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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi I have 2 withered toggenburg goats. they are brothers now they are 11 months old. I understand that goats but each other but Jake rams his head into albert's side, albert lets out a whine almost like he is yelling at Jake to stop. Jake also did this to his mother when he was little. these are my first goats and don't understand if this behavior is ok. I don't want Jake to hurt albert. please advise :butting::butting:
 

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I don't know... separating them has it's own issues. Separating them will solve the issue for now, but reintroduction will be rough. How long has Jake been bullying Albert? At what point did dominance become outright meanness?

Young wethers often get pretty testy at around a year old, especially in spring I've noticed. The biggest bully in my herd is nearly always one of the yearlings, and the older goats have to keep those whippersnappers in line on a regular basis. Don't be surprised if Jake starts testing you and other people as well at around this age.

Someone suggested in another "bully goat" thread to hobble one front and one hind leg together so the goat can't get up much speed. I like this idea. It might give Jake an attitude adjustment if he has to be hobbled for a couple of days when he gets too rough. Feeding time is usually when goats get the meanest. Make sure to feed Albert his own hay far away from Jake's hay, and make sure when you're petting Albert not to let Jake horn in rudely. Chase Jake away if he gets too pushy and let him know you're in charge and that rough stuff is not acceptable when you're there.

I'm guessing your boy will mellow out in time. Most goats who live in pairs eventually become almost inseparable from their buddy. It's possible that if you take Albert out by himself for walks where Jake can't see him at all, Jake may realize how much he misses his friend and stop treating him so badly. You can also take them walking with you together and enforce your rules about good behavior. In a herd situation, the senior goats take it upon themselves to keep younger goats from bullying other herd members. With no older goats in your herd of two, you have to fill this role.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
he started this when he was little with his mother. I don't have his mother anymore took her back when they were about 9 to 10 weeks old. I have put him in a separate pen when he does it. I have noticed he does it more in the barn then outside now. I reprimand him when I am around as albert sticks right next to me most of the time. Jake doesn't do it as often as he use to. I have started to separate them at feeding time so albert can eat his food as Jake would push him out of his bowl and the hay they don't seem to fight over. Albert doesn't fight back like that. Albert is a little shorter and needs to climb on a rock (which we have plenty of to get an advantage) to butt heads at least it seems that way. Do you think Jake will stop doing this?? :ponder:
I hate to make a bad situation worse by splitting them. Jake seems to have so much energy. thought about training him to be a pack goat just to use up that energy??
 

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Definitely start channeling that energy! There's nothing like good honest work to mellow down a rough character. If Jake's mother allowed him to butt her, then this is why he learned to be mean. Most mama goats don't put up with that kind of nonsense. I have a mare who spoiled her colt in a similar fashion, and I had my work cut out for me when it came to teaching him manners. But he did come round, and I'm guessing Jake will too. Competition for food, shelter, and space brings out the worst in goats. Most bad fights and accidents seem to happen around the feed trough or in a confined area where there's not quite enough room for one goat to get far enough away from another. That's why the bullying happens more often in the barn.

If things are already slowly getting better, then I'd just wait and see if the guys work it out. Take them for regular walks and even hikes so there's an outlet for excess energy. Leave the barn door open so they can come and go. Close confinement sometimes makes enemies out of even the best of friends (we see this happen when my two wethers have to share a horse trailer every night for a week during a pack trip!). My guess is that your goats will work out their differences and eventually become good buddies, but Jake will always be the boss. Boss goats like to do a lot of micromanaging, but hopefully as he matures he'll cut out the really rough stuff.
 
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