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Kola meets The Kid... (A Goat Buck Battle)

 
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So today, at Pigs Landing, this happened:
Meet the contenders!
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Our 2yr Standing Champion, Koko Kola!
Our 2yr Standing Champion, Koko Kola!
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The Newcomer, Kansas Kid, aka, The Kid!
The Newcomer, Kansas Kid, aka, The Kid!
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The First Round BEGINS!!
The First Round BEGINS!!
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Head to head, and it's the first of MANY very HARD hits!
Head to head, and it's the first of MANY very HARD hits!
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And, AGAIN!
And, AGAIN!
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And it just. Keeps! COMING!!!
And it just. Keeps! COMING!!!
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Bone jarring SLAMS!!
Bone jarring SLAMS!!
 
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Nutters!

I want some . . .
 
Carla Burke
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This went on for more than half an hour, with only one - mutually agreed upon - side by side break, for water. They both were raised with rams and bulls, much bigger than they are, but Kola has been out of the ring for 2yrs, and is also 2yrs older than The Kid. They're VERY well matched!

At the end of round/day one, both bucks, visibly tired and panting, there is some minor bleeding, where the violence of the clashing horns sliding to their scalps did cause some minor bleeding at the base of Kola's right horn. He going to be fine, but definitely has a headache. The videos I got are incredible, and the clashing horns are LOUD!!
 
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I enjoyed this and am glad they're going to be okay. It's interesting that this ritual is performed all over the world! They will likely be bestest buds soon! And I have to mention that The Kid has beautiful horns.
 
Carla Burke
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Leigh Tate wrote:I enjoyed this and am glad they're going to be okay. It's interesting that this ritual is performed all over the world! They will likely be bestest buds soon! And I have to mention that The Kid has beautiful horns.



Thank you! I think he does, too! And his coat is simply gorgeous, though neither of their coats looks like much, in these shots. And yeh - I've been pretty nervous about this. Both boys needed a buddy, but goats are... well... Buttheads, with each other, even when they're amazing and sweet, with their hoomins. They're so well matched, I've been concerned they'd beat each other to death. I was also worried that when they finally locked horns, it could have truly harmed one or both. There is damage to their horns, from today's rough housing. Both are missing chips out of them.
 
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And I thought our Muscovy ducks has some epic tussles! Good thing their hoomins were smart enough to stand back and not get in the way!
 
Carla Burke
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Update:
As of yesterday, we noticed that The Kid was limping. He won't let us get close enough to examine it. Both boys are eating fine, and staying hydrated.
This morning, though, we noticed that Kola's left horn was a bit... wobbly. Upon closer inspection, where it had bled a bit, by the end of the forest evening, it was very slowly oozing clear liquid. So, there isn't any infection, but the horn is definitely loose,  deep in the base - and that worries me. The horns attach just behind and above the sinus cavity. So, if they break off deep, like that, and fall off, they can potentially leave the sinus cavity and brain exposed. So, we're in touch with the vet, and she sent us home with a 5 day tetanus treatment, but has a stack of farm emergency calls ahead of us, with no one to run triage. She's the only livestock vet in our county who does farm calls, right now. So, I'm kinda on my own, and asked if splinting the wobbly one to the solid one would help - she confirmed that it couldn't hurt. My thought is that at least this way, if he's going to lose it, it will be gradual enough to not snap off, and leave him to bleed out, if it's solidly splinted. Plus, it will keep it from wobbling so much with each step, that even eating and getting water is too painful.

So, I've splinted the wobbly horn to the good one, with a pool noodle. It looks ridiculous, but has greatly stabilized it, so he's much more comfortable, but it was rough going. It didn't take as long as I expected, but John had to hold him, and I had to lock his head & good horn under my left arm, while trying to hold the stupid pool noodle steady and tie both horns and the pool noodle together. The whole time, he was struggling and crying. I've never heard him whimper, like that, and I'm struggling with tears, and exhausted. These goats are my babies. They're more pets, than livestock, to me. The girls give super sweet, rich milk, and they all give some of the softest, downiest wool you've ever touched - think cashmere, angora, or even silk. They're funny, sweet little goofballs, and sometimes it's easy to forget just how violent and harsh they can be with one another. I'm working on The Kid. With the tender hoof, he's very leery of us, so I haven't been able to properly examine it, to find out what's going on with it, but he's not putting any weight on it. So, I'm working to build that trust, and praying he'll let me get closer sooner, rather than later, so I can at least wrap it, to prevent further injury.
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Top view of pool-noodle splint
Top view of pool-noodle splint
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Front of same
Front of same
 
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Ouch! Poor boys! And a big worry for you. Love the clever pool noodle splint!
 
Carla Burke
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Thank you, Jane. I just hope it helps enough.
 
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Just don't let him see himself in a mirror! At least he's eating - hopefully he'll mend.
 
Carla Burke
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The Kid is no longer limping, and is, instead, blowing raspberries at the girls, me, John, Kola, the dogs, and all the poultry who are free-ranging all over the place, lol.

Kola is still splinted, but the pool noodle is long gone. I tried, with partial success, to snug up the binding. In the process, he unintentionally knocked me on my butt, and partway down the rocky little bluff, in his efforts to escape. Not a mean bone in his body, all he wanted was to get loose, and his battle was only in pulling away. I love that little guy, and it hurts me to see him in pain, but I'm glad he seems to be doing better, other than when his horns get bumped or messed with. In the meantime, I've now joined the injured list, of the battle of the bucks. My left leg is badly bruised, and tender. I think my injuries are the least, of all of them.
 
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I apologize for laughing at your poor hurt goat. Couldn't help it. Didn't expect to see a pic like that. Have you considered changing his name to Triceragoat? Or Noodlehead? Seriously, I hope he's doing better.
 
Carla Burke
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Mike Barkley wrote:I apologize for laughing at your poor hurt goat. Couldn't help it. Didn't expect to see a pic like that. Have you considered changing his name to Triceragoat? Or Noodlehead? Seriously, I hope he's doing better.



The noodle is long gone. I'm just trying to save his horn, hoping the bone in his skull will knit back to it. He's still not out of danger.  I'm still very worried about him, though trying hard not to treat him differently than he's used to.
 
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Although it might be entertaining (similar to a cockfight), the above is why it’s not a good idea to put two strange bucks or rams together in the same field for an uninterrupted no holds barred battle for dominance, especially when I have paid good money for an expensive stud.  Although their wild ancestors have evolved to conduct full on battles with minimum damage, domestication and breeding for interesting horn shapes has left them more vulnerable to injuries as described above.  Here, the only time I will have more than one buck or ram in the same field is when they had been together since infancy and had plenty of time to work out their dominance hierarchy so that battles for dominance are minimal.  

Whenever I bring a strange buck or ram onto the farm, I will pasture them with 1 or 2 large, skittish wethers for company.  Wethers; so that they will just act to defend themselves against aggression by the newcomer,  but won’t escalate matters. Large; ideally larger than the newcomer, so that the wethers will be intimidating to the new arrival and can handle any aggression directed their way.  Skittish; so the newcomer remains wary of you since their new herd mates obviously are.  A buck, ram, or bull (especially when bottle raised) is potentially the most dangerous animal on the farm and one you don’t want to get overly friendly or familiar with you to the point to where they lose their fear of you and start considering you as a potential rival (or breeding partner).

Also don’t put two strange buck or rams in adjacent fields sharing a common fence line.  When dueling, they will coordinate their charges so they meet simultaneously at the fence, which can quickly tear up field fencing, although horse fencing can tolerate a little more abuse.  If they have to be in adjacent fields, I’ll keep them in fields separated by a corridor or else by a second parallel fence line spaced 4 feet back from the original fence.  This second fence line will have cattle panel gates at either end opening into one of the two fields so that livestock can graze the area between the two fence lines whenever bucks or rams aren’t being kept in them.  The corridor is also a convenient place to crowd the herd in that field into whenever I need to do eye checks (famacha) or other visual checks.

 
Carla Burke
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Some things - such as the case, here - are not done just for the fun of it, but out of necessity. Thankfully, I'll be putting the bucks in with the specific does for this year's pairings, and both bucks will have their own harem, and not be in adjacent paddocks. Prior to putting them into the same paddock, they WERE on either side of the same fence, and there were no problems, at all, and they were getting on rather well. Jftr, I didn't post this looking for advice - only because I wanted folks to see the sometimes incredibly harsh realities of raising livestock.

Edited to add: though my writing style was initially intended to be entertaining, putting these boys together was nerve wracking, and I very nearly opted to sell one, instead. But, both are needed. The coming mating season for our farm will offer us a few months to explore other options.
 
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That sounds rough all around, Carla! How are y'all faring after the injuries? Is Kola's horn healing up? Hope you and your furry friends are all okay and getting better! Goats are such amazing creatures. I'm attached to the ones we have a herdshare in and they're not even mine! I can't imagine how hard it would be to see them hurting like that.
 
Carla Burke
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Hey, Heather! They're incredible critters, aren't they? These two are both doing well. The Kid's ankle only took about a week, before he was back to 100%. Kola, of course, is a bit slower going, but the bone does indeed seem to be knitting back to the horn. It barely wobbles at all, and he's almost back to his usual level of clowning, including pushing his way through heavy brush - unless anyone tries to actually mess with the horn, though when he realized I was taking his splint off, he finally held still. Both boys are randy, and hilariously flirting with the does, all of whom are feeling just as frisky, lol. (This breed, originating from half Nigerian Dwarf stock, comes into estrus monthly, like humans, rather than seasonally, like most other goats).

I was only bruised a bit, and I'm just sporting a couple funky pale yellow spots on my shin, now.
 
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They are indeed! So glad to hear you and the goats are healing and that they're back to their usual selves!

That's amazing the bone is knitting back to the horn! Did you do anything to aid that other than the splint?

 
Carla Burke
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I did give a series of 5 penicillin shots to him, from the vet, in case he lost the horn. But, there was only one tiny scuff, in the flesh around the base of the horn - so no real open wound. The horn was knocked loose deep, inside - at the skull. The vet said she'd have to cut it out, if it didn't knit back together, and said my makeshift splint was probably his best chance. Other than initially splitting it, I really just checked it several times per day, for the first week, then daily, as I'd normally do, anyway - but with special attention to the horn, snugging the splint up, as it seemed needed. The thing that amazes me, is that even though I know it hurt, he still came to me, and only struggled in the very beginning, when it was freshly injured. He still follows me around, like a puppy, and looks sad, when I'm not able to stop and love on him. He is SUCH a very sweet boy. At nearly 4yrs old, he's more a beloved pet, than livestock, and it broke my heart, when he was so badly wounded.
 
Carla Burke
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Today's horn check-up...

NO MORE WOBBLE!! NONE!! YAAAAYYYYY!!!
 
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