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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I'm wondering if you would consider an extremely passive goat a fault? I had a buckling and doeling born out of one of my favorite does. I decided to keep both. Both have become extremely passive to a fault. They are on the bottom of the social order in their herds. Their dam was the herd queen... could this be why? I don't want to breed a bunch of timidity into my herd. The buck is not too bad. The doe has me concerned. I don't know if this is a trait that could be passed on or not. Thanks for any input.
 

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If momma fights for them, they figured they don't have to. So I am wondering if taking momma away from them would cause them to get more assertive within the herd.
 

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That's very interesting. In my experience the kids generally fall in the same place in the hierarchy as their dams (if the dam is still in the herd). Are you sure the twins are feeling okay? Growing well? No health issues?

In my herd, yes, timidness and unwillingness to claim their space at the hay rack is definitely a fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The buckling has been separate from his dam since he was about 12 weeks. I actually sold their dam last month because she was pregnant and I am moving in a couple months. I didn't want to put stress on a heavily pregnant doe. The buckling will hold his ground, but then back down. This seems normal-ish. His sister however runs from even the kind does and won't eat when others are eating. I DO have a very mean herd queen now. She was second in command until I sold my herd queen. But the other goats hold their ground, just not Magnolia(my timid one). I don't know what the real problem is.... The new queen or Magnolia. I don't know if time will settle things, or if I need to separate someone or what.
 

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Herd dynamics is very interesting. They would probably do well in another herd with other less pushy goats. My latest buck that I brought into the herd was at the bottom of his old herd. So low that he was frightened to be caught or restrained in sight of the other bucks he lived with because they might come and get him. Now he lives here with a smaller buck and 2 smaller wethers. And it's perfect for him! He is at the top of his herd, and treats all females and wethers with respect and shares food with them. But not with the other buck, ha ha! They have an agreement worked out between them. He eats from the side of the feeder. He is also very respectful to people too.

So, you might be able to spin this situation to be positive! I think they would do well in a home with small children because they most likely wouldn't see them as competition. I think that would be wonderful!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@NicoleV That is what I was thinking. Actually, I am hoping to start working on a Nigerian Dwarf herd of my own. I was thinking she'd be the perfect herd queen for some little guys. In fact, I talked to her about it this morning, lol. Hopefully my neighbors don't catch me, but you guys understand, right.;) I'm on the fence about keeping the new herd queen. She has extremely small teats. I'm hoping that will improve with her next kidding. If not, she has two strikes against her, and I'll let her go. I think Magnolia will do better with her gone.
 

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I personally won't keep a mean queen. My current queen is extremely assertive, as is the next one in line (I already know who will take over), alert, definitely will take her take off the top. But she isn't mean. She does not pick on anyone. Keeps strict order. She'll waggle her head and the other does part before her. She is not kind. But no one is bullied and persecuted.

A good queen in a herd like mine is invaluable, a bully is sold or butchered.

I can't say about yours. Goats need to be at least something of a joy, or we won't bother to take good care of them.

Your little girl may be fine without that particular queen. Or she may be feeling bad from illness. Or she may be grieving the loss of her mother. She may be the object of an insane grudge from the new queen, who hated her mother and can now take it out on the young'un. I don't know. I know that I can't keep a bully queen.
 

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I'm endlessly fascinated by herd dynamics! It super bugging me that I don't know who my current herd queen is. We lost the two most recent herd queens in the past 12 months and there just doesn't seem to be a clear leader, many contenders. But it stinks having a brutal herd queen for sure - they can act nasty when they get to the top and teach their daughters the same!
 

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A super timid goat is definitely a fault in my herd as well, because they are usually skinny(which makes production go down, etc.) and often sick because of the stress they endure from always running from the other goats and not getting much to eat.
If only the super mean herd queen is stressing this doe out, the herd queen may be the issue. But oftentimes it’s that ALL the higher ranking goats make the timid one super, super timid, and then I’d probably get rid of the timid one-I have, in the case that they were thin and prone to parasites and diseases.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you ladies very much. I have been reading up and considering your advice. I think that the mean queen is the main problem, and I will see what I can do to separate her. I will keep her until she kids and then decide what to do with her then. Magnolia(timid one) is pregnant, and I don't want to risk any trouble there. Another thing to note.... this aggressive behavior started a few weeks after the queen became pregnant. Is there any chance it is related to that? I believe you're right @mariarose I feel like it has something to do with a grudge with Magnolia's mother.
 
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