Integrating the Minis

Beware of the excuses and justifying.  Claire from Whispering Acres brought four little goats to live here when she moved to Canada.  I finally let them out yesterday.  I did plan on leaving them in their little area for a couple of weeks.

Osmo, Opal, Coffee in doorway, and Lotus

Any time you bring new animals, best practice is to isolate them.  In this case, I wasn’t concerned about them bringing something to my herd, but I wanted to get to know them and let them meet the other goats through the safety of a fence and let them get on the herbal wormer before I let them out.  Then the weather turned rainy.  Then it was cold and we were tearing the fence out.  I figured they could wait until the fence was in.  But the fence still isn’t in (fingers crossed for this week).

Osmo and Lotus

Then the weather turned cold and dry and my little pasture with all the big goats was getting eaten down.  In fact, I was afraid I was going to have to start feeding hay again.  But we’ve had rain in the last week, and the pasture has really grown, so I decided to let them out.  I feel bad they’ve been in there this long.

Opal followed by Coffee

Osmo immediately took off for pasture while the girls explored.  I don’t understand why it’s so interesting to all the animals, but the first place they stopped was the compost bin.

Opal, Coffee and Lotus

Then it was the barn.  Bullwinkle introduced himself to Opal through the fence.

Bullwinkle, Opal, Lotus, and Coffee

Finally Osmo rejoined the girls, they finished their circle of the barnyard, and they all headed out to the pasture and green grass.  Opal decided to introduce herself to the Bob kitty.  I really had no real idea how big a Nigerian Dwarf goat would be, and I was really surprised how small they are.

Opal meeting Bob cat

All four would eat from the same patch of grass.

Osmo, Opal, Lotus, and Coffee

Finally, the big goats noticed there was a commotion, and they came to see what was going on.

Here come the big goats!

This was the scary part.  Goats tend to do a lot of pushing and head butting and fighting to determine their position in the herd.  I was a bit concerned that they would get hurt.  Betty Lou is one that kind of concerned me.  You can see the size difference.

Lotus and Betty Lou

Of course, Vinnie, my little yearling, found someone her own size to butt heads with!

Lotus and Vinnie

I’m starting to see a pattern here.  It seems Lotus is the one that was involved in all the head-butting.  I confess, she’s also a natural in front of the camera.  Helen was another big girl that I was concerned with.

Lotus and Helen

I was very impressed with how gentle Helen was.  It’s like they were too little to even bother with.  What’s the point?  Maddie was quite funny.  She just stared and then took off like she was afraid.

Maddie meeting Lotus

Finally, everyone got tired of butting heads and the big ones wandered back down to pasture and the four minis started eating their way down also.

I have to say, I still can’t get over how little they are.  To compare, look at Osmo next to Fowler.  Fowler is just two months old.  Other than bulk, they are close to the same size.

Osmo and Fowler

The girls are all getting along.  My only concern is Osmo.  He’s a wether, but he seems not to realize he’s lacking a couple of things.  He sticks his tongue out and talks and acts like he’s the biggest baddest buck around.  It doesn’t matter that nobody is smelling lovely right now.  He still wants to dance the rhumba with them.  Annie about threw him across the barnyard.

Cutie, Osmo and Jilly

Cutie isn’t going to tolerate it.  He’s going to get himself killed with the girls.  He’s pushing as hard as he can, and Cutie is simply standing there.

Cutie and Osmo

His only other option is going in with the bucks.  Ummm.  That would be a little like putting him in prison.  Poor Osmo better get his hormones in check.

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32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy
    May 16, 2011 @ 20:30:30

    All in all, it looks like they got along very well. You must be relieved. :)

    Reply

  2. Sandy
    May 16, 2011 @ 20:54:04

    rofl I think your new little whether will settle down. He is just showing off for all those new girls, like he could um well follow through… Its funny how the whethers do that. LOL… I bet within a week it will all be worked out.
    It looks like your big girls were actually being very nice to the new little goats. The little goats are about the size of my girls! I didn’t realize how big your girls were till I saw these photos of them next to the littler ones!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 16, 2011 @ 21:00:02

      I know what you mean! That size thing is not very clear on a blog. It was so funny when Annie and Osmo were butting heads, he’d miss and hit her knees because of the size difference. I hope he calms down, but Claire even said he thought he was a real ladies man.

      Reply

  3. TexWisGirl
    May 16, 2011 @ 21:32:15

    oh, i’m glad that there was no bloodshed or big-time fighting! i do hope Osmo will settle down and settle in. they sure are cute little guys!

    Reply

  4. Chai Chai
    May 16, 2011 @ 22:45:52

    That prison comment is funny……and probably too true! The Nigerians are teeny tiny compared the rest of your girls but they have great personalities. My family tells me the Nigerian milk is great tasting too.

    Reply

  5. Bev
    May 17, 2011 @ 04:48:35

    Hi old friends! They look lovely! Osmo is silly. He reminds me of my Gimli, who also is a wether and does all the motions as if he’s not.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 17, 2011 @ 06:21:50

      The only other wether here is Bud. He sniffs, but just when they are in heat. He doesn’t act like a buck otherwise. Haven’t figured out which is a safer place for Osmos.

      Reply

  6. Tayet
    May 17, 2011 @ 07:34:59

    Bullwinkle is getting so big! Oh wait, it’s just that he looks really big compared to the minis!

    Reply

  7. Tracey
    May 17, 2011 @ 08:02:48

    I love my nigerians. They are full of personality! Even the mature does will still bounce and play. My nubians are just well, loud and laid back… except the bucks.
    We had our first nubian/nigerian cross babies this year and oh my are they precious! Do you keep purebreds or cross them? I heard the “mutts” make excellent goats! Mine do well on the herbal wormers and I have heard Saanens do very well on it. Is that something you have found to be true? Your pasture looks very lovely!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 17, 2011 @ 09:06:02

      As long as they are healthy, they do well on the herbal wormer. I have two this spring that were run down and one got sick, and then with the suppressed appetite, they ended up with worms. I do have some on herbal wormer that have only been wormed chemically once or twice in seven years! The little ones are the first little ones I’ve ever had, and I don’t know if I’ll breed them or not. My big ones are primarily Saanen and Boer mixes.

      Reply

  8. Sharon
    May 17, 2011 @ 08:39:00

    My goodness, they are mini! What a difference in their size! Adorable and cute like the kids!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 17, 2011 @ 09:07:02

      I think that’s what my big ones think–they’re just kids. No need to kill them until they grow up. They are adorable, arent’ they!

      Reply

  9. Claire
    May 17, 2011 @ 09:54:32

    Ohhhhh, so sweet to see my dear friends. Made me happy and wistful all at the same time. I’m so glad that the girls are all managing to get along. Coffee is particularly skittish and stand-offish with other goats so I didn’t worry about her – she would just run. Opal looks amusingly rotund – she can pack on a belly in no time. Glad to see her looking so well. Lotus is definitely the more assertive of the 3 girls, but she also backs down fairly easily I think. I would think they know, based on size, that they are not high on the totem pole! Osmo is a conundrum. He was wethered in December so I would have thought he would have calmed down by now if he was going to realize he’s missing those parts! I think he will learn after a few run-ins with the big girls. Thank you for posting all these lovely pictures of them – really made my day!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 17, 2011 @ 10:37:52

      Glad you enjoyed! You’ll have to check out Millie’s blog. Tonight her post will be on Lotus. I must say Lotus is very photogenic! Opal certainly needs to be running around pasture and losing some of those extra pounds.

      Reply

  10. Pricilla
    May 17, 2011 @ 12:49:59

    I had Matthew in with the does and he would try and erm, romance them all the time. They just butt him away. But mine are all of equal size. I was afraid to put him in with my bucks because of the horn size differential. Plus the one time he escaped and got in there the bucks wanted to erm, romance Matthew. He didn’t care for that….

    It’s good they are all getting along. I had two Toggenburgs in with my dwarves for a bit and it was fine.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 17, 2011 @ 13:33:49

      It really is going well as long as Osmo is careful who he likes. Of course they were all united and snorting because of deer in the pasture last night. Go figure.

      Reply

  11. Alica
    May 17, 2011 @ 12:59:31

    Watching goats never ceases to amuse me! They are just such interesting creatures!

    Reply

  12. Mimi Foxmorton
    May 17, 2011 @ 14:43:51

    That just made me feel like I was right in the pasture with them! :)

    Reply

  13. Window On The Prairie
    May 17, 2011 @ 14:51:36

    Poor Osmo. They all must think they are in heaven with all that lovely lush grass.

    Reply

  14. Debbie @ Swampbilly Ranch
    May 17, 2011 @ 17:25:40

    I’m sure the girls will put Osmo in his place soon enough. He will learn who’s boss. Then the bucks will be jealous that Osmo gets to spend all his time hanging out with all your beautiful girls.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 17, 2011 @ 18:37:26

      I do hope he learns! My bucks are usually pretty mellow except for the fall rut time. They just want to eat my cherry bushes right now.

      Reply

  15. Mimi Foxmorton
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:27:53

    Yeah…..I’m totally thinkin’ I need a mini……..! :)

    Reply

  16. Bev
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:11:19

    I saw Mimi’s comment and came to revisit this post. So cute! I agree the little goats are so special. My Gimli has so much personality stuck in his fat, round little bod. Tee hee.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:33:44

      They really have blended in well. Osmo is still my only concern because he just won’t get over his bucky behaviors, and I’m afraid someone is going to be a bit too strong in rejecting his advances. Poor guy.

      Reply

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