goat sleep the night in the same paddock as Giselle one night, hoping time spent together might make them get over the whole thing, and by the next morning Giselle was seriously limping and in pain. It's dangerous for her, especially in her current emaciated state, for them to stay together. Is that really a healthy level of 'play'?
 

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Wonder if Fat could be a hermaphrodite? But if that were the case, the bucky behavior would be kicking in with Skinny too. I've never experienced it as bad as you have it, but I haven't introduced new goats at this time of year also while hormones are gearing up. A few months ago, I brought home new goats and the old does were very jealous of the new ones. They took every chance to lay down the law about the way things were and who was the boss. They did the same thing when I brought home some new sheep. Its all settling down now though so if its just worse for you because of breeding season, I think it will calm down after a couole months. Even though Giselle and Fat seem to be smitten with each other, I'd keep her separated to reduce stress, get her healthy, and see whats up with the limping..injury that needs to heal maybe? There's always time for Giselle and Fat to be star struck lovers after Giselle is healthy. If Fat really loves her, he/she will wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks phydough :) I would have no clue if Fat could be a hermaphrodite, but there has never been any other sign of her acting buck-ish until now.
Fat pretty much grew up without ever knowing a buck. Her mother died quite a while ago now so it has been only her and her sister for a long time.

I think the theory of it being a hormonal time might be what is happening. Obviously not the best time to introduce new goats. So, a couple of months... I sure do hope they calm down! We plan on opening our Sanctuary up for visitors and their behaviour is kind of embarrassing... especially if we have to explain they are both girls! :p

Giselle's limping problem seems to be a combination of hooves that badly need a trim, and too much weight on her from Fat's mounting. Fat is, as the name suggests, quite a heavy goat! And it must have put a lot of pressure on Giselle. That, combined with the bad hooves, low weight, and possibly also bumping around on the float during her journey here, obviously stressed out her legs a lot. We are just waiting on a pair of hoof trimmers to arrive and then we will be trimming her.
After having Fat tied up for several days, Giselle's limp has actually improved a lot. She has a lot more energy now too after some good feeding.

We have a Facebook page full of photos of them, if you'd like to check it out! :) -- Critter Care Facebook page.
 

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Hopefully it doesnt take too long to settle down. 2 of my girls are very huffy and temperamental (also sisters) and it takes an eternity for those two to get over an upset..change in schedule or discovering that I dont love them best. They've accepted the sheep begrudgingly, but are still mad at me for bringing them home and feeding the sheep THEIR food. They keep giving me looks like, "How could you!!" Bucks are pretty nasty this time of year when open to the public. Someone is bound to be shocked by what they see or get pee'd on. I got pee'd on today. AWESOME! Its almost as cool as being spit in the nose and mouth by an alpaca.

I'd love to see you goats. Gonna go check thwm out.
 

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Beautiful goats and sheep! Yes, those hooves are in bad shape. Since she's already limping, it might be a situation where you need to take a little off then come back a few days later and take a little more. I had to do that with 4 recently but all worked out fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, at least our goats are very relaxed and laid-back XD They don't mind changes in routine or whatnot, as long as they get to follow the alpaca around. Well, Fat doesn't really care about the alpaca anymore, but she used to...
Skinny is terrified of the new goats and sheep! She will run away if they get too close, even though they are just trying to make friends. The alpaca run too as though they are demons, the stupid things XD

Yep, the peeing and stench was a big reason we decided to never get bucks :p They're just too gross for us and we're not interested in breeding. Thankfully our two alpaca are really friendly and I have only been spat on once in 10 years!

Thank you for the compliments on them <3 I agree on taking them off a bit at a time. We're not hugely experienced either so we want to take it slow and make sure she's okay.

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it!
 

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Your one doe is very skinny. The four I recently brought home were in bad shape too. 2 yearling bucks were 30 lbs underweight and an adult doe about 28 lbs under. There's a little doeling too..about 3 mths old and lighter than my 2 month kids. All thoroughly infested with parasites outside and in and on a strange diet of human food, dog food, the 3 big ones still bottle goats so milk and then given hay from a new bale the 2 times I saw them for pickup. I've been introducing hay as their main diet and its been slow going. One of them grabbed a piece of chicken out of my hand during a bbq and started eating it. I've been slowly correcting hoof problems in all 4. Yours and mine will all be alright now :). Its 4 am here in my part of America so I better try to sleep a little. Goodnight :)
 

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Fat is being dominant. That is not play. She is making sure that goat knows who is boss. If you can put her in another pen until the herd establishes and then put her back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, the dark one is in bad shape phydough... We're giving them all grain and hay and they are doing better already :)

ksalvagno, if this is dominance, won't she just start all over again if they are put back in together? If it is dominance, Giselle must be trying to win the fight because she has started mounting Fat back. I agree with phydough in that the best idea is probably to get Giselle healthy before putting them back together and letting them work out what they will. If it's dominance I guess eventually one will win over. It's annoying to have to keep them separated because Fat manages to get through our fences no matter what we do, it seems, so we have to keep her tethered which she is definitely not happy about.
 

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Once she is in good shape, then they can duke it out and get that worked out. That is the way goats are. They will work out a herd order and it should stop eventually. Like you said, the sick ones just need time to get healthy.
 

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Goats mount to establish dominance or if someone is in heat. She sounds like she is going overboard. As Karen suggested, I would separate them for a while, taking Fat away from everyone. That is usually enough to sort of reset the herd.
 
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