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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have two fifteen year old pygmy x alpine does that have spent their whole lives with a horse. Now that the horse is retiring into a pasture with other horses I would like to put my goats into a pasture at the same facility with eight other goats and a llama. Most of these other goats have fully developed horns and are significantly larger than my feisty, dehorned, old ladies.

This situation is further complicated by the fact that one of my goats partially tore off one of her hooves two weeks ago when my horse stepped on her. :( It's healing well and has reattached via granulation tissue but when I introduce them, I would like to minimize the extent to which she runs around (if at all possible). My goats are currently living in a stall/shed in the middle of the goat pen so they have, for the most part, all seen each other.

What's the best way to introduce my goats to the others while avoiding unnecessary injuries?

Thanks!
 

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As old as they are and not having the advantage of horns like the others do, I would be hesitant to place them there... the stress of being taken from their "horse" as well as that of needing to establish pecking order within a new herd as well as advanced age can be very detrimental to their health.

If it is an absolute must that you place them within the other herd, settin up an area just for your girls like a pen within the pasture so that everyone can get used to them as well as have contact through the fence, you can watch the reactions of the others and then allow them to interact supervised. A hard hit to an old goat can cause more injury than to a young one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Liz! I would like to eventually introduce them but I don't want them to be beaten up. There's a miniature horse pen adjacent to the goat pen. Do you think I could introduce them to other goats one at a time?

They have been separated from the horse and on stall rest in this shed for a couple of weeks and are feeling cooped up. Once the hoof is all healed I would like for them to be out in sunlight.
 

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When ever I put one of my goats in a pen that all the other goats can still see every day they still fight when I kick it back out. I just dont get it. I agree with liz, it will be a pain but you might want to figure something else out. If you end up having to put them all together I would not kick them out one by one. When ever I buy more then one goat from the same place I will kick them out one by one so that they are forced to settle their arguments and go with my goats. If you kick them all out at once and there is fighting going on they still have their friends and can go away from the others and not be by them selfs. I just thank that is very old for the stress.
 

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I would be doing it in an area that you can control and get the girls out of quickly. I would start with just a very short time period and you there the whole time. Then as it seems ok, gradually increase the time that they are with the herd.

I do agree with everyone else that if you can at all put them somewhere else, that would be better. There will be fighting even if they all get along and that could be the end of them.
 

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There's going to be squabbling happening no matter what you do. These older ones have a safe area where no one else can get into, right?
As for introducing one at a time I wouldnt.
If it takes another few weeks for that hoof to heal real good I'd leave them as is if possible.
 

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I am going to disagree here, to make it easier on the new old girls, with less stress and not being ganged up on, cause they have no horns, I would try to put one goat with them at a time, take your most docile goat and introduce the new goats to that goat and see if she can be gentle with them, but yet, be able to establish a pecking order, when this calms down, may take a while or a few days, you can then try another goat and so on, until the herd is together and hope that the herd queen is kind enough, to not be as hard on them. Just monitor them as you go. It may work with a lot of them, but may or may not with others.

Somehow I didnt get your post properly in a seperate post; Pam I'd have never thought of doing it this way. It takes all kinds of scenarios to decide what's best for your own herd.
Thanks for bringing this up. :) Nancy d
 

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Karen has a good idea there, try and put back. I guess you never know and they may just stay away from the others till they see that the older ones will not want to fight or not able to fight, but then again the old ones might want to start the fights. I have a 25 year old cow that thinks she is 2 and goes out of her way to pick fights and makes me mad because I dont even know if cows should even live that long to start with. You have a lot of good ideas, if you have to try them all till you find one that solves the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the advice! Most of the other goats (with the exception of the alpha female) are quite old as well, and some are even older than my goats! I may see if I can keep them in the miniature horse pen adjacent to the goat pasture; however, this could leave them vulnerable to coyotes. Or, alternatively, I could try introducing my goats into the pen and take out the younger, more aggressive goats so that the rest of the herd can get used to them. Do you think that could work?
 
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