Friday 6th January 2017

Too much stress!!
Not good news on the goat front. Firstly, the goat disharmony that we mentioned had returned, has been really bad this last week or so. Pickle continues to be very intolerant of the Boers and Curds has become quite fearful and unsettled. Getting all the goats to go out to the field shelters has been a struggle and the slightest things seem to be spooking them. Curds would not walk passed some mole hills this morning – they have been around for a while but had grown considerably overnight.
Relaxed at Home
Rachel from Market Vets was here today and her conclusion was (in the absence of any clinical symptoms) that stress could be a major factor as to why Pickle (and Curds) are not having seasons that are attracting the billies. She could see how tense both of the girls were when we brought them in and we also discussed how this is not good for Onion and Garlic, both of whom are probably pregnant and so need things to be calm and stress-free as well!!
We have no real ideal why the two groups are not getting on and why Curds and Pickle are not the content goats they used to be. We are going to keep them all in the barn for a few days (the weather is set to be rubbish anyway) and so remove the stress of the ‘field shelter’ walk and see if this introduces a bit of calm. We will continue to keep them in their separate stalls (Dairies in one and Boers in the other) – we have never got to the stage where we felt they could all be together inside anyway!!
When Pickle is next in season, we are going to give her an injection of Ovarelin, a drug that ensures ovulation occurs, and see if that might make Pepper show a bit more interest. We are not optimistic!!
Mid-term we need to manage the goats carefully as we approach kidding time for the Boers. This is probably going to mean permanent separation from Curds and Pickle in case the bullying causes more stress which could, worse case scenario, lead to miscarriages.
Long-term we may need to once again consider NOT moving forward with our Boer breeding programme. Our main concern is for the animals themselves as it is not fair to have these levels of disharmony and overall is not good for the health and wellbeing of any of the goats: Boers or Dairies!!!