Goat getting bullied

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Kristendanae, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Kristendanae

    Kristendanae Active Member

    I have a 10 month old doeling who is getting bullied. Recently her mom(herd queen) died and now the new herd queen has it out for her. The doeling is pretty big. She is a Pygmy/savanna mix and the herd queen is a Nigerian dwarf who is around 4, so they are pretty much the same size. The doeling may actually be a bit bigger than her. I honestly wouldn't think it was that big of a deal but her bullying caused the doeling to be out in the snow the other night in teen temperatures. I even tried to lock the shelter with all the does in it( which I don't like doing) and she had her cornered and just kept hitting her. We ended up fixing her up a doghouse with straw and such in it so she could stay warm away from the others. I don't want to separate her from the rest of the herd(3 does, and 2 3 1/2 months old doelings) but I don't know what to do? Will it get better?
     
  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    I'm sorry, but it likely will not get better. Herd queens have different styles of establishing and keeping dominance and some are more aggressive in the queen role than others. It's true, some goats who have fallen in the pecking order would rather be out in the freezing rain than risk confinement with the dominant goat(s).

    I'm not sure what size shelter you have for them, but adding both vertical dividing walls and elevated loafing platforms can help give visual and physical barriers. If the entrance is wide enough, put a vertical divider so no goat can block the entire way.
     

  3. CountyLineAcres

    CountyLineAcres Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2014
    Mineral Ridge, Ohio
    We have had some severe bullying over the years, so we try to avoid it at all cost. It should get better with time, but that’s no guarantee. We’ve had it go both ways.

    If you do have the ability to separate, then I would consider separating the new herd queen until the 10 month old can hash out her own place in the herd. Another option would be to separate the 10 month old doeling with a few buddies she can bond with before putting them back together in the big group.

    Otherwise, you will need more shelters, more space, and more eating areas. Down the road, it may be best to construct another shelter for situations like these. I like to have several small shelters rather than one big one to avoid territorial does.

    We actually have had a “mean pasture” and a “nice pasture” for the last three years, since we had such a nasty group of older does. We’ve sold a lot of the mean does over the years, and we are down to only about two or three. The best thing I found is to put submissive does together, so they can form their own group. They seem to be more at peace that way.
     
  4. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    I would put the mean doe on time out as suggested. Put her alone in a pen that she can get and stay warm by herself like the dog house. A week or so of that may knock her down a peg or two and as stated allow the young doe to establish herself. Boils my blood when a goat gets mean and my girls know it..I wont stand for bullying regardless of natural order of things...get along or get penned. I love Salty's ideas of platforms and vertigo divided door way.
     
  5. Kristendanae

    Kristendanae Active Member

    As of right now we have a temporary 10x10 until spring when we finish our barn. I feel like she hasn't bonded with any of the does and looks sad and lonely since her mom died. She is in good health though, just not really accepted by the others who all came from the same farm. The 2 3 1/2 month old doelings were born here and are the new herd queens kids. I thought about even buying a new doeling around her age with similar personalities so hopefully they could bond and keep them in a separate pen and try intergrating them at some point. First I'll try separating the mean queen and hopefully break her reign of terror.
     
  6. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Usually, the one at the bottom of the pecking order will be the most aggressive if you get another goat. (I guess they have to prove themselves?!)

    I have a big Saanen doe that was the bottom in a group of 15 does, including her daughter. The others pounded her. I finally pulled her out when she kidded. She is perfectly happy by herself in a 5'x10" pen with an outside yard. (This was a 5 year old doe with the same group for 4 years. She was bottom dog!)
     
  7. CountyLineAcres

    CountyLineAcres Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2014
    Mineral Ridge, Ohio
    I’ve noticed that trend, too, where a doe that was picked on becomes one of the nastiest does to everyone else. Self preservation, I assume.
     
    toth boer goats likes this.
  8. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    You can make a small pen for the one getting picked on so she is protected at night and can still see the other goats.

    Or what may work is, to lock up the meanie for 2 weeks to a month and then reintroduce her to the herd.
    This will switch up the pecking order and she will have to re-establish her position. The lower pecking order goats won't bother that position.
    So they should be less picked on.
    you can put another doe in with her for company.
     
  9. ReNat

    ReNat Well-Known Member

    400
    Jan 20, 2019
    Rossia
    If aggressive Queen of the herd with horns, the horns must be removed.
     
    Chelsey likes this.
  10. Kristendanae

    Kristendanae Active Member

    The aggressive one has 2 kids. Should I separate the 3 of them or just the mean doe? They are 3 1/2 months old and could be weaned but wanted them to nurse as long as they wanted since we plan to keep them. I feel like that will stress her out. She's really attached to them and could be why she has been so nasty to the others, she's protecting her kids.
     
  11. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    If it is time to wean, this is a perfect time to do it. ;)
     
    Kristendanae likes this.
  12. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Separate her and her kids with her. No reason to wean if she is in good condition and you are keeping them.
     
  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    You have to wean sometime and this is a good opportunity. ;)