Archive | 8:16 pm

Integrating the Minis

16 May

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.