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Thought of this this morning, and I wonder what others have found.

In the long while I have had goats, a bunch of times when talking about them with others who raise them, I have heard that a buck will sometimes kill his own kids, just to get rid of the competition.

I have never had this happen in my own goats when does gave birth in the presence of a buck, but whenever I hear it elsewhere, others always seem to be nodding their heads gravely in agreement with whoever said it.

OK, this is a large and varied group here! Anybody ever had this actually happen?
 

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No. But I have never left a buck with does who were kidding. I have had baby kids go through the buck fence and hang out with their sires though.....The big boys just ignore them. Definate hero worship going on with the kids. :)
I can see where a buck might get excited and accedently hurt the kids if he was there for the actual birth...but on purpose, logically?? I think its a tall tale. :shrug:
 

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I have never heard this nor experienced this. I try to leave the buck with the herd as much as possible. He is with the herd at kidding time. I remove him when the oldest kid approaches 2 months of age. I have seen him butt a kid around, but nothing like he was trying to kill a kid. I have had goats for 30 years.
 

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goatsareus, I've had them for 17 now, and never seen it and never experienced it. But I hear this from time to time. It seems now that Boer bucks are getting a rep for that, in the latest versions.

I always leave the buck in and pasture kid, except for those summer months that would result in Dec.-Feb. kids, which I don't want.

Anybody else?
 

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historically speaking the males in many species represent one of the greatest dangers to the offspring, including humans still. I would think that most of that would have been bred out of domestic species by now but....the genes are probably still out there. so my vote is its proabably just a tale..... not a tall tale.
 

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I haven't had goats for long (a few years) but Gramp had them all of his adult life (about 70 years-- he died at 87) and he never said such a thing. He kept bucks with kids so I assume if it had been a concern he would not have. Probably just a tall tale.

Michelle
 

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In the wild this does happen with lions and such. They take over the pride and kill the former head's cubs so that the females will go back into heat and give birth to their offspring. Chimps did something similar but not to bring a female back into heat, mainly it was nastiness directed at the young of their rival.
I do not know much about goats but I have not seen this truly wild behavior in them. Maybe they have played to rough or got stepped on? Since you have not seen it in 17 years I would say it is a tall tale.
 

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I usually seperate mine before kidding but I have been surprised before and they kidded while out with the buck. The only problem I have has is the bucks getting, well, "excited" because of the hormones released during kidding. I ran out one time to find him literally pawing and trying to mate with this poor doe who was on the ground in labor! He was pulled out immediately!
 

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thaiblue12 said:
In the wild this does happen with lions and such. They take over the pride and kill the former head's cubs so that the females will go back into heat and give birth to their offspring. Chimps did something similar but not to bring a female back into heat, mainly it was nastiness directed at the young of their rival.
I do not know much about goats but I have not seen this truly wild behavior in them. Maybe they have played to rough or got stepped on? Since you have not seen it in 17 years I would say it is a tall tale.
Yes, in many species, the male will kill the offspring in order to make sure that they do not carry the genes of a rival. However, there is no discrimination, he does not know if they are his rival's offspring or his own.

With goats, although I too have always heard this, I have never had it happen here. Back when I first started raising goats, I ran Nubians free-range and left the buck out year round with the herd. There was unlimited acreage for them and the does would find good hiding spots to kid. The buck paid no attention to anything really. However, that was just a few years and only a few bucks.

I now raise goats completely differently. I hand breed and pen breed and the bucks are kept separate. The only time a kid ever got in with a buck, well it was frightening for us and I don't know what would have happened if we would have left things alone...I doubt a good outcome really:

We had a 3 lb runt Lamancha doeling we were raising in the house and we put her out to play with her LaMancha sisters who were bigger and nursing their dam. The little 3 lb one went through the fence and got in with a huge Boer buck. We found her way up on a elevated goat climbing rock that the Boer could not get on. How this kid got up there, we do not know...it seemed impossible. I screamed and ran and got the doe kid. I would assume that Boer buck would have killed her but that was a pen and not a pasture....he was frustrated in there anyway.

So i made the assumption that the little one would have died. But i have never had it happen here.
 

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Other than the problem with the hormones that a doe releases during kidding, I think it's a tall tale. The reason is that bucks (most breeds) have a definite rut period, and that rut period doesn't normally coincide with the kidding season. There's probably a reason for that.

I haven't had any newborn kids in the buck pen, but I do put any eight-week-old bucklings in there that I don't want to wether yet, and my Oberhasli buck doesn't bother them. He lets them know who gets to eat first, but he doesn't harrass them. My Kinder buck that I sold last year did harrass babies for a while, then when he had more company (older bucks) he left the little guys alone. Even so, his harrassing wasn't any worse than if I'd put a new goat into the doe pen. He wasn't out to kill. (In the past, I've had both Alpine and Nubian *does* who WERE out to kill.)

Kathleen
 

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My experience has been just the opposite. My bucks (even the one and only aggressive one) have always been around at kidding and guarded over the does that were kidding. This was especially helpful for does who were low on the pecking order, because if a bossy doe came by and tried to butt the laboring doe, the buck would order her away. The bucks stood by proudly as the kids were born, sniffing them as they toddled to their feet.

Interestingly, they didn't do this with the kids that were sired through A.I. I am convinced that the bucks can smell which kids are their own. Olfactory clues in the amniotic fluid or placenta? Who knows, but when the A.I. kids were born the bucks were only mildly interested and not protective of the doe.

I never once had a buck kill a kid. I have had does try to kill their own babies or neglect them, but not bucks. What was funny was when the kids tried to bump the bucks, looking for an udder. The bucks would give the kid a look like, ---???? and run off looking sort of disturbed. LOL.

This data is based on 10 years in a herd with number of up to 20+ does kidding per year, and the buck always present with the herd.

Frankly, I would not keep a buck that would kill the kids.
 
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