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Adopted by Goats
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just added to my herd, now have 7. Clara (dehorned Nubian) is the problem. She had a rough start to life (worms and other issues). She was born last Oct. and is extremely timid and emaciated. We bring her into the milking stall and give her some grain twice a day, in addition to worming her, etc. She is very slowly gaining weight. The problem comes on days when we just can't let the goats out to graze. If it is raining like today or we have to leave for the day they have to stay in their enclosure. We have 2 feeders we throw a leaf (or 2) of alfalfa for the goats to munch on. There just isn't enough to graze on in their enclosure for all of them. Everyone but Clara gets in there and pigs out on the alfalfa. Clara is pushed aside and then goes hides until everyone else is full and then she goes eats whatever is left over. One of the kids born here in March (Susanna) is around the same size as Clara so anything Clara can get into like a crib feeder, Susanna can easily get into too and will push Clara out. If anyone has an ideas of how to make it easier for Clara to get her share of the alfalfa when I give it to them, I would appreciate it.
 

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Shady Acre Homestead
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I think the only option is to separate her with one other for a while, or feed her yourself. I know that sounds crazy but I don't see how it will change if you don't.
It bugs me to no end when my goat would do this to others...even though there was plenty of space for all. I just sent my "bully" to be processed today, hoping for a more peaceful herd...but it sounds like your herd just knows she is not able to really defend herself.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I got Clara for $25 along with 2 other prego does. Usually she hangs out with the other Nubians who do protect her but when it comes to feeding time, everyone just pushes her aside. So frustrating. Since we only give alfalfa during bad weather or when we are gone, feeding her separately just is not practical as she screams when kept from her Nubian pals. Frustrating situation.
 

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I agree. I think the only way is to separate her. Sometimes certain animals just don't work out and finding them another home that would suit that situation would be better. Until she build confidence, she will continue to be bullied.
 

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I agree....I would pen her up with at least one of her buddies...she needs time to gain strength, weight and confidence...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am hoping once she is healthy and starts growing (38 pounds when we got her at 10 months of age) her confidence improves and she starts standing up for herself. When it is feeding time, everyone pushes her around. On nice days when we are home we let everyone out to graze. So there are no problems then. But I am surrounded by hunting property and without fences to keep them home, they have a tendency to wander off next door. So we never leave home with them out. I also do not trust them to run for their shelter in a thunder storm. That lightening terrifies some of them. So I keep them locked up in their enclosure then too. On those days we put alfalfa out in the feeders for them so they have plenty to eat. I am wondering if we build a third small hay feeder and place it away from the other two, if maybe she will have a better chance of getting some alfalfa that way?
 

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It wont hurt to try for sure...its always good to have a few spread far from eachother...Sounds likeyou are keeping a close watch on things...if adding a feeder further away doesnt help them you might need to revisit the seperate pen idea

I understand keeping them close to home...
 

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I am wondering if we build a third small hay feeder and place it away from the other two, if maybe she will have a better chance of getting some alfalfa that way?
I doubt it. I, too, have a very timid doe that will not stand up for herself. I've tried that and it didn't work because the other girls push her away from it, too. I would suggest building another feeder and putting up a creep feeder gate of sorts so only Clara and the other small doe can get to the 3rd feeder. If the feeder has 2 sides to eat from then Clara can go to one, the other doe can go to the other and even if Clara gets pushed away from one side she can go to the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks GoatCrazy. We need some way for her to get alfalfa when we have to leave and you have given us a good idea of what to build.
 

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Shady Acre Homestead
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I doubt it. I, too, have a very timid doe that will not stand up for herself. I've tried that and it didn't work because the other girls push her away from it, too. I would suggest building another feeder and putting up a creep feeder gate of sorts so only Clara and the other small doe can get to the 3rd feeder. If the feeder has 2 sides to eat from then Clara can go to one, the other doe can go to the other and even if Clara gets pushed away from one side she can go to the other side.
Good idea goatcrazy....that's how it works in my buck pen. I have a two sided manger and when the buck acts up...my wether ends up doing circles some days :rolleyes:

I would think you would need to have that in a separate area though for sure, like was stated...some kind of creep area.

Good luck TexasGirl :) Let us know what you come up with!
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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The only sure fire way of doing it is to make sure you have more feeder(s) space(s) then there are goats if you want to keep them all together. But give it a few weeks at least. It takes time for everyone to get used to a new pecking order.
 

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The only "sure fire" way of making sure each doe can eat undisturbed is to separate them into pens or tie them up to feed. One of my pens has 38' of feeding space and 22 does, and some of them are still left out because 1 doe will claim the entire side of a feeder and not let anyone else in to eat.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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... well looks like there are two sure fire ways. A reasonable sure fire way and then a shoot yourself in the foot sure fire way. With adequate space and feed IN THE SAME PEN, you wont get a lot of pushing and shoving.

I feed 40 does ranging from 8 years of age to dry yearlings with older does ranging between 32 and 36 inches at the shoulders, in just 60 feet of feeder space. One long 40 foot feeder and a 4x8 box feeder back against a fence on one of the 4 foot side. The half dozen or so dry yearlings move around a bit as positions change but very rarely do they get chased outta a spot. They learn who is best not to eat next to and it all works its self out nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Currently we have 7 goats (6 does and 1 wether). They all live in the same enclosure. They have now been together for over a month and have settled in. We do not want to put a lot of work into this enclosure as we will eventually be building a bigger enclosure for the does and have bucks in the current enclosure. The set up will be different in the future enclosure and much bigger area to graze in. My only problem in the current setup is Clara. We weighed her yesterday and she finally reached 40 pounds. She has gained weight since we got her. She was born last Oct. and everyone, I mean everyone pushes her around. She is very very timid and runs from everything. Thankfully she learned she gets a meal in the milking stall twice a day and so makes an effort (when she feels it is safe) to run in, but doesn't take much for her to hide under the milking stand. I am always having to pull her out and take her back to her food. Days like today when we stay home, everyone is let out to graze and so she gets her fill. But when we are gone or the weather is bad, they stay in their enclosure and Clara is not allowed to eat the alfalfa we put out until everyone is done. Then she goes eats the leftovers.
 

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One other thing you might try is giving the pitiful one calf manna when you separate her. It is high calorie so they don't have to eat as much to get a significant amount of calories. It has helped some sad ones bounce back for me.

I have two who are a little less sleek than the rest & when I feed the group, I take those two aside for their own meal. They get alfalfa pellets free choice in the "skinny" stall.
 

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well that is how we are getting our registered in milk doe for cheap(her sister is a show goat, she has scurs so cannot be shown)-- the owner is tired of her getting pushed around and not being allowed to eat... and decided that rehoming her is the best thing.
I hope she will do ok, she comes with two 16 week old kids bro and sister (bro is wethered, they are the sister's kids) and will join our pair of 19 week old mini Toggs....
 

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well that is how we are getting our registered in milk doe for cheap(her sister is a show goat, she has scurs so cannot be shown)-- the owner is tired of her getting pushed around and not being allowed to eat... and decided that rehoming her is the best thing.
I hope she will do ok, she comes with two 16 week old kids bro and sister (bro is wethered, they are the sister's kids) and will join our pair of 19 week old mini Toggs....
I've never heard of an animal being kicked out of the ring for normal scurs.
 
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