My herd is complete again

lilod(NoCal/8)October 7, 2010

A friend's son had two goats for his 4H project and, after the exhibitions were over, he lost interest in taking care of them, so they came to join Boots, Raja and Daphne. It made Daphne really happy, one girl and two boys, even neutered boys, is not a good combination. Now she is joined by Shirley, a coal black one and Lucy, a pure white one. They all integrated quite well and with minimal head-butting.

My dog Gussie is so taken with the expanded herd, she spent all day hanging around the goat area, and "herding" them, that is - running along the fence and making sure they stay inside their fenced area. I finally had to call her in, because she is no pup and has been sedentary lately, she got exhausted, but like a true McNab she would not quit.

Funny how two small goats can make everyone smile and feel good.

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Lilo, do goats have an Alpha goat or leader of the pack? If so, what determines it? Whoever is biggest? (My animal husbandry knowledge is appalling!)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 6:02PM
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Boots, the biggest boy, is the leader, he is a bit of a bully.
Most herds, this one included, also has a "passive leader" usually the wisest female, who leads behind the scene and has a lot more influence than it appears. Daphne is that one.
Observing their interactions gives the clues to the group dynamics.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 6:58PM
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I am happy for Daphne, one lady against two guys is a bit unequal. Never had any, but I love goats.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 7:00PM
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It sounds like a happy time at your place, Lilo. Glad to see that. Lol, limited head butting is a good thing. I guess they had to establish some sort of order in the herd. Makes me smile.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Thanks for your explanation; as is often the case, a wise woman in the background is a *good thing*.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 1:46PM
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