Goat Needs Psycho-Analysis! Anybody got that Shingle??
Spots, alias "Mean Mama", raises our biggest kids, babysits other's babes including a cripple at the barn until it was well enough to travel with the herd again. She is people friendly, easy to handle/doctor. But mean to other nannies but definitely herd leader. She is currently nursing a 2 month old baby. 

Tonight we tried to put 4 wether in the pasture with her and the nannies. They were neutered 2 weeks ago. This would.get them away from our two goats.we.are.still doctoring, give.them more room, graze, shelter options.and.access to some obstacles to climb.

One wether Rockie is her 10-month-old son. She attacked him with vengeance. She would.not relent till we.pulled them apart and put him back with the two sick bucks. End results was Spots.had some blood.base of one horn. Rocky appeared wild-eyed and wound up badly favoring one leg. Luckily after the separation, he seemed to get over the limping.after.a.while.

It's not like.they have been completely separated. The buck pen and barn and.pastures.are only separated.by a high netted.fence where they can.see.each other anytime, especially while eating.and sometimes.when.we.have to pen them at.night during bad weather in their barn with only the wire separating them.

Do we need to sell her or would.another nanny just take her place as.herd bully? Is that just the nature of whoever emerges as.herd leader?
No, herd leaders do not have to be bullies. My herd queen is actually quite gentle and rarely picks on anyone for no reason. It sounds like your doe is very super-protective of babies, and this is a good thing! It's unfortunate she's vicious to others though. I'm not sure what to say except that she probably saw the wethers as being a threat to the babies in her care. In her defense, young goats 1-2 years old (both males and dry females) are the ones most likely to hurt and bully young kids. You doe may know this by instinct. It's also possible she thought the older "kid" would try to nurse on her again (and maybe he did try but you didn't see?). If he was trying to steal milk at this age, or if he made any sexual advances, then she was justified in attacking him.

I'm not sure I'd want to get rid of a doe with such a strong protective instinct. She may be a pain, but you know she'll look after the kids, who of course are the most vulnerable members of your herd. You'll probably have to keep her son separated from her at least until her kid is weaned. After that, she may be more tolerant of him. By then your wether may be big enough to at least hold his own against her as well. It would be nice if the doe could settle down to being a strong herd queen without being outright vicious. How old is she?
Spots was one of two first born here when we first got goats six years ago so she is around six and is half.Nubian and half lamancha.
She's pretty special then. It's hard to say whether a replacement herd queen would be nicer or not. If the new herd queen learned from Spots' example she might be exactly the same way and possibly worse. The replacement could be mean to everyone, including other goats' babies. The fact that this doe is so protective of babies makes me think she is more of an asset than a liability, but of course I haven't seen her in person to know how mean she is.
I would hate to get rid of her. Robert doesn't like how.mean she is.to the other goats. My criteria whether they stay or go is how easy to catch and.doctor.since.most of.that lands.on me. It sounds like a.scene.from Dr. Shivago (sp???) every night, we are sooo over populated in coyotes. But w e have never ever lost.a.baby or goat to them. Think Paws our old LGD deserves majority of credit but maybe she deserves some of it too, I don't know.

We do have to thin our herd but maybe she will be spared. Thanks.
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and couldn't create a new topic, sorry for posting it here. We have a similar issue. Our doe is nursing a 3 month old baby and she is constantly beating him. Whenever we try to separate them though she becomes angry and tries to protect him. What should we do? The vet says we need to try sedatives or tranquilizers (he was working as a chemistry expert and biochemist earlier and has a lot of experience with dozes for animals) but I'm not sure if it's the right way to avoid such a behavior.
Welcome! First posts always have to be "approved" due to the prevalence of fake spam accounts. We just like to know you're a real person before you go "live". Wink

It's pretty normal for doe to start beating off bucklings that are three months old. This is about the time that many goats start naturally weaning their offspring, but that doesn't mean they lose their protective "mothering" instinct. I don't think sedatives are the right approach. For one thing, it's not a long-term solution.

What is your barn set-up? How many goats do you have and what is their relationship? Herd dynamics are a fascination of mine and can greatly affect the prevalence of bullies and outcasts, how everyone handles weaning and separation, etc.
also check if she has udder issues. The lamb could be too rough/biting her when he drinks. Or she has a subacute/acute udder infection. This could be the case if she still has a lot of milk and only one lamb to raise. Are both halves of the udder similar? Swollen? Hot? Sensitive to touch?
Sabine from Germany
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