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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I'm sorry I only ever share negative news on here, but I tend to come here when I am in need.
Tonight is one of those nights.
To make a very painful and long story short: I had an awful.....awful kidding season. 2 sets of triplets and one set of quads. I lost 9 out of 10 kids and one doe.
If you'd like to read the whole story: Having a bad season
https://www.thegoatspot.net/index.php?threads/Having-a-bad-season.218729/
My only serving kid was a doeling named "Virgie" who I've been bottle raising for the last month due to the loss of her mom. She was growing so well and was so happy and healthy. She became my little side kick.
Today, while I was at school and work, my sister decided to take her outside and put her in a pen that was not kid safe at all. My sister never asked me nor informed me she had taken Virgie out of my bedroom.
My mom called me while I was at work and said there had been an accident.
There are several dogs in the house. Two of those dogs are pit bull/heeler mixes who are almost 2 years old.
They attacked Virgie. Punctured her neck and chest. There was nothing that could be done.
The worse part? This is the second time they've killed one of my kids.
My mom and younger brother who own the dogs say they aren't completely to blame and that they need shock collars.
I want them put down. But that will never happen.
Here's my question. I am a full time welding student finishing my last year of school and I work part time. My goal is to have my own place in the next 2 years.
Until then: what would you do? Would you sell out until you had your own property where your livestock is almost solely in your hands? Would you find the money to build better pens that you'd only utilize for a few years? Or would you refrain from breeding until you had your own facilities?
Because I live on my parents' property: my options are extremely limited. I have no say in what happens with the dogs, minuscule freedom to build and design my own goat facilities but control over when I kid out.
I'm so very heart broken and mad. So so mad. My entire family is devastated but I'm struggling forgiving what happened.
I feel very lonely and defeated right now.
I've
4D111EBA-8A83-47EC-B297-AD840CCDA278.jpg
attached a picture of my Virgie
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How old is your sister?
16. She's never owned livestock or had interest in our family's livestock. She only shows interest in my goats when they're babies. She didn't intentionally put Virgie in harm's way but she sure knew better than to put her outside and let the dogs out. Ive told her every day to keep the dogs away from her.
 

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Oh my gosh I am so so sorry for all your losses. I would be livid, and I would want the dogs put down as well. I have zero tolerance for dogs who antagonize livestock, especially repeat offenders. I totally understand your position and not having any say in the matter though.

How many goats do you have remaining? Are they all adults? I live on my parents' property so I'm also stuck between wanting to make improvements to the infrastructure, and acknowledging that it's not my property and I won't always be living here. It's a tough call.

If all you have left are a handful of adults, can you reinforce their area to keep them, but take a break from kidding or expanding until you're in a better position? Since this isn't the first time the dogs have killed kids, I definitely wouldn't plan any more breedings until you have more say in how your goats are managed. Even if you build better pens for the kids, who's to say your sister won't put them in harm's way again?

Again, I am so sorry for all your losses this year. I can't imagine how devastating that would be. Hang in there, things will get better!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I love dogs dearly but if my own heeler killed one of my parents’ calves I’d have her put down.

My herd is now at 9 does and 1 yearling buck. The dogs have no interest in my adults but I’ve caught them stalking, barking/chasing at my kids from the outside of my pens. This year I was super vigilant about “kid proofing” but we all know how they love to escape. I think you’re right. I think I should hold off on breeding. I planned on waiting until December at the earliest to breed this year but I can’t handle any more deaths caused by the negligence of someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The dogs need professional training. Not just a shock collar. I'm sorry for your loss. Definitely minimum is not to breed anymore until you are on your own. How easily can the dogs get into the adult pen?
I agree but I know that will never happen. I use hog panels that are close to 6' tall for my adult pens with only one gate per pen. I think I completely agree about the no breeding until I'm in a better situation. It sucks because I am really looking forward to my next season but after this year I'm also terrified of it. But, if they're not safe then I will not put them or myself through it again.
 

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Hello all. I'm sorry I only ever share negative news on here, but I tend to come here when I am in need.
Tonight is one of those nights.
To make a very painful and long story short: I had an awful.....awful kidding season. 2 sets of triplets and one set of quads. I lost 9 out of 10 kids and one doe.
If you'd like to read the whole story: Having a bad season
https://www.thegoatspot.net/index.php?threads/Having-a-bad-season.218729/
My only serving kid was a doeling named "Virgie" who I've been bottle raising for the last month due to the loss of her mom. She was growing so well and was so happy and healthy. She became my little side kick.
Today, while I was at school and work, my sister decided to take her outside and put her in a pen that was not kid safe at all. My sister never asked me nor informed me she had taken Virgie out of my bedroom.
My mom called me while I was at work and said there had been an accident.
There are several dogs in the house. Two of those dogs are pit bull/heeler mixes who are almost 2 years old.
They attacked Virgie. Punctured her neck and chest. There was nothing that could be done.
The worse part? This is the second time they've killed one of my kids.
My mom and younger brother who own the dogs say they aren't completely to blame and that they need shock collars.
I want them put down. But that will never happen.
Here's my question. I am a full time welding student finishing my last year of school and I work part time. My goal is to have my own place in the next 2 years.
Until then: what would you do? Would you sell out until you had your own property where your livestock is almost solely in your hands? Would you find the money to build better pens that you'd only utilize for a few years? Or would you refrain from breeding until you had your own facilities?
Because I live on my parents' property: my options are extremely limited. I have no say in what happens with the dogs, minuscule freedom to build and design my own goat facilities but control over when I kid out.
I'm so very heart broken and mad. So so mad. My entire family is devastated but I'm struggling forgiving what happened.
I feel very lonely and defeated right now.
I've View attachment 200231 attached a picture of my Virgie
Awww She was such a cute lil baby
RIP Virgie
 

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Im so so sorry that this happened to you. My heart goes out to you.

Over the years I had to learn the hard way that dogs that I loved were not compatible with raising goats and other livestock-without extreme management measures.

I lost a doe and a billy this way and had to pry the pit mix off of two other goats and twice off the pigs ear.

My two dogs were hunting dogs and had been trained to hog hunt. For a pit especially they have a strong grab/hold instinct. Combined with a strong heeler prey drive and chase/nip assertiveness, a pit/heeler mix is going to be very hard to have around livestock. Additionally pits are very sweet-but impulsive so have a hard time constraining themselves if they are crossed with another breed with strong prey drive.


My two LGDs didnt treat my dogs as foreign...thus I actually found them all playing with the poor billy, so they were not a solution.

Humans have bred dogs for these tendencies, so they are simply doing exactly what they were intended to do, so while angry, it isnt really justifiable to euthanize them in a situation like this. We made them this way.

My guy was a pit/catahoula mix and I finally rehomed him to a hog hunter.

Given family can be utterly not helpful, you are in a bind. A dog trainer friend of mine has about 30-40 dogs in rehabilitation for aggression issues at her home and raises a herd of 30-40 miniture goats. She follows the "two barrier" rule. There must always be two impenetrable barriers between the dogs and the livestock at all times. Not shock collars, invisible fences or field fencing, but fences the dogs literally cannot get their mouths through. (My doe got killed by grazing through a field fence :(. She was my favorite girl ever.) Additionally if the dogs are climbers, eat through fences (One of mine would dismantle chain link and staples using his jaws and could eat his way out of a crate) or jump, you cant count that fence as a barrier. You cant count barriers as things you have no control over-like things your sister would leave open.

One option might be to go down to tractor supply and buy a dog kennel-for a few goats. They have some that are extremely robust with welded steel walls that are six feet high and that can have a roof added. Then outside of that, purchase an electric net fence from a place like premier1 and place outside the kennel to keep the dogs off the perimeter. Both the kennel and net can be moved so once a week you could shift to reduce parasite load and give fresh grazing. In addition, I d suggest still having the dogs contained elsewhere behind a fence or even having a third layer of field or hog panel fencing.

Otherwise-could you perhaps board your goats at a local stable or a friends house?
 

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Personally, I think I would put the goat business on hold until after you get out of school and get established at your own place. It’s not fair to you, your family, or the goats when you’re unable to devote the time and attention needed to be successful in your endeavor. It’s hard I know but adding extra stress and drama to your life only worsens the situation. You sound young. You’ll have many more years to raise goats and enjoy them more then. Focus on your schooling and family for now.....just my humble opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all. I feel like an utter failure. I have a lot of soul searching to do. My heart is shattered. I feel very alone right now. I need to sit down and weigh out the pros and cons. Although I fear I already know what needs to be done.
 

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You're going to hate me. And I am fine with it.
After the first attack - the dog shouldve been removed or killed. Period.
A dog gets the taste for a particular meat or blood and its on. A pitbull I can speak on because I have raised at least a dozen. If you plan on having goats, and you plan on having goats there..either destroy the dogs or remove the goats. One or the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You're going to hate me. And I am fine with it.
After the first attack - the dog shouldve been removed or killed. Period.
A dog gets the taste for a particular meat or blood and its on. A pitbull I can speak on because I have raised at least a dozen. If you plan on having goats, and you plan on having goats there..either destroy the dogs or remove the goats. One or the other.
My family would never put the dogs down. That only leaves me with one option. I do not hate you because you are right. It's a hard truth.
 

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My family would never put the dogs down. That only leaves me with one option. I do not hate you because you are right. It's a hard truth.
I understand the hurt, trust me. No judgement at all. There are situations beyond our control. This is one of those situations. The dog in this case is a natural hunter and predator. So its hard to just blame the dog right? But unfortunately Goats are prey animals, and in the end we have to be their protectors.

It sucks and you're at loss because this was your animal and its something, you really cannot blame yourself for it. I would, and you do but this is nature at its worst unfortunately. If you cant eliminate the dogs, can they be 100% separated by fencing our housing? That would be the other option. If you can separate them, your good to go.
 

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We have packs of wild dogs around here (as in dogs that were just abandoned so they turned feral). I have to keep the goats near the house in a very well fenced pasture. I have an aggressive Aussie mix that will probably kill kids if given the chance, plus she hates cats, and we have 9. So she has her own pen that she shares with a corgi with the same personality. BUT I still use her as an LGD. Her pen is across a little walkway from the goats pen, so she protects the goats by barking and scaring animals away. It works very well.
I would suggest holding breeding until you get your own place. I understand family because I battle with my dad ALLLLL the time on different things about goats. He will get the wrong food for them (sweet feed instead of goat pellets for eg.) when given the choice.
I lost 2 out of 3 kids born last year, plus one doe miscarried twice. We are here with you. It WILL get better! I know it seems hopeless right now but don’t worry, you got this!!
Blessing for the next phase of your life.
 

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Very sorry about your sad year and loss if Virgie Such a doll.

I too agree...hold off your plans until you're in a better situation. ((Hugs))
 

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Oh no! I’m so so sorry you lost Virgie!
RIP sweet girl.

As for the dogs, you’re in a tough position. You’re in your last year of school so I’d hold off breeding until you can get a more secure situation for your does and kids. Unfortunately, asking family to give up their pets isn’t going to happen, realistically.
You can only move forward. I like the idea of putting a hot fence around your pens though until you can move them. A double layer of protection for your goats will give you peace of mind. It will also signal that you are doing your part and that the dogs owners need to do theirs.
Family is family, we have to forgive and I’m sure they’re feeling pretty horrible too.
Hang in there! When you have your own place with bouncy kids the ground, it’ll be better.
((HUGS!))
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My emotions are running very high right now so I won’t make any rash decisions until I have a clear head. It has been an awful year for me and we’re only 3 months in. I’ve poured my heart and soul into my herd. Blood, sweat, tears, money and time. I think if I just gave up and sold my breeding stock until I’m in a better place physically, I’d go into a dark place mentally. My dream is to own my own ranch and have a large herd. That dream is what drives me every day to get out of bed at ungodly hours and go to sleep long after sunset. I’m going to do a lot of fence renovation this spring. But, I will hold off on breeding until I know for certain I’m not putting myself and the goats right back to square one. It’s so incredibly frustrating when people who are supposed to be livestock owners and know the cost of losing an animal to dog think that a shock collar is the solution. But I can’t be too mad at my family or the dogs. They love the dogs, I understand that. The dogs are not a good breed to have around livestock. It’s not a viable situation. I have to remind myself that I won’t always be in this situation.
 
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