Having goats keeps you busy working around the clock but these past 3 weeks we’ve put in some extra work. Our goat barn consists of two open front stalls, one for does, one for the boys, well eventually that’s the plan. A major factor in this plan is Huck, he has been getting too aggressive with the pregnant does and the safest thing to do is let the does have their space from the boys. The second stall contains the younger guys, Rafiki, Kingsley and Bagheera. The space they were occupying was only one third the total area of the stall due to an old, decommissioned chicken coop that was a danger to curious goats. The smaller space was fine for a while but they are growing. We demolished the coop in a couple of weekends, which opened up a huge stall for the boys, giving them enough space to play and stay dry on those frequent rainy days. We had to put a dividing piece of plywood between the stalls with a hot wire on top so no one goes climbing to the other side. They are much happier with all the space they have now. It will also make our division of the other group possible. Which I will touch on later.
Over the summer we built a double sided feeder with premiers DIY instruction and after we got it into the stall and tried it out we learned a few things.
We’ve also been working on an isolation pen about 120 feet away from our primary goat housing. It’s small, 25’ x 36’ give or take a few feet but it’s purpose isn’t for containing the whole herd, just for a pair or to be used as a weaning pen. A month ago we got the posts in and the fencing stretched, and in my free time I’ve been placing and attaching some dig guard as well as running hot wire for the electric fence. This most recent weekend we almost completed the pen itself by getting the grounding rods in but we still have to connect all the wiring, get the charger hung on the post, and attach the gate. The biggest hurdle with this new pen is the shelter. We’ve been debating about building a wood structure with the scrap lumber we have, purchasing a shelterlogic tarp shelter, or converting a dog run… but haven’t figured it out yet. Hopefully we can get this done quickly.
The big picture of all this work is to divide our herd up differently for a few reasons:
Problem 1: Rafiki is the smallest of the bunch and the bigger goats are too much for him to handle. The aggression causes too much concern that he will be seriously injured by the others twice his size. They knock him to the ground and keep pumiling him poor guy.
Solution: Obviously separate him, but he can’t be by himself and the rest of the goats are all too big, so we will bring him a friend his size where they will be housed in the isolation pen until big enough to live with our does.
Problem 2: The does are getting the crap beaten out of them by Huck and Pluto, which is especially worrisome since they are confirmed pregnant.
Solution: Separate them, Huck and Pluto will move into the stall next door with Kingsley and Bagheera. Then it will just be Echo, Denale, and Kivu in the doe pen.
Problem 3: We can’t take all our packing prospects out together because they will brutally fight in the back of the truck.
Solution: House them together so they can figure out the pecking order at home. I hate to tie them in the truck so this is important.
It’s all so much work for a few reasons that make a lot of sense.