Wethers: Two's Company, Three's a Crowd?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by mlheran, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. mlheran

    mlheran New Member

    10
    Feb 16, 2008
    Sonoma County, CA
    Hello there! I'm new to this board (but have already gleaned a lot of great info) and new to goats. I've been reading up on them for a year, and just paid my reservation for two adorable buckskin ND wethers-to-be.

    My question is this, when kept as dam-raised pets are two wethers enough company for each other, or would three be better? Would the group dynamic be better or worse?

    The reason I'm asking is the breeder has another buckling of the same age and coloring (my favorite) and may offer me a deal for the three. (There's nothing wrong with the third kid, he's just a boy in a dairy world. ;)) I've heard that goats are very addicting, so maybe this would be a way to get as many as I can safely house at once, instead of adding later, LOL.

    These boys are going to live with us as pets and blackberry-wranglers (and maybe occasional hikers) and will have a fully fenced yard (is 4' tall enough?), mini barn (a glorified shed), and lots of "playground" equipment. Feel free to give me any advice or tips you have for living with happy wethers -pics are more than welcome! :love:

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. goatheaven

    goatheaven New Member

    121
    Oct 18, 2007
    South Carolina
    I would get all three of them. I find it easier for goats who live together to get along better. Also, if you add one later then they will have a new introduction and goats usually butt one another until they figure things out. I always buy goats in pairs or more than one from the same property. They seem to get along better.
     

  3. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    I agree, might as well get them together. And welcome to The Goat Spot.
     
  4. Shazzy

    Shazzy New Member

    37
    Oct 15, 2007
    Twin Cities
    I agree that they will get along better if you get them all at once. Once two are bonded strongly, they have a hard time letting another into the group. (Well, that is just my personal, 1 time experience). 3 goats make more of a "herd" and it is more interesting to watch. I don't know which they like better, though. But then again, 2 usually bond really closely and with 3 you can sometimes get 2 ganging up on 1. It is just up to you, but I woudln't worry either way. 4' is tall enough for most goats, but I have a pain who would jump that in a heartbeat. I would just start with that and see how it goes. They sound like they will be very sweet, happy boys.
     
  5. mlheran

    mlheran New Member

    10
    Feb 16, 2008
    Sonoma County, CA
    Many thanks, goatheaven, Di, and Shazzy!

    I think what I'll do is this; when I go to get the two I reserved I'll watch the group of kids together for a while. If it seems like the third one I have my eye on gets along really well with the other two then I'll get him too. :) It seems like three would be more of a natural herd "feel," I'm only concerned if they go two against one at any point. Does that happen much if they herdmates from a young age? (That is, if the three of them were friendly as kids in a larger herd and then leave together). Does it make any difference that two are full brothers and the third is a half-brother; and if they were born a day apart?
     
  6. goatheaven

    goatheaven New Member

    121
    Oct 18, 2007
    South Carolina
    I think especially at a young age they will get along well. We had over 20 kids born on the farm since Feb and the kids who were single became friends with other pairs or singles. When they are young they all seem to like each other. It is when they are older it is hard. Another thing to think about is if something happened to one of the goats then you would only have 1 left and it would not do well without a pal. So with three you have a better chance of making sure they have a friend.
     
  7. mlheran

    mlheran New Member

    10
    Feb 16, 2008
    Sonoma County, CA
    That's a good point, goatheaven. While I hope to do everything right, there's always that odd chance that something may happen to one of a pair. (In fact, that's why I've always acquired my chickens or ducks in groups of three or more, and it's saved me a couple times now.) Thanks!
     
  8. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    I'd say get all three, if you are planning to add more later anyway. I got my Nigerian wethers when they were young kids (brothers).They were perfectly happy together, had enough company and were quite content. The bond they had was (and is) soo strong, they are super dedicated to each other. They are both my babies though lol. Then, when they were about a year old I added a two month old Alpine wether named Melino. He came from a huge herd so was used to interacting with lots of goats, but my two, who had only ever had each other, shunned him and bullied him something terrible for a little while. Poor Melino only wanted to be their friend, but they would have none of it. There wasn't really a herd dynamic with two nearly as much as there is with three, Pace and Shanti just did everthing together. After a bit they accepted Melino, and they all play together and are happy as can be, but it was difficult for all involved to adjust, at first.
     
  9. mlheran

    mlheran New Member

    10
    Feb 16, 2008
    Sonoma County, CA
    Thanks for the input Emily. Yeah, I've had enough trouble with later introductions in my flock of chickens -I'd hate to cause a ruckus with any other animals. I think I'm going to decide when I see them all together and either get the original two (and not add any later), or go all-out and get all three at once. I'm so looking forward to seeing these little guys running around!! :greengrin:

    And I love your signature pic -Pace, Shanti, and Melino are SO CUTE!!
     
  10. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I just want to add that everyone has great advise. But don't take it that you can't get more later. They may butt a little and have their ussues but in the end they do accept one another and life goes on.

    Wethers are so much nicer to one another then does are to each other. Its crazy how mean the girls can be.
     
  11. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    Oh, no I didn't mean that at all, thanks for pointing it out Stacey. Mine took a few weeks to work things out and now are the best of buds, all three of them. They are actually snuggled together right now under their hayracks, so sweetly lol. It just causes a bit of a stir, or did for mine, anyway. Another point is that all goats are different and yours might accept a new guy with no trouble whatsoever.

    Good luck picking out which ones to get, I'm sure you'll have a ton of fun with them!!! :stars:
     
  12. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    "pics are more than welcome"

    You shouldn't have said that! LOL Don't worry, I'll juspost a few.

    Pace and Shanti being their brotherly duo

    http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r221 ... G_8328.jpg

    Pace

    http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r221 ... G_6520.jpg

    Shanti

    http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r221 ... G_5984.jpg

    Melino, being his royal highness

    http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r221 ... G_6587.jpg

    And all three together

    http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r221 ... G_6344.jpg

    Sorry, hope you don't mind so many heehee :oops: Just love sharing my boys, and am always happy to meet another wether owner.

    Oh, and hiking with goats is so much fun, they are fantastic companions, mine stay right with me with no training required :wink:
     
  13. mlheran

    mlheran New Member

    10
    Feb 16, 2008
    Sonoma County, CA
    Emily I have serious boulder envy now! :shocked: My boys are just going to get some lumber playground equipment and some tree-stump pyramids -I WISH we had some rocks like that around here! And don't feel bad about sharing photos, in my book "the more the merrier!"

    And don't worry, Stacey, I'm not thinking of getting them all now to avoid hassles, but rather thinking of getting all I can currently house. I know I'll be sorely tempted in the future to add some more cuties, but having to build a bigger shed and more fencing should cool my heels. "If you build it, they will come," eh? :lol:

    Many thanks again!
     
  14. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I just didnt' want you to be under the false assumption that you can only get goats once and not add.

    I say if you are thinking of three - go for it now. The housing and fencing for 2 would be the same for 3. But if you are happy with just two then two will be fine.