My life in the country with my goats.com site

Our Bucks at Gullringstorp


Last evening as we entered the stable, all seemed peaceful and calm. All until we entered the other end of the stable. There they were, two of our bucks locked together in a head lock. They commenced charging and ramming each other, head on. I know for a fact that larger animals like elk, rams and water buffalo, have very hard plates in their heads to withstand the hard blows that are exchanged when they are in “must”. I am not sure what my little fellows have those plates. If anyone knows if  West African goats have protective head plates, I would love to know. Thank you.

The sounds at impact are tremendous,  considering the size of my boys. They are in no way the size of an elk or ram. They don’t even come up to my knee when stand near me. I console myself in the knowledge that this is natural and in nature they would be doing the same thing. The issue is,  they are not in nature,  they are in our care and I feel most responsible for their safety and wellbeing. I would not want either to get hurt. I don’t want a scenario with a victor and a looser limping away to lick wounds.

We went about our evening chores in the stable amidst the crashing sounds of horns and heads. We tried to distract the boys at one point by offering a treat of bread, which they love. Well, that was just a pause for them and as soon as they licked their lips and had their last piece of bread, they were right back at it.

I was not comfortable going to bed not knowing if all was well with them, so on our nightly trip out with little Max, we walked down to check on them. To my relief, they were all quiet and safe, “in bed”.

This morning, we did have two ladies in heat, and it’s quite possible that our boys knew way before we did. Oddly enough,  we did not have the activity with the bucks that we had last evening, this morning.

Here are my boys in action last evening. The stars of my little videos are, Little Man (brown) and Baby Boy  (black) who I now refer to as Bear because of his size and his constant grunting. Little Phillip and Winston stay close to watch and learn how to be big bucks.

3 responses

  1. How exactly do you know when the girls are in heat ? The flagging + vocal cues, or is there something more… scientific ? Am guessing the males pick up pheromones ? (The horn-locking DOES sound horrible!)

    February 10, 2013 at 15:47

    • Hej from Sweden!
      You know Diana, right after I wrote that my mind went to pheromones. These animals work at a much more primitive level than we do. most likely, way before we realize a doe may be in heat, our boys must know. Then they commence the challenge, for the right to mate her. In the wild as with all wild animals, the strongest and the most fit usually wins the right to breed and carry on the species. With our does, sometimes it’s an abundance of affectionate behavior towards me or other does. The real tell tell sign is the vocalizations. There is a clip of Pansy making her heat vocalizations just before we bred her. Thanks for your interest and your questions.

      February 10, 2013 at 16:04

  2. Another way you can tell if your goat is in heat is the males start peeing on their heads to attract the girls. Its a little disgusting but true. The other way is when the goats begin to rut which is what you showed in your video. The people that we got Alpine, Logan, and Maddy had the boys castrated before we bought them. When we brought them home the following spring they still had large testicles. when a goat is castrated the cord iis crushed and usually the testicles shrivel up and just like a dog you don’t see it anymore.. This did not happen with my boys and they started to rutt. I called the vet out to make sure they could not breed and the vet was baffled. He said he could definitely feel that the cord in the testicles had been crushed but they still had blood flow to their testicles. I said so can they breed and he I don’t know I have never seen this before. Well its been four years and they have not got maddiy pregnant so I hope we are in the clear. Now goats will bang their heads in play but when my girl comes into heat you can tell its not for fun anymore. Alpine is about 150 lbs and logan is about 70lbs and when they lock horns its pretty scary there have been a few times when we have had to get inbetween because they have gotton stuck. If you go back to my blog and look at there horns they are very ram like. Last spring we did see them bang their heads together so hard that there horns do bleed at the base. I called the vet back out because we were distraught at this behavior but he said this is nothing to worry about some goats have actually knocked there horns right off. We are lucky that when they do this it doesn’t last long and most times they are just playing but ocassionally there has been some shoving matches over maddy. We are thankful that they have only been locked together twice and we had to get inbetween and this gets dangerous when Alipine is the size of my great dane. But I am grateful it doesn;t happen very often.

    February 21, 2013 at 21:11

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