Should I integrate my pack goats with a non-pack herd?
#1
Hi all: I've recently acquired my first pair of goats (a pair of Alpine/Saanen bottle babies, currently 13 days old). I'm not 100% new to goats, however, having had some goats when I was a kid and, more recently, watching my neighbors' small herd of 4 Nigerian Dwarfs when they're out of town.

I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to let my kids join their herd in a month or two after they've been weaned. The upside would be that the neighbors already have a nice barn and a much bigger pasture. We could also share the work a bit (although I'd probably just end up doing most of the care for the combined herd). I'm worried, though, that since their goats aren't trained or worked in any way, they might teach my goats some bad habits.

What do you think? Combine herds or keep em separated? 
Thanks!
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#2
I think by about a month they'd easily be ready to integrate with Nigerians. I don't think you need to worry about bad habits. Goat herd interactions are important for the best social development in my opinion. The biggest reservation would be if the ND herd is skittish or wary of people. Another problem that crops up is that your goats may bond to the other goats more than they bond to you. This can make it difficult to leave home and make them harder to train on the leash, to load in the truck etc. However, most of us deal with this issue in one form or another. Most people with packgoats have more than just 2 or 3, and we don't always bring all of them along, so we must deal with training our goats to leave their buddies. It's not difficult as long as you're consistent about taking them out with you, and you intentionally spend time bonding with them.
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#3
Thanks for the reply! The other goats aren't particularly skittish, so I'm sure it'll be okay. Mine will definitely like the bigger pasture and having some more goat buddies to punk on, I'm sure.
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