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URGENT HELP - Goats

 
Alison Thomas
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Posts: 933
Location: France
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We have 4 female French Alpine goats - Granny (3 years old) her daughter (2 yeas old), that goat's daughter and another young one (both 6 months old). We've had them for 3 months now. Granny is horrible, aggressive, and horned (wishwe didn't have her). The annoying thing is that, although she is a nasty piece of work, she is the doyenne (sp) and leader of the 'herd'. If we take her somewhere else, the others won't settle. Also, they won't follow us because she is the leader.

But anyway, it's 8.30pm at night here, pitch black, the wind is freezing, temperatures are plummeting and she won't let any of the other 3 into their house. A farmer friend of mine said that it's imperative that they are inside when it's freezing or they'll die (elle sont fragiles). We've tred to coax them all in with food but it's not happening. We don't know what to do. Please please can someone guide us.

Kathleen, I know you said a few weeks ago to tether them but I was't very comfortable with that.  However, if we had, we wouldn't be running about in the field in sub-zero temperatures!!!
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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Is there any way to get your leader into the housing and tied up with restricted moment?

Have you tried covering her head?  Sometimes with aggressive animals limiting their view can aid you in management and movement.  Maybe with her head covered and a neck rope someone else can apply hobbles, and then she could be lead into the barn.  Once there and others shouldn't be far behind.

I'd get rid of her ASAP  and develop a new leader!
 
Alison Thomas
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Location: France
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We managed to get granny out and the mummy and her baby in and tied mummy up in there so we only had another two to catch. However granny went in whilst we were trying to get the other little one, and she really attacked the two in the house.  I thought she was going to kill mummy - she was really ramming her horn points into the mummy's body (who of course was still tied up). We quickly untied her whilst trying to avoid the worst of granny's attacks. Can a goat really want to kill some of her herd
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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It sounds like you cannot get anywhere near granny, have no control over her, and are afraid of her - correct?

I still feel that your going to have to do something to or with granny in order to have peace and a functional heard.

Sorry for all your trouble, maybe someone else will have some ideas and chime in.





 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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We had a ramming sheep that we finally had to shoot because he became a serious danger to us.  I'm sorry your goat is such a problem, in my opinion, you should seriously consider putting her down. 
 
Emil Spoerri
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What about getting a bigger, meaner, less spastic goat to put her in her place?

I hate to say this, as I would not do this myself, but dehorning her would probably do the trick. Perhaps more humane than putting her down? Actually though, goat burgers are mighty fine tasting.

I have a nigerian dwarf as a herd queen and I had the same problem starting out, but eventually she got over it. I think my bucklings growing up and going into rut distracted her enough that she quit beating on everyone. Now her daughter (half alpine) and 2 more doelings with horns are bigger than she is, not quite yet brawnier but I am pretty sure she is going to be dethroned some point next year!

Finally, freezing weather will not kill goats, however freezing weather + rain, sleet or wind will.

Last year my goat kidded super frigid weather, honestly can't remember how cold it was, but it was really close to unbearable even in that drafty barn. I sealed all the cracks near the floor up with hay I tucked into them and the bedpack kept them warm enough they made it without a hitch.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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eat her.  and make something useful out of those horns.

some of our goats don't like each other, so their indoor space is partitioned into two parts, each with a separate entrance.  if somebody gets kicked out of one side, they can head over to the other side.  not an instant solution, but I would think it would work if some remodeling is acceptable to you.
 
                    
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I have to agree with Tel.

you dont need a lead like that. It wont help in the long run, and if she goes another will take her place.

I haven't had goats in 15 years, like most other animals, as Im digging out from under college and so on and finding the folks place is simply not designed 'permie' enough for me to be ok with bringing them in yet.

however, the lead goat will emerge if the current one is lost. better to do it now before someone gets hurt (including you!) my mom got a bad hit from a mean doe once, then twice, and that doe ended up in the dinners before 3...

shes not only thier lead, but by challenging your attempts to care for the other goats, she challenging you. you might win out with patience and love and respect. or you might end up in the hospital.

your call. I'd be enjoying some slow roast by sunday. then your sweet ones will be safe, warm and you can cuddle them without interruption- which is what its really about. and cheese.
 
                            
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Grain bucket! Don't forget the grain bucket.

I lost my goats three years ago in a storm (tree came down over the fence, I was outof town). They went into the forest and I didn't see them again for almost three months. When I found them, I realized I had never conditioned my goats to come to any particular signal.

I'm deciding that's important with all of my critters. A "cue" that is louder than what I can yell or call that means "come in NOW!"  Will need to be something different for each species.

I agree on getting rid of your doe. It takes a split second to cause an injury to a human that can last forever. My goats are, for the most part, really tame and easy to handle. A couple years ago I was worming everyone, a young goat (about 45 pounds) normally very tame walked past me and took a hold of her collar. I don't know what she thought had her, but she immediately was fighting for her life. I've told people for years about the dangers of loose dog collars... and look who put a loose collar on a goat! My finger was broken and ligaments torn within a fraction of a second. The fracture is healed, the ligaments will most likely always be weak.

Your goats will get used to things without her and another will eventually take over as leader.

I have a friend who lost a brand new adult nigerian goat, when it was butted to death by another goat... both were dehorned.

As long as my goats are dry, they tolerate cold weather really well. I've had them kid beforeat 20 below with no losses, although  they had help from both me and my dogs. Couldn't have done it without.  IF I leave the gate open for them, my goats will go out and browse until evening, then they put themselves away. I just have to go out and close the gate.

Good luck to you and be safe!
 
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