The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new goat who I've had for almost a month now. He is five years old about 185 pounds. My largest goat who's two and a half picks on him a little but nothing major, normal I'd say. But my smallest goat who's one and a half is harassing the hell out of him, still! He's extremely violent, he'll charge at him and chase him around the pen - it's awful. I feel so sorry for the new goat, who is just a sweetheart - he just won't stand up for himself with the young goat (even though he outweighs him). I guess it's gotten A LITTLE better over the course of a month, but I'm just wondering how much time this usually takes for things to get more normal. I have no way to separate them, but I do put extra hay out in several piles around the pen so he makes sure to get enough food, and I've got and extra separate shelter for him too. I know goats can be mean and there will always be a pecking order, but this seems excessive. Any thoughts or advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
what background does the new goat have? Has he lived in a herd, therefore knowing the proper responses or was he a single goat? Is he acting freightened or could he be that he's endulging the younger one, not taking him seriously?

How is your barn/paddock structured? Do you have items to climb up, partitions, enough feeding places for each goat (you already mentioned the separate shelter).

I've found, that, with a single goat into an existing herd, it can take up to one year before things settle down completely.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
849 Posts
My Lilly-goat sounds a lot like your new fella. She's as sweet-natured as can be, and it was heart-wrenching to see the way Cuzco and Nibbles would just beat the tar out of her, even if she was totally minding her own business. They would go out of their way to seek her out and pummel her for no reason. Lilly was raised with other goats, so it wasn't an "only goat" problem. It was just her personality. She wouldn't fight back at all. Once the snow hit last winter I started separating Lilly and Nibbles from Cuzco at night and gave them one shelter to share and a small dog igloo for Lilly in case she got evicted. At first, Lilly had to sleep in the dog house a lot. Nibbles would lay down right in the doorway of the big shed and guard it from Lilly.

But I had a rare stroke of genius one day. I put a hay bale in the back of the bigger shed, and since the dominant goat likes to be higher, this kept Nibbles from guarding the door. With Nibbles ensconced on her hay bale and Lilly comfortably close to the escape route, they actually learned to get along over the winter. Cuzco still HATES Lilly and won't let her anywhere near him, but now she at least has a place to go since she is capable of sharing a space with Nibbles. Lilly has also learned how to tease and torment Cuzco to get her own sort of satisfaction out of their relationship. If he's going to hate her anyway, I guess she figures she should give him a few reasons. :grin:

You may find over the next few months that your bigger goat bonds with your mellow new guy and that your dominant goat has to tone it down if he wants to still be a part of the herd. Nibbles has become our moderator. Cuzco outright attacks Lilly any time she's alone, but if she's close to Nibbles he tends to lay off. Interestingly enough, the babies have also made a difference. Cuzco doesn't like the babies and pushes them around and will give one the occasional whack, but he's never tried to kill them like he does with Lilly. It seems that Cuzco is mellower with Lilly if she has her baby with her. Herd dynamics are a funny thing and something I'm only just starting to learn about myself. I don't think it would ever be safe to lock Cuzco and Lilly up alone together in the horse trailer, but as long as the other goats are there, she can sidle right up to him with everyone else. Maybe it's just that Cuzco wants to kill Lilly but doesn't want any witnesses to his dastardly deed. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. Yes they have things that in a herd. He is terrified of Django, the one that's chasing him, but not of the larger goat Putnik, he can be fairly close to Putnik and they even go head to head sometimes. But the other goat definitely seeks him out and charges him - totally unprovoked. I hope it calms down over the winter, I feel like it's a sad existence for the new goat :(
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
849 Posts
The fact that your new goat is already butting heads with Putnik is a very good sign. I'm guessing they'll be friends before long and Django will have to tone it down if he doesn't want to be the odd man out. It may also be a passing phase for Django. He was the little guy on the bottom of the pecking order until you got a new goat. He wants to make it clear--absolutely clear--that he will not be on the bottom again. This is his golden opportunity and he sure as heck isn't going to squander it.

Just make sure he doesn't act aggressive when you're there. Your new goat should see you as his protector, and Django needs to learn that he must have good manners, even toward goats he doesn't like, when you're there. Cuzco isn't exactly the poster child of geniality and good will toward man, but one thing he's very good at is tolerating the other goats when there's a person in the mix. He knows he'll be in big trouble if he chases Lilly when I'm there, and he also knows he'll be left out of any treats or attention if he's being mean to anybody. For one thing, I want all the goats to feel safe even from each other if they're with me. And for another thing, it's a real safety issue. I don't want to be trampled by 200 lbs. of raw goat just because I happen to be standing between Cuzco and Lilly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've already been bruised by Django coming after him near me. I need to get a new spray bottle!! He'll stop if I yell "Django no!" but a stronger message needs to be sent to him. Yes the new guy comes right to me for safety. It has calmed down a little since I got him, and I think you're right about Django just wanting to be certain he doesn't end up on the bottom again (he was the bottom goat before I got him too) - And I remember Putnik was hell on Django when I first got him and Putnik was the bottom goat at that time. When I re-homed the top goat, Putnik and Django became buddies. So there's hope I guess.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
849 Posts
Yeah, that's pretty naughty if Django runs over you to get at the other goat. Cuzco did that to me once. I was feeding out a handful of grain and Lilly was behind me. Cuzco was front and center (as always). I spilled some on the ground and both goats went for it. My legs were apart and Cuzco suddenly charged through them at Lilly! I was swept right off my feet and toppled over onto his back. It scared the pants off him and he tore across the patio with me draped over him like an oversized backwards mutton buster! He bolted about thirty feet to his shed, missed the turn, and smacked straight into the wall. I fell off in a heap, laughing hysterically. It was very funny, but I realized it could have been very un-funny if anyone (such as me) had been hurt. I didn't really have to punish him for charging Lilly again after that. I think the whole incident scared him bad enough that he hasn't needed much reminding.

However, I will add that while Cuzco has been pretty good toward the other goats when I'm there, he's been naughty toward Phil and I ever since the babies were born. Cuzco knows who is responsible for the animals that annoy him, and right now Phil and I are in big trouble for bringing all these girls into his life after ten years of being a spoiled "only child". He's gotten pretty hostile as the girls have started coming into heat, and things came to a head a few weeks ago when I came home smelling like a buck I'd been handling at a friend's house. Cuzco came after me like he hadn't done since that day four years ago when I wore a hat with horns on it! The next day he went after Phil, and that was it! We got him a shock collar. It seems to be doing the trick. We haven't used it much, but then, we haven't really had to. Cuzco is listening now when we tell him he has to play nice or go away. I don't put it on a very high level, but it sure gets his attention in a hurry. He doesn't seem to know if he does or doesn't have it on, so my reprimand voice is all it usually takes to get him to stand down.

I wish Cuzco would mellow out about the girls though. He's so friendly and personable when we let him on the porch. The girls aren't allowed up there (no bathroom manners and they eat my flowers), but Cuzco gets to come up with us any time we're swinging on the deck. He knows the porch is his own special privilege and he loves it. He's friendly and almost cuddly when he doesn't have to share our affections. He was also very personable when I took the girls to State Fair for a few days. I'd come home at night and put Cuzco and the horses to bed and he would putter around after me or walk ahead without one hint of raised hair or stink-eye. I'd hardly seen such manners all summer. Then I brought the girls home and he was right back to being Mr. Crankypants. Poor old fella. It really wasn't fair for us to spring all these giggling, pesky, hormonal girls on him in his twilight years. He was settled and perfectly happy being an only goat. He went from a privileged pet to an ordinary farm animal like everybody else. Now he has to sleep in the goat pen instead of in his special house under the deck or on our front doormat. He no longer has the run of the porch. Other goats poop and pee in the shed that he used to keep so clean. It's a rough life. He could write a book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awe... Cuzco. Poor guy ;) I do have a shock collar and if things don't improve much I may use it. However it's only been a month I guess, and thing have improved some, so I'll give it more time first. At least Zoki and Putnik are doing ok, although it seems Zoki will always be the outsider. I'll get another good spray bottle and give Django a little more time before I get more severe...
 

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,805 Posts
OH I am glad you brought up the shock collar. I didnt wanna chime in with my opinion cause it either involved a collar or a bb gun. :) Id use the collar right away. Be outta sight when you use it. Anytime he gets mean towards the other boy, give him a sap! He will soon relate the zap with the other boy and he should leave him alone pretty quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Dave. I need to harden up a bit I guess. Funny you mentioned the BB gun because just today I joked about digging out my BB gun and pumping it up just enough to sting but not injure of course. Now I don't feel do guilty for having that thought! :)
 

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,805 Posts
I have used mine to do some "teaching". That is how I trained the dogs not to chase the goats. Also used it to teach a yearling doe who would girdle herself into the creep feeder and then push the babies outta the way to eat all the hay. 1 pump is usually enough depending upon distance. I actually had my nephew shoot me with it years ago. At about 40 feet 2 pumps is enough to sting bad but not do damage.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top