Introducing new Goats to the Herd?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Sonrise Farm, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Sonrise Farm

    Sonrise Farm Guest

    Sep 18, 2008
    How do you introduce your new goats to the herd? Any safety precautions to take? And what do you generally do if they don't quite get along?
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    New goats are separate until I feel they are healthy. I basically just let them go, if it is a new kid, I sit with her on my lap and let the others check her out, only when she's comfortable do I let her go, there is always the initial spookiness and of course, they all want to let her know who's the boss, it takes a week or more til they are all comfortable with the new one. Right now, my "new" goatie Bailey, is still adjusting to the herd queen....Bailey has been here for 3 months and has started to "boss" Heidi, who is a month older, but Bailey knows to get out the way of the bigger girls though she stands her ground with you pretty much have to let "nature" take it's course....the more you shield the new ones from the established goats, and don't let them work it out, the longer it will take for them to "Accept" the new one. I only intervene when someone is being extremely nasty, other than that, I let them be.

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Liz said it all......I do the same .... :) ...except the part about putting the doe in my lap...LOL :)
    Just like Liz...... I watch and if someone is getting to mean........ I make them back off.... but they do go back at it drives me crazy... :hair: they are terrible bullies......
    Also watch out for team players ...they will team up ......and 2 goats will slam the one...or try to lock up there legs.....If this happens ...and is getting to can remove one and wait til things calm down with the other and the newbie.......then put the other one back in the field and see how it goes :)
  4. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    I just had a long, hard experience with Timber's Hope integrating with the rest of the herd. First of all, she wasn't supposed to be the only 6 month old getting added to the herd of 2+ year olds, but that's how it ended up.

    I had Hope isolated for 3 weeks where she could see, but not reach the other goats. I took her into the other pen so the older goats could smell her & she could smell them, etc. She freaked out & jumped out of my arms & took off.... the other goats started butting her really hard..... I'm talking ganging up on her & very mean.... so I extracted her out again, left her in the isolation pen for a few days to recooperate, then took one of the "middle of the herd" goats from the other pen (Sarah) and left her in with Hope for a few days. It didn't take long for them to become fast buddies. About a week later, I introduced both back into the herd. Sarah defended Hope fiercely & within a few hours, Hope was accepted into the herd & hasn't been ganged up on at all since (that I have seen).

    The only thing she needs to learn now is how to insert herself into the "grain chain" when I put grain in the feeders.

    That's my story about introducing a new kid.
  5. Sonrise Farm

    Sonrise Farm Guest

    Sep 18, 2008
    my goats are okay now---but at first, my nubian was REALLY MEAN. I had to smack her with a stick to keep her off the Nigies. :roll:. My Lamancha actually stood up for them----she head butted my Nubian everytime the Nubian made a dive for a Nigie! I think she thinks their babies. . . :slapfloor: . But I seperated the Nubian from my herd to get her to cool down, and then after a day or so I let her in with them again for a few hours. She slowly learned to accept them. . .but I'm like after two--three weeks there has to be an easier way!
  6. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I am so glad that the majority of us do it the same :)

    I too, bring them home - give vaccines, trim hooves, make sure everyone is good to go (I already have blood work results from blood I drew and have seen where they are coming from so i know that they are healthy). Then I release them with the heard and stay in the herd for a few hours. I, also, do not intervine unless someone is getting the poo kicked out of them. Typically they work it out nicely on their own and form "new" cliques. My 4 new goats that I got a couple weeks ago are fitting in nicely and have actually split up and made new bonds!
  7. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    New goats at my place get quarrantined for two weeks - that means no nose to nose contact. On arrival into the quarrantine area they are drenched for worms, given a multi-vitamin/mineral drench and treated for lice. If they are carrying anything nasty I can generally pick it up in two weeks. It also has the added benefit of giving them time to adjust to my grain mixture, or learn to eat if they have just had pasture. If they are poor I will leave them in q a little longer, but generally at two weeks I kick them out into the group they will be in. That's it. Just put them out, yes they will fight thats what they do but if you prevent it it will only get worse. They have to sort out the pecking order for themselves. I do try to make sure it is a reasonably large paddock they are in, so the new goat has plenty of space to get away from the others. I check every couple of hours and look for broken legs etc. Not that it happens very often.

    If it is a very small/young/timid animal, and I buy it by itself, I tend to buddy it up with another goat while it is still in the quarrantine area. I bring its new 'friend' in and put it in a pen close by but without nose-to-nose contact for the two weeks, then I put them together for another few days before letting them out.
  8. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    i quaenteen my new goats for a month. when they are ready to go into the herd i bring one of my more melloow goats to the new goat and let them get to the point they are getting along. usually two or three days. when i feel they are good with eachother i bring another one of my older does to the pen that the new goat is in. two or three days later i bring one more doe from the herd into the pen with the new doe. I wait about a week or week and a half, and then i bring the four does back to the main herd. This way im not putting one new doe into a herd where they already have an established order. So they are not all ganging up on the one new doe. the other three have to re establish themselves. so there are more smaller fights going on rather then ten does ganging up on one doe. I do the same with kids older then sx months. Anytime before that i find that they go into the kid pen quite nicely.
  9. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Thats a great idea Sparks.. I'll have to try that sometime.
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I also quarantine......but I started where the post was asking....LOL
    I think it meant after the quarantine? :)
    Introducing new Goats to the Herd?
  11. Sonrise Farm

    Sonrise Farm Guest

    Sep 18, 2008
    yeah. . . toth . . .I had them seperated from mygirls for about 2 weeks . . .because Daisy was so sick . . . she is much better now. :) I soooo need to post pix of them . . . haha, Saca looks like an oreo . . .she's got a white belt . . .we call Daisy Miss Piggy because she is so fat. . . :)
  12. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    MissMM, "The Grain Chain" :ROFL: Never heard that I will go back & read the rest.

    This is great stuff you guys, I would have never thought of it but it all makes bring a mid status to the new one!
    I had to let them fight the Nubian who came from the same farm as 3 Boer sisters. They took turns beating her up.
    When Sister 3's turn came up I locked her in the barn for about 10 minutes and she was having a cow like "Let me out I need to get her!"
    Several months later Nubian was the first to kid and she has been herd queen ever since.
  13. theanimalloverdenise

    theanimalloverdenise New Member

    May 17, 2014
    I'm not a goat expert at all, in fact I know very little about them. Our son bought 3 goats from one of our friends in Oregon, 1 male and 2 females. One was the mother with her baby. We have had them for 4 years, just the three of them. We moved here to Weston, Idaho and have been here for 2 1/2 years. Their diet really changed a lot, there's no Black Berry briers here and we stopped feeding them pellets as well because they are pretty fat. about 2 weeks ago we had to put our male down because of a genetic defect, I cried for days! Our animals are like family to me but he couldn't even walk anymore. Both of our females cried for about 3 days and nights. They were looking for him everywhere and it was heartbreaking to watch. Our friends had a new born male and said we could have him if we wanted him. I thought they would nurture him and it would help them get through their mourning of their loss. The baby is only 5 weeks old and he is really little and so dang cute! He was taken off of his mother 2 weeks ago and I think it's way too soon for that but it's been done. We let our goats roam freely and we do have a large area and a covered area for them to sleep in if they choose. We got little Harry today and put them all together in the large pen and both females were really mean to him, butting him hard and not letting him come close or eat ect... We made several different eating locations for all of them and 2 separate water sources for them as well. He just wanted to be a part of the herd and they just kept butting him. I separated them and the little one really wanted to be on the other side so we opened the pen and they continued to bully him. He isn't trying to nurse, he's eating grass, weeds and Alfalfa fine. I bought a bottle and warmed up some milk and he drank a little bit but not very much. I started reading several posts on here and I got worried so we just went out and separated them again. They can smell each other and see one another still but I didn't want to wake up and find the little guy dead! We grew up with chickens, sheep and cows. This site has helped me a little but I'm not sure what's the right thing to do here. We don't breed, show or milk our goats they are just our pets but I want to do the right thing. Any suggestions?
  14. janeen128

    janeen128 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Edgewood, WA
    What kind of milk are you feeding him? I have used the advantage kid goat replacer, as well as does match too with sucess. You need to make sure probiotics and a crushed lactaid pill goes into the first bottle of the day, at least I did, and never had a problem.... Others just use homogenized whole milk from the grocery store. He is WAY to young to be weaned, 8 weeks is the earliest. If he isn't used to a bottle just keep trying to get his sucking reflexes going..., he'll take it once he gets used to you, his new surroundings... I'd keep him separated for about a week, and then trying to put them together again. I have a rescue 2 week old that just came today, and everyone is being mean to him;( I'm glad it's the weekend so I get to spend some time with the little guy;-)
  15. sweetleaf79

    sweetleaf79 New Member

    May 4, 2015
    Ravensdale, WA
    I see this thread is old, but hoping someone sees this :) We are new to having goats, we got 2 Oberhaslis a month ago, they are now 9 weeks. On Saturday we brought home an 8 week old Nigerian doe. The boys are being so terrible to her. Head butting her and just really pushing her around. Should I have brought in 2 instead of her by herself? I feel so bad for her, even though they are nearly the same age, the boys are much bigger than her. Should I let it run its course or do you think I should bring her a friend? I would hate for that to backfire and end up with 3 against 1 though.
  16. janeen128

    janeen128 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Edgewood, WA
    When you say boys, are they bucklings or wethers? If they are not wethers you will need to keep them separated from her because they can breed at 3-4 months, some reports say sooner. You wouldn't want an oberhasli breeding your Nigerian either. If they are wethers, you can let them work it out. I have 2 oberhasli wethers (just wethered yesterday) and then I acquired a black rescue lamb. Boy they were mean to him, but within a few days they were fine with each other, then I got a Lamancha/Nubian rescue doeling. Again fighting occurred but they are fine now, several days later...
  17. sweetleaf79

    sweetleaf79 New Member

    May 4, 2015
    Ravensdale, WA
    Sorry yes they are wethers :) Thank you so much for the response. I wasnt sure if I needed to have "even" numbers hahaha. Good to know that this is normal, I will let them do their thing and wait for them to sort it all out. Thanks again!!
  18. cameronb

    cameronb Member

    May 4, 2015
    we have some nigies and are bringing in some Nubian mixes should I be worried about the Nubian hurting our young doeling she is only nine weeks old
  19. LoriH

    LoriH Active Member

    What if its the new goat that is being REALLY bossy. I have a sanaan mix and her 7 month old baby. We brought in an adult of similar size but she is the one being mean. Do I still just let them work it out??
  20. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Not if someone might get hurt.