Pygmy Goat Issues...PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by ToddM1980, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. ToddM1980

    ToddM1980 New Member

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    I have several issues that I'd really appreciate some help with.

    A couple of years ago I took in a baby male pygmy goat and bottle raised him. I knew very little about goats at the time, which was my mistake....Now he has beome very aggressive and almost impossible to handle. He doesn't mean to hurt anyone, but he has huge horns and can really do some damage.

    We bought a female and put with him.(She also has horns, but is a sweetie.) Once the female became pregnant and had babies (both females also) we put them in a seperate pen.

    My question is, what should I do about the male? I feel bad about him being alone, but I don't know if it would be safe to have another goat housed with him. I know males who have been "fixed" are supposed to make good companions to bucks, however, I don't know how it would work out considering the horns he has.

    Another thing...would it be safe to keep a neutered, dehorned male in the same fence with females who do have horns?

    Also, how much calmer is a male once it's neutered?

    I have a new baby dehorned male and I'm tryng to figure out if I can leave him with my female once I have him neutered....Thanks alot!
     
  2. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You could get the buck a companion wether of his same size or have him fixed,by a vet.It could take him some time to settle down but as the testoserone leaves he will calm down.It is still better for him to have a freind.Or put him in with the girls after he's neutered.You will have to keep him seperate for 6 weeks I think,after he is fixed to be safe.
    Hes probably in rut right now and is roudy due to wanting to breed.
    As far as keeping the new baby in with the females,any new addition will take some getting use to and they will beat them up untill a pecking order is established.I would pen off a small area where the baby has a safe zone to get away if need be,like a 4x4 section in the barn that only he can get into to get away from a beating keep him enclosed there for 3 or 4 days to let them get use to him being there and smelling him and then open the gate and let him out he will feel this will be his safe zone.
     

  3. ToddM1980

    ToddM1980 New Member

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    So the girls with the horns won't hurt the new male with no horns when he gets older?

    Also, if I get a wether to put with my buck, the wether should have horns too right? I would love to have my buck dehorned, but I've heard how stressfull it is for the animal and I don't want to put him through that.
     
  4. Stacy Adams

    Stacy Adams Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly.. if you read some of the old posts of goats with horns, you'll find out that they know they have 'em and that they do use 'em to their advantage.. the girls will know that they can bully the little guy around and he'll always be defensless against them..
     
  5. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    FWIW I don't mix un-horned and horned goats. Like Stacy said, the horned animals will always have an advantage and they will use it. My experience is that they very rarely actually hurt each other, but the un-horned animal won't get as much to eat, won't get as comfy a spot to sleep, and won't get as much attention from you if the horned animals decide to get jealous and run him off.

    I would make sure I got a horned wether to keep a horned buck company. I find that my wethers are as sweet and easy to handle as my does have been.
     
  6. ToddM1980

    ToddM1980 New Member

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    Lets say I leave the horns on my new baby male and just get him neutered....As an adult wether, will he be calm enough to handle? I have no problem handling my females with horns, I'm just not sure how gentle a horned wether is.

    Thanks alot!
     
  7. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    If you do some searching on here for dehorning, and read the posts what you will find is that it is alot more stressful on you than on the goat to dehorn it. Lots of passion when it comes to our goats and lots of human emotions put on our goats. A good job done by a vet, and it's over relatively easily, elasatator bands done correctly take longer but are safe and this is a good time of the year to do it in with fly season gone.

    If your buck started most of this bad disposition since you made him live by himself...well can you blame him? He has never lived alone, and now all of a sudden has to! Of course he needs companionship. Do you want more kids born? It would be alot easier to have him and a new buck to alternatly use between the 3 girls and daughters you will have. I would have moved out the little girls, so they didn't get bred early, leaving him with the older girls, once the young buckling is grown than you could move them in together, leaving all the girls alone. You will eventually need two pens anyway, one for the young girls being bred by the young new buck and the older girls being repeat bred to the older buck, once everyone is heavy bred, moving the girls back together and the boys back into their buck pen. There is always going to be some fighting when moving goats, when adding new goats, don't go disbudding or dehorning anything if you aren't going to do them all.

    If this buck is mean and not just because he is now alone, do you really want to keep having daughters and sons out of him with his disposition? No, so wether him, he will still have bad manners, just not weapons to do so much damage with. Vicki
     
  8. trickham

    trickham Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me like he is aggressive most probably because he was a bottle baby and over-handled as a young goat and now he doesn't realize there is a difference between humans and goats. I doubt this would be passed on in his genetics. I'm not sure that wethering him at this point would help much.
     
  9. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, I have had 2 Pygmy bucks de-horned by my vet. Gorgeous bucks, but horns have no place on my farm. Both did very well with the removal. Actually one was done just 3 days ago. I need to remove his bandages tomorrow. BIG attitude changes when the horns are gone. This buck would pick up the girls when they would eat & send them flying so he could get the food. He would also try to hook a person's leg if they were in the pen. He was over handled as a young kid & the guy also told me they would play with his head & push on his head all the time playing with him when he was younger. Well, it's not so cute once they have huge horns. I have banded quite a few Pygmy doe's horns. The bucks I have had have been way too big to get a band on. The horns were too rough to roll the band down, so I just took them to the vet. He cut them off & cauterized them. Within a couple of months on the first buck, you could not even tell he ever had horns. Well worth the money in my opinion & mine did not act too stressed from the procedure. When I picked Troy up Tuesday & brought him home he went right to eating & acts fine. I don't think he has quite figured out where his horns went though. I personally would never have a horned goat on my place. While they may not use them aggressively on purpose, it's no fun getting jabbed when trying to trim hooves or medicate. I also would not mix horned & de-horned. The horned ones can be way too mean to the ones without horns & I just don't think it's fair. Kind of like 2 humans fighting & one has a weapon & one doesn't. A wether would be a good companion for the buck, but I would not have horns on any of them.
     
  10. trickham

    trickham Well-Known Member

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    Dehorning is probably a good idea in a small situation. Especially if it helps his attitude. I personally do not dehorn my Boer and Boer crosses because they are range goats and need the protection from coyotes etc. and because horns make great handles for controlling a goat. :)
     
  11. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't thinking of Boers. I do feel if they are left to roam without much protection horns can be a good thing. Pygmies though are usually just pets & they just should not have horns if they are. Especially if young children will be playing with them or going in the pen. I also would not have horns on dairy goats because of possible injury to udders with them.
    I do agree that horns make good handles! :D
     
  12. ToddM1980

    ToddM1980 New Member

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    Thanks for all the help!

    By the way, what is the average cost of having a buck dehorned?

    And what does neutering usually cost?
     
  13. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Last spring it cost me $55 to have one dehorned. This last one cost me $67. Same size, he just raised the price that much. My vet charges by weight & these were both over 40lbs.
    Not sure on castrating price since I do all bucklings when they are babies & band them. I have never had an adult castrated.