Oct 12, 2021
In General Discussions
My Arapawa does have become my problem children, and I’m not sure what to do. Any advice is welcome. Sorry this is long, but I want you to understand the situation. So the backstory is I have a herd of horned cashmere goats, and I have miniature dairy goats that are disbudded. I keep the two types penned separately at the barn, but I turn everyone out together in the same pasture, and all is peaceful. I started out with Arapawas with a young doe and a young buck. They were friendly and calm. Pretty quickly I needed to separate them though, so the buck went in with a dairy buckling I was raising, and I tried to integrate the doe with the cashmere herd. That did not work well. The cashmeres are larger, and she was ostracized. So then I tried putting her with the dairy goats. When I did that, she used her horns to bully them and did not integrate well. These trials happened over months. I kept waiting for her to settle in. At this point we were nearing the rut, and the buck escaped the buck pasture, so I put them together and left them until she neared time to kid. After she kidded with a doeling, I tried them with the cashmeres thinking that with a doeling maybe the dynamic would change, and it seemed a little better. They seemed to tolerate them and let them eat and be in the shelter. I hoped the addition of another Arapawa doe would offer her some companionship. We’ve brought home another buck and doe. The buck is doing fine with two young dairy bucks that we are raising. The doe, however, is not accepted by our original doe at all. In fact she has taught her doeling to fight the new doe as well. So I penned the doeling with the new doe thinking if they became friends, then maybe the original doe would lighten up. The doeling and the new doe tolerate each other but are not companionable. I tried to integrate them back, but the original doe ostracizes the new doe and doesn’t let her in the shelter and the cashmeres never liked them to begin with. And then the new doe beats up on the young cashmeres. And I’m not just talking head butting. She gores them in the guts with her horns and pens them to the fence. This is also a problem for my public appearances cause I like to take a couple cashmeres and a couple Arapawas to represent the old English milch goat and the Spanish goats. I’m getting really weary of the situation. I’m not sure where to go from here. I considered putting original doe and new doe with old buck in hopes that he will make them behave. I’m not sure if that will work or if old doe will keep new doe from being bred. I considered putting new doe and doeling with the young buck, but he’s not all that bucky yet. I’m wondering if I should consider disbudding the babies from now on. I haven’t heard of people disbudding Arapawas - is it allowed? I’m wondering if I should bottle raise the new babies separately with some dairy does so they will integrate. I don’t really want to do that. I prefer dam raising… Any ideas? I have space to pen the does with the bucks until they kid. But at that point, I’m going to need them to live together. I’m not set up for each goat family to have private accommodations 😁🤦🏼♀️ Thanks for any insights!