With the heat of breeding season upon us..... (all puns intended) I am dealing with a few unplanned issues. Overall, owning my own bucks had made breeding season much easier than in the past. I am not immediately sent running when I see a wagging tail to change my schedule and my day to drive my doe to a buck. It has been so much easier to segregate my doe and put her in with the buck of choice.
Owning my own bucks has not been without issue though. One of those challenges
has been the true aggression that my buck Turbo has started to display. This aggression is not only directed towards his pen mate and buck friend Branson, but also at people. I think I have curbed his aggression towards people by putting a collar on him and being more aware when I am in the pen or pasture with him. The little stinker would come up behind me and whack me in the calf. I now make sure that I pay attention to where he is, and if I am at all concerned I grab his collar to make sure he knows that I am the boss. This has really put a dent in his human aggression. Sadly, though this has increased his head butting and bullying of his pen mate. So much so that both Branson and Turbo regularly have bloody heads from all of the fighting.
Today Turbo's craziness really showed true. Moots came into heat yesterday, so I hand bred her, when I noticed she was still in heat this morning I decided to put her in the pen with Turbo for the day since I was going to be gone all day working. As soon as I put her in with him Turbo started yelling and vigorously head butting the pen that separated him and Branson. I can only imagine he was trying to get him away from his new found doe! The crazy part about this is he spent so much time head butting the panel that I was worried if he would even have a chance to breed Moots. I was able to confirm one breeding, and I will monitor Moot's heats to see if she settled.
The other major issue that I have encountered with buck ownership has to do with the size of my barn and the amount of animals that I have to keep safe from the elements. To be clear, I have a 20 by 24 barn that I house both of my horses, all of my hay for the year, my feed and all six goats. This has posed a new challenge for me as the weather has turned. I had been managing the goats in the barn at night and the horses out during the day during the spring and summer, but with temperatures dropping into the low teens last night it was too cold to leave the horses in the pasture with just the run in shed. Historically, I have put the horses in their stalls and let the goats run free in the rest of the barn. This keeps them safe and warm, but does not require a separate stall. I am sure you have seen the issue with this! Owning bucks I cannot let them run free with the does! I have been able to get creative and fashion a pen in the back of the barn for both of the bucks for the winter. I think it is a true testament to growing up with parents who were ingenious. You just have to make the best out of what you have at the time and that is what I am doing! Overall, I would not ever get rid of my bucks! I just need to learn plan and adjust!