how to introduce new goat to herd?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by minibarn, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. minibarn

    minibarn Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    ontario canada
    we got an alpine-cross doeling, sarah, a few weeks ago and have put her in with pygmies just yesterday. before that, she had her own pen where she could see the others if they were in the barn. i would often take sarah out to their pasture and they let her graze with them but got nasty to her if she tried to come into the barn with them or would get too close to some of them. since yesterday she's stayed with them but they still head-butt her away if she gets close or eats at the feeder beside some of them. she will eventually grow bigger than them but she has a very sweet, timid personality. also, they have horns and she doesn't. nobody has seriously injured her yet. how long will it take them to accept her in the herd?
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Best thing to do would be to let them work it out, be sure to place hay stations far enough from each other so that she can eat without being pushed out, horns or no horns, she will learn to hold her own....my girls did :wink:
     

  3. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    I agree with Liz. We brought home a new doe a few weeks ago too. She came from the same breeder we bought most of our other goats from - clean herd, so we didn't have to isolate her. She's our youngest doe, and wild as a hair as she was on a huge farm and didn't get handled regularly - just for shots/worming/hoof trimming.
    She has taken up with our buck, but everyone else pushes her around. She has learned the boundaries with the others, it has just taken time. She gets along really well I've noticed with our 3 goat kids.
    I'd say it will take time, and unless they are really injuring her, I'd leave them to it, even if it's heartbreaking to watch.

    Congrats on the new doe, and I hope they settle with her soon!
     
  4. ChestnutGrove

    ChestnutGrove New Member

    265
    Apr 29, 2009
    Tennessee
    Agree with what everyone is saying. I isolate to keep sure they are healthy and after that I have them share a fence line with the other goats. Then what I do is I let everyone together and then I am the leader and everyone follows me as I show the new goats around the place. We have a 48 acre farm so we do a bit of walking with old goats and new goats following me around as I show them around the place. What I like about that is I can watch their interaction and they are being kept on the move and they are also seeing all the neat places they can go and that "the world is round" and how to find their way back. I then will seperate at night for a couple more days (all depends on how everyone is getting along) and normally it is okay from there. Like already mentioned - I keep sure there are plenty of different places to get hay and grain so no one gets pushed out and I am the "over protective mom" who stands there to keep sure no one is getting picked too bad on till they settle it out. Time wise how long it will take till everyone gets along - I don't know. I have found each goat is different. They will do some head butting but as long as no one is getting hurt they do need to just settle it out - which is why I supervise to keep sure it does not get too rough. I think you are on the right track.
     
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree... pecking order has to be re-established.... in the herd.... :wink:

    Just keep an eye on them for a while... to make sure... they don't gang up on her.... other than that.... 1 on 1 is a good number.... also... watch that the legs don't get hung up... in the horns of one or the other...... after a while... they calm down....
    I totally agree.... to place the hay or feed spaced out........ so she gets a chance to eat.... :wink: :thumb: Congrats on your new addition... :thumbup: :thumb:
     
  6. minibarn

    minibarn Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    ontario canada
    thanks for the encouragement! sarah seems to be doing ok with the herd although she's still very scared of most of them. she's getting along great with a 3 month old wether. i haven't figured out where they let her sleep at night 'cause she always comes running when she hears the barn door open. i think they're letting her inside the barn at least. :chin: i guess i worry too much! :p