Herd dynamics are most interesting. There is order among the group and as the goats grow and change the order is sometimes shuffled.
Since June we have been running a split herd, because we have doelings that we can’t have around the bucks just yet. We added a couple of older does into their group just to maintain some order and keep the kids safe. Our Odie experiment from March did not go according to plan, so in order to live up to our name, Must Bee Kiddin’, we have get everyone bred in the next month or two, so we had to shuffle things around again.
Our largest goat has reigned supreme as Herd Queen since the day we acquired our herd. She’s been the leader, protector, and biggest bully. She ran a tight group, but was a bit over the top sometimes with her actions. Many of the other ladies did not like her, but had to take her butting and pushing around the food bowl and choice treats. She was quick with her horns and sometimes even would go out of her way to butt a goat she particularly didn’t like for seemingly any reason. It’s the order of the herd.
HQ as we have called her was split off from the main herd and has been leading the group of doelings and a couple of lesser ranked goats for the last couple of months. She’s easy going enough, but her dress size has increased and WE have had to bully HER away from the food dishes after her rations have been scarfed down.
Labor Day was a pivotal day for our herd. The doelings have been left in one herd and HQ and the other two goats have been integrated back in with the remainder - including a buckling and a buck. Well, things didn’t go quite according to plan for the HQ. Two goats took her down – down a hill, down into a tree, down into submission the only way goats know how – loud, hard head butting, biting, humping, more butting, and some shunning. It was difficult to watch at times, but it’s nature and how goat herds deal with their hierarchical structure.
I believe that we have a new Herd Queen. The goat we call Mrs. Badger or Mrs. B or Mamma B, and often in my case, Mrs. Bitch, because she bites. We shall see how this plays out.
Life is always interesting on Must Bee Kiddin’ Farm.
In 2014 a couple of 40-somethings decided to make a change. The purchase of 10 raw, pine scrub acres along Florida's Nature Coast started it all. This is that story.