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Goat weaning, day 1

Buckling

Mark and I tossed around a lot of solutions for our randy buckling problem. A chastity belt for Aurora. Various types of pastures for Punkin. In the end, the only thing we were confident would hold him during the first few upsetting days was a tether.

Weaning a goatSure enough, the yelling commenced as soon as we slipped a harness on Punkin and led him away from the pasture. I'm not sure who was more upset --- me, Punkin, or Artemesia. Aurora, on the other hand, got over losing her paramour pretty darn fast.

The game plan is to see if Punkin will take a bottle so I can slowly reduce his milk intake until he's 100% on grass. If he won't drink from a bottle or a pan, we'll go for supervised visits, although I'd like to let mother and son forget each other as soon as possible. Hopefully by the middle of July, all of this drama and trauma will be behind us.



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Did I miss why you want to keep him intact? Are you planning on breeding him? We band our males right away unless they are going to be breeders. Banding is easy and from my experience pretty much painless. Solves all the problems. Intact males stink, are disgusting, they are too aggressive to the goats and will get that way with you. We have had the nicest bottle fed males turn into mean, attack everyone adults. If they are banded they stay nice forever, never stink, etc. Having banded males around is nice in case you have to separate another one for some reason (like a breeder). You can put them together to have a friend to be with. I'm sure you've found how social goats are. They will also help you know when the females are going into heat sooner than you can notice in case you want to breed that female. It really is easy for young ones like that to get other young ones pregnant and their moms. We have experienced both and in both cases it ended badly. The mom's babies weren't born healthy and died shortly after. The young goat that got pregnant too early didn't have hips big enough for the babies to fit through and I would rather not get into the sad details but both the mom and the babies died. It was the worst experience that I have ever had with animals.
Comment by Anonymous Thu Jun 23 09:43:16 2016
Punkin is supposed to become a neighbor's new stud, so we can't band him. We'd planned to give him to said neighbor in lieu of weaning him here, but the neighbor has health problems and can't take him yet. So we're forced to wean him to prevent the troubles you mentioned. :-/
Comment by anna Thu Jun 23 12:33:02 2016
I've known many bucks, usually dam-raised like yours is, to be very nice goats. They just need to be handled firmly and respectfully. With the good supervision you are enacting, which is key, I really don't think you'll have a problem.
Comment by Another Julie Thu Jun 23 19:28:48 2016