Goats/Doe's Fighting

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Question
Hi,
I currently have 3 doe's who have 2 babies each.  They range from 24 hours old to 6 days old.  For kidding, we separated all three from the group and let them have their babies in a kidding pen but I have 3 more doe's that now need to be moved in so I'd like to put the three mothers and their babies together into an inside pen which is about 16 x 16 in size.  These are small first year Boer cross mothers and there is plenty of room for them all.  Problem is they want to fight violently.  What do I do about this and how will I ever get the whole group back together if all they want to do is fight with each other and step on and buck the babies?  Can you tell this is my first time around with this?  I'm a newby.  I almost wonder if removing them from the herd does more harm than good and perhaps I should have left all 6 together even during kidding.  Thanks for any help or advise you have.  I'm in a real fix here and have no idea what the best course of action is.

Answer
I would advise giving each doe with its baby(ies) it's own stall until the kids are old enough to go outside with the rest of the herd and are smart enough not to get trampled to death/stay out of harms way - that would be about 6 to 8 weeks of age. So I would take wood pallets or fence panels and make three smaller pens in the large 16 x 16 pen.  All does act differently after they have kidded and these being first time kidders are reacting to protect their kids violently - would not take the risk of losing a kid goat.  You could let them out in a pasture during the day for a short time if that is possible (all together) and then bring them back into their separate pens the rest of the time.  Even a 20 x 20 foot pen is not big enough to support two adult goats with their kids if one is especially aggressive - there is just no where for the kids to run.  Have you ever thought of bottle raising the kid goats?  I have done that for 28 years - 20 to 40 kids - then if the moms decide to fight or be aggressive to each other the kids are not going to get hurt.  Hope this helps - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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