Mixed herd photo

Discussion in 'Goats' started by lgslgs, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if any of you folks read the Cattle section. If so, sorry about the repeat.

    I wanted to show you all a few of our goats and how they get along with our heifer Connie.

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    The goats have done a wonderful job of thinking good herd manners into Connie since she was a calf. She now is a full fledged member of the herd, tied for 4th rank position out of 9 (8 goats + 1 cow).

    The brown goat with the black markings who's on alert is our herd Queen Cocoa. The black wether with the big white ears is Buddy - he's the top weather and holds position 3 overall in the herd.

    The guy with the wild polka dots is Buster. He ranks #8 but is quite happy being low wether on the totem pole.

    Mable is the little girl with the horns. She's just a yearling and holds position 6 right now. However, she's a crafty little thing and we think she has her eyes on the Queen job some day. It's no coincidence that she's dust bathing with Cocoa while she plots a future herd takeover.

    Cocoa isn't going to be one to give up the crown easily, though. We brought her own mother into the herd when Cocoa was 2 years old. The mother, Bindy, (who is also Mabel's mother) spent a good year trying to take over as Queen. The mother had been Queen in two previous herds and was used to being the star.

    Cocoa put down mutiny after mutiny. Her favorite trick was to take everyone out to forage in the woods and then sneak the whole herd away while Bindy was browsing. I can't even tell you how many times Bindy came back to the house in a panic because she had been ditched. And that was just one of Cocoa's tricks to assert her rank. Bindy now ranks dead last in the herd at #9, but has mellowed out and now seems content there. It took two years, though, for Cocoa to push her all of the way to the bottom rank.

    Queen Cocoa makes sure that the cow is very gentle and doesn't step on anyone, but sometimes also seems to encourage Connie to sass Bindy. Cocoa and her sister Sandy (#2 rank) put a lot of work into bonding with and training Connie to their way of doing things. We think they knew that whoever holds power over the cow holds a lot of power over the entire herd.

    The whole mixed herd thing is just fascinating to watch - especially when the goats are laying out the rules for an animal that will end up being ten times their size.

    Lynda
     
  2. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful and contented looking "goats" Lynda. Glad to finally see Buddy. Love his ears.

    We've had goats for 2.5 years now, and as yet I can't even figure out for sure who's the herd queen. :shrug: I only know who's at the very bottom of the pecking order. This guy always gets extra attention 'cause I feel sorry for him.

    Nancy
     

  3. KimM

    KimM Student of goatology.

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    What a cute picture. I SO want a black spotted Nubian doe!!! Yours are beautiful.
     
  4. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    Nancy - yes, Buddy is doing well, and he'll always get a bit extra attention from me after what he's been through. (For those that don't know the story, Buddy is our deerworm survivor.) He's still a bit leaner than everyone else, but no sign of neural damage. He's the guy who halter trained our calf for us. :)

    Kim - Buster has a lot of relatives spread throughout SE Ohio. His father was a black spotted Nubian named Solomon and his grandfather was a black spotted Nubian named Simon. The bucks have gone through a number of farms in the area, introducing polka dots and then being moved on to bring fresh blood to other herds.

    If you like spots, you'll like Clyde. He's a Simon son and is the brown spotty one in the photo below. He's neck and neck for herd position #4 with Connie. They usually play like equal rank playmates, but Clyde teams up with the high ranking goats when they want to steer Connie around the yard. At other times, Connie sasses Clyde like she outranks him. And every night at dinner time, Clyde rears up at Connie to remind her she's supposed to wait until all goats go through the gate before she's allowed to go in for dinner.

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    All 8 of the goats are in this shot. The sandy colored one on the left with the raggedy ears is Sandy. She was headed for a bright future as a 4-H fair beauty queen until she dunked her ears in a water bowl during a vicious cold snap. She frost bit the tips of her ears off so we had a chance to get her. She's Cocoa's sister from the same breeding, and holds position #2. She's nicknamed "The Enforcer" - Cocoa sets the herd rules and Sandy thunks everyone into compliance. Sandy adopted Connie as a calf takes lead on the parenting responsibilities.

    On the right you can see can see Bindy with the big white spot on her side and little white spot on her head. Cocoa and Sandy are her kids from her second breeding. Mabel is her daughter from her 4th breeding. (All of this is on other farms - we don't breed.) The dark chestnut colored one tucked in between Buster and Bindy is Molly.

    Molly is Bindy's granddaughter out of Snow White - a doe from Bindy's first breeding. Snow White died from deerworm when Molly was 5 weeks old. We had a chance to get Bindy, Molly and Mabel - and Bindy was willing to nurse Molly alongside Mabel. Molly was weaned in a fairly timely manner, but Mabel kept topping off with Bindy milk until she was over a year old. We think it is part of Bindy and Mabel's master plan to someday take over the herd and oust Queen Cocoa. Molly is much more interested in developing the size of her rumen than in political intrigue.

    Molly and Mabel were sired by Simon.

    Bindy is a total pushover for a sweet talking spotted buck. Since there are no bucks here, she's equally content flirting with Buster. We think some of that might be Cocoa's master plan to keep Bindy busy with a boyfriend so that she doesn't get back into herd politics and regime overthrow. Buster and Bindy are herd ranks 8 and 9, but they don't care because they are in love. Buster the whether can sweet talk every bit as well as Dad and Grandad.


    It's all quite lively. They roam 15 wooded acres during the day. Between having a mixed herd and the whole Bindy/Cocoa power struggle, there are all sorts of things going on to keep them physically and mentally busy all day long. And Cocoa just keeps getting smarter and craftier because she has to be. Buddy fits in as Cocoa's royal prince. He's quite reserved and sometimes a bit aloof, but Cocoa and Buddy can often be seen wandering off to the edge of the herd where they plot and plan together. Buddy tends to help Cocoa sneak the herd away herd away when Cocoa decides it's time to teach Bindy a lesson by ditching her in the woods.


    One other thing - how do you think these guys (goats and cow) look for animals that have only had 6 square bales of hay in the past year, and that share a 2 cup measure of grain between the lot of them each evening. :) We're quite proud of how the hills and the browse around here have shape them all up.


    I'm really glad I finally got an account at www.photobucket.com It's very easy to post pics, and it is a lot of fun sharing the photos and herd gossip with you all.

    Lynda
     
  5. lijj

    lijj Well-Known Member

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    aww, that's sooo cute :) I love how your one goat sneaked off with the herd XD That's cool how you know the whole rank of your herd, I only know who is 1, 2, and last (6)
     
  6. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    It's our version of cheap entertainment. :)

    We don't leave the property much - guess it shows!

    Lynda
     
  7. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    You have great story-telling abilities and it's easy to see that you have a watchful eye to pick out the herd dynamics like that! How fascinating! Everyone's gorgeous!
     
  8. lijj

    lijj Well-Known Member

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    I love sitting out and watching my goats too... I usually just sit and read with them. They do adorable stuff when you watch them XD
     
  9. KimM

    KimM Student of goatology.

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    Lynda, if you hear of any nice spotted doe(ling)s for sale, can you let me know?
    I love your story and how close you pay attention to your goats!
     
  10. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Wow. You're goats are all very close to each other! My goat's NEVER lay close enough to each other to where they are touching, unless it's mommy with small babies. All of mine sleep separate. :shrug:
     
  11. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    Kim -

    I've got a great contact for you. I'll PM you with with details.

    Lynda
     
  12. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    We have a cow that is an absolute twin to Connie. She will be sent to the auction soon with the rest of our herd becuase all the ponds are dry because of the drought. Our well cannot supply enough water. it breaks our heart. Didn't want her to end up butchered at such a young and vibrant age. She just had her second calf by our registered polled Hereford bull....he will have to go to the auction too if no one buys him.
     
  13. MoCrafter

    MoCrafter Well-Known Member

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    Lynda,
    I don't post much, but read daily. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading your story about your goats. Also enjoyed the pictures, but just couldn't quit reading about the herd. You should write a book about them. You are a very good story teller. Please tell us more stories.
    Winona