Food Aggression and Housing

I have a 3 1/2 month old wether and a 4 month old wether. The younger one was a triplet and is much smaller than the older one. The older one has developed aggressive behavior when inside the goat shelter. There is a hay rack on one end of the shelter that he initially claimed as his own, so I tried putting hay on the other side of the shelter, but he has claimed that as his own as well. Now with all the rain we have had over a long period of days, the aggressive kid won't let the other one in the shelter at all during the day. The smaller kid is obviously fearful of the bully. The shelter is perhaps too small, but currently is all that we have. It is a remodeled chicken coop that is about 28 sq. feet. They seem to get along fine at night. It's just during rainy days that I've noticed the problem. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  • Hi Debbie-

    There is always a king (or queen) of the castle. It sounds like you are already on the right path to figuring this out. It really is an exploration of what will work, for you guys, in your situation. Multiple hay feeding stations is definitely a good start! I have found in dealing with hierarchy in my herd, that it is extremely helpful to have a couple of platforms in the barn for the goats to get onto and under. They are pretty easy and fast to build. It typically takes them a little while to find their own spots, but then they all work it out.

    I have a couple of questions-

    1) Are these your goats from birth, or did you acquire them from somewhere else?

    2) How long have they been together?

    3) Are you supplementing with any other food source (other than hay and pasture) so that the small kid can catch up?

    *It's not 'normal' for a kid from multiples to be smaller, just because it's a multiple. The smaller size is typically caused from under-nourishment, which leads to a poor weight gain curve, a weakened immune system, and susceptibility to coccidiosis.

    4) Have you checked for or treated for coccidia?


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