goat whisperers, help? doe aggression

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by singinggoatgirl, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. singinggoatgirl

    singinggoatgirl Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2016
    the deep south
    I have 3 does now. Ruby is the oldest at 2.5 years old. the others are 1.5 and .5 years old. Ruby is my new herd queen now that I sold Ginger. She's a nervous nelly! She started her queenly rein by constantly screaming toward the house any time I was not out with them (she never did this before when there was a herd queen to boss her around). I ignored her because I have a million other things to do and she can't become a house goat over a lack of fear or self confidence. She has stopped the screaming now.

    She also started by beating the other 2 does while I was out there, which has never been acceptable to me because I don't want to be caught in the middle of it. I started carrying my water squirt bottle to spray her when she reared up at them to make her stop fighting and spray again to make her move away from me while her hackles were still raised. She has mostly stopped hitting the other 2 does while I am around now, but her hackles are still always raised while I am around. I can't tell if it is because she's defensive around food, or if it's aggression towards me. She has not reared up at me or tilted her non-existent horns toward me.

    I have not been able to spend much time with them lately because I was heavily pregnant, and now have a 3 month old human infant with a health issue taking up my time. Usually I would just put my baby in an infant carrier and go about my chores and hang out with the goats with the baby, but while Ruby has been aggressive with the other goats and is still going around with her hackles raised, I don't want the baby with me in case I get hit/tripped by all the drama and fall and/or drop the baby.

    of course, now it is fall and they are having some intense heats on top of all the rest of the drama.

    Ruby and I have been friends and cuddle buddies since she was a tiny doeling. I don't quite know what to do with her right now. I know she's probably freaking out because I've been acting differently, and because the herd dynamic has changed. In the long run I still want to keep her and be friends with her. She's a good momma and milker. As she is acting right now, though, I'm pretty fed up with her.

    How do I re-teach her some manners? Make her keep her distance while she has her hackles raised, even if that means no cuddles for a few months? Pet her while her hackles are raised so long as she isn't tilting her head or giving the hairy eye? Goat whisperers, talk to me!
  2. Moers kiko boars

    Moers kiko boars Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    It sounds like where I am. No babies though. I have sold most of my herd, and rebuilding with Fullblood registered Boers. So my main Buck & several does and kids were sold. I kept 3 original does. The other 11 are new to my herd. Everybody wants to be Queen.:buttheads: My old Queen is one nasty moody ol girl. Im sure she has a Major Headache going on. :dazed: Soooo I am introducing a new doe every 2 weeks. 3 will not be allowed in my main herd for another month. Since my 2 young bucks are allowed in this herd till October
    Then all bucks will be pulled and only does in the main her . So then AGAIN the Queen slot will be tested. Ive gotten to where Im doing manner school her both new & old. Over & over again. So far ...peaçe comes with the feeding. I dont tolerate bad goat behavior during dinner. Or you dont eàt. It takes awhile...but it works for me. The hackles up or down..I dont care. Im the real queen at dinner...mind or no feed.

  3. NDinKY

    NDinKY Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    It sounds like she is not confident as alpha but neither of the other two are mature enough to be the herd queen. Can you get another senior doe who is confident in her role as a leader? I’d keep up with the squirt bottle and not accept any aggressive behavior towards you, whether food involved or not.
    MadHouse and Moers kiko boars like this.
  4. Boers4ever

    Boers4ever Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2020
    East Texas
    My queen is very protective of me. She was a bottle baby I got about 3 years ago. I took away the old queen and while she was away for kidding, the new queen dominated the others. When I added the old queen and her new kids back, the new queen bullied her and then continued as the queen. She reins to this day. Lol.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes they get so caught up in their pecking order that they might not think of you as their superior. They might just think of you as another goat. Try to get your bluff in on her. Continue with the squirt bottle. Make sure that she understands that YOU are the Alfa. If she is being a good girl, then you can love on her too. . Good luck!
  5. singinggoatgirl

    singinggoatgirl Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2016
    the deep south
    Is hackles up but not attacking me acceptable or not?

    I cannot get another goat right now. I downsized goats because I knew I would be crazy busy with this new infant human addition. I'm even busier than I had thought I would be because of some health complications. No new herd queens.

    The other 2 does: Orla (1.5) just doesn't want the herd queen position. She just wants to do her thing and be left alone. She's the only goat I know/have heard of that really would be happy as a single goat without a herd. She thinks other goats are fine, but was equally happy the one 2 week period she was babysat at my friend's house alone (no competition!). Noelle is Orla's kid and is more social and almost full sized despite her tender age, but at .5 years old, she doesn't have the ferocity to take Ruby on.
    MadHouse likes this.
  6. singinggoatgirl

    singinggoatgirl Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2016
    the deep south
    @Damfino do you have any ideas/thoughts about acceptable behavior?
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Hackles up, is not acceptable when it is directed to you.
  8. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    Hackles up is a big no no.
    Moers kiko boars and MadHouse like this.
  9. singinggoatgirl

    singinggoatgirl Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2016
    the deep south
    What if it's directed at the other does because it is feeding time?
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  10. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    Hackles up in any situation is not good. Doe's use it to show dominance and demanding submission. In a buck its a show of size and stature
    A spray bottle or cattle prod
  11. singinggoatgirl

    singinggoatgirl Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2016
    the deep south
    Thanks! Looks like Ruby needs a rude awakening. No loves until she relearns her manners. Spray bottle is still effective, so I'll keep it up.