Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi All,
I am a little shaky at the moment.  I'm hoping those that know can help me while I'm waiting to hear back from the vet. I have 4 Nigerian Dwarf wethers, all about 11 months old. I know butting heads and breaking or losing scurs is to be expected but I'm not sure about this behavior and how much I should be worrying...I am worrying!
Yesterday, two half brothers, Ninian and Caedman, were sparring and Ninian lost his small scur, which has happened before. But today, the Caedman, who has longer, stronger scurs, was butting with another wether, Cuthbert, who is polled and I just found Caedmon's head quite bloody, as seen in the pictures. That isn't what's bothering me so much as that he is acting abnormal and the other one he was butting with, Cuthbert, seems to want to keep on butting, even trying to butt at him through their chain link pen after I removed Caedman. Caedman is usually the first to come up to me but now he doesn't want me near him. And Cuthbert seems uncharacteristically bold.
Right now they are separated while I gather my wits about me. I don't know what to do. All were wethered successfully when they were a couple of months old. These two have never sparred like this, as far as I have seen them. Is this a new dominance thing? I am worried about the bloodied one and why he is acting as fearful as he is.
The pictures only seem to show up if you click on the link below.
Thank you.

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Also, I'm wondering...Will this turn out ok?  Is there some point I would want to look at removing the little guy that is continuing to be aggressive or do they always work it all out?


Hi Ann

It sounds like you are quite worried :( I really think these boys are just maturing and likely trying to decide who will be the King of the Mountain. Even though they are wethered, there will still be a herd hierarchy. 
I’m glad that you have a call into your vet, because even though the amount of blood is likely much less than it appears, he is probably in pain and that is why he is acting so strangely. In my opinion, if it is hurting enough for him to actively exhibit it and want to hide, it’s enough that he needs something for it. Hopefully your vet will prescribe something for him. 
My boys (and my girls) have established who sits at the throne and they all work around that. The only time more problems come up, is if we sell one or add another. Then they have to sort things out again. In my buck paddock, I do separate those with horns from those without during rut because of too much aggressive head butting ;)

Thanks, Tammy. I'm hoping the vet can come tomorrow. I was wondering about pain medication, myself, actually.  I'll keep an eye on them and see how he is in the morning. She did say, when she texted me, that I should keep them separated for weeks so his head can heal and right now, I can't imagine how to do that, at this point.  And wonder whether they wouldn't just go at it again when they were back together.  Thanks again, Tammy and for caring.


Good morning

I hope your little guy is doing better today. 
If your vet cannot make it out today, hopefully she can get a prescription ready for him that you could go pick up. I’ve had to make a trip out to my farm vet’s ranch before to pick up meds. If she has seen your herd before, it shouldn’t be an issue. 
I would definitely keep them separated until his head is healed up, otherwise it is just going to stay open longer. In my personal experience, scurs tend to grow back shorter and sturdier each time they get knocked off and then they eventually don’t seem to be as much of an issue. I’m not sure if that is typical or not, but that has been the case with both of mine who have them. 

Thanks, Tammy.  He is a little more settled and will take treats from my outstretched hand this morning. The vet is coming later today. He is still oozing blood but not like yesterday. I'm really wondering whether to try and re-home the one that he tangled with, as that one keeps looking at him through the fence as though he is more than ready to tangle again. He is flighty and unpredictable and has never warmed up to us humans and so if I could find another place for him, I could let him go. So, we'll see. Have you ever had to actually remove an animal from the herd because of aggression? Maybe I am being overly sensitive at this point, but I do tend to be that way. Thanks for checking back in.

I’m glad to hear that he is doing a little better this morning!

I have never re-homed for the sole purpose of aggression, but my goats all have plenty of places to get under, up, or away from anyone being a little too bossy. I have re-homed for the purpose of thinning out the herd or needing to change up genetics, and will say that there is definitely a shift in the overall dynamic and harmony of the herd when a particularly bossy individual leaves. That being said, I have never had a situation with constant aggressive bullying either.  If finding him a new home is going to relieve your stress and add to the enjoyment of keeping goats in general, I say do it. Keep in mind, that the title of head honcho is still going to be worn by someone, but it won’t always necessarily be exhibited with as much zest as this guy has ;)

Let us know how it goes


Thank you, Tammy! I am comforted by your words. My guys are really just to be pets and this has added a whole new dimension to that intent.  What you said about enjoying them and relieving stress was good permission to think about what I need too.

  I'll keep you posted and thank you for your interest.


Hi again Tammy,

    To let you know...the vet was here and gave him some pain meds and gave me a syringe to give him tomorrow as well. And the wound looked good and didn't need any other measures taken.  I also posted on the local goat forum that I was thinking of rehoming the other guy and right away a woman who has been looking for a buddy for her non-breeding doe got in touch to ask about him and so he will be going to her home tomorrow evening.  I know I will feel sad at breaking up the foursome and I know his half-brother will miss him too, but I also feel it is the right thing to do for my own equilibrium and peace of mind. And tomorrow evening, the injured little guy will get to go back into the pen with his half brother and the other goat and will be glad to be back with them and they with him, I think.  I so appreciate your support and information. Thank you!

You are so very welcome! Sometimes you just need to talk things out =)

I am glad the vet made it, and gave him some pain meds. I am sure he is feeling better already.

Have a great evening!


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