for people who love the littlest dairy goats
We live in the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania on almost 2 acres with an old barn and wood sided garage. After years of taking care of other people's farm animals I am finally bringing in 4 NDG's of my own in about 6 wks.Two are does from a nearby small farm that is downsizing and two will 8 and 10 week old wethers. Because I know of so many things that can go wrong in such a venture, I have a couple of questions..
1. The first is housing...I read so much about sheltering goats in a well-ventilated but not drafty structure and I am just not sure what that means. Many of the boards in the barn do not meet and so have 1/4 inch cracks between them that the wind could blow through. Should I patch those cracks to ensure there are no drafts? The barn ceiling is high and lofty and I plan on leaving the upper parts of the doors, if not the whole door, open all the time for air circulation.
2. The second question is about bringing these older does and young wethers together, when the time comes. Deborah, thank you for answering this question a couple of days ago in the comment section of the article on How Many Goats...You said to introduce the kids to the does in an outside setting so that the herd queen could not butt them into a wall inside and hurt them, which does sound pretty frightening....Would I be better off not buying in the does and just start off with the kids? I still have time to adjust the plan at this point.
Thanks so much,
Also, do wethers tend to seek dominance in a herd as intently as does do?
1. Yes, cover the space where the wind could blow through but leave a door or window open.
2. It's totally up to you. Whenever you bring in new goats, there will be head butting.
And, no wethers are not usually dominant at all. If a doe is in heat, they may get a little possessive of her, so don't worry if he starts acting like a buck. Wethers are great heat detectors. They let you know when a doe is in heat when she stands and lets him mount her. Funny story -- I brought in a buck one time to breed a doe, and the wether was still in that pasture, and he decided he was going to fight the buck for the doe! Apparently he didn't believe me when I told him he wasn't a real buck. LOL!
P.S. I deleted your other post, which was a duplicate of this one, and I changed this one to "Goats 101" from "Introductions."
Thanks a bunch, Deborah!