Goats have a social hierarchy by which they live, If they don't see humans at the top, they will challenge the human's relative position in that hierarchy, and even try to dominate them. Elvis, having been raised with a herd of meat goats, was rarely handled when young. At best he was friendly sometimes, curious always, but never tame. We worked on that and I thought we'd made progress. He'd sometimes let us scratch and pet him, but never for long. He was always leery, and had been doing some mock challenging ever since we got him. He did some rearing up, pushed occasionally, but never charged us. Because of all that, I took care when I entered any of the buck areas. He took advantage, however, when I had to latch to the gate.
|It got to where I would never enter the buck pasture without the goat buster.|
I already knew Elvis was a jumper. He jumped two fences to get to Ziggy, the result being the triplets. Not that I'm not pleased to have them, but that was supposed to be poor Gruffy's job.
Elvis had also taken to
Another time, Alphie, the self-appointed alarm goat, started hollering. We went to investigate and discovered that Hooper, our other buckling, was in the next door neighbor's yard! We were not only baffled as to how he got there (jumped?), but also, how to get him back, because he still wasn't letting us catch him. (This is, in fact, how he got his name. While we were trying to figure it out, we began referring to him as Hoppity Hooper, thinking he'd jumped the fence.The name "Hooper" just stuck.) It turned out that he'd slipped through another opening Elvis had made.
In addition, Elvis trashed the hay feeder Dan made for the boys, kept pooping in the mineral feeder (I know it was him 'cuz he was the only one tall enough to do it), plus knocking over the cinder block I kept in front of the mineral feeder for Gruffy to step up on. Not to mention he was constantly pushing all the other bucks around. We had to tend to Gruffy's broken scurs on more than one occasion because of it. (Scurs are the remnants of horns that grow after kids have been disbudded.) Elvis had become a real nuisance.
So what did we do? Firstly, I listed him on Craigslist. I wasn't especially hopeful about this option, because Craigslist is always overloaded with ads for bucks. Bucks, even the little guys, are hard to sell because there are so many of them. After about a month, I had one inquiry from someone who wanted a buck to breed their does who would be safe with children, but I had to tell him that wasn't Elvis. (Good luck with that one. Even Gruffy, who has a gentle and affectionate personality most of the year, is a different animal in rut. I give him a wide berth then, and never turn my back on him).
If one breeds animals such as chickens for eggs or dairy animals, then what to do with the extras is always a question. Extra females are usually easy to trade or sell. Extra males are not. From the beginning we decided we would raise goats for milk, manure, young, to trade or sell, and meat. That means the extra animals are not unwelcome.
If we couldn't sell him, we would have to decide whether to take him to a meat processor or do the job ourselves. This is the question we discussed. When Jasmine's broken shoulder never healed properly, we opted for the processor. There were emotional reasons for this, but also, we weren't ready for that yet. However, it has always been something we've planned to do eventually. It's tidier to have someone else do it, both physically and emotionally. On the other hand, there's a lot of waste. Dan hates waste. The bottom line, however, is if our goal is self-reliance and we eat meat, then we should take responsibility for it.
In the end we got the proper equipment and did it ourselves. No photos.
Actually Elvis was never considered a permanent addition to the herd. I needed him to breed my Nubian does, and as a companion for Gruffy, I hoped, until Alphie was old enough. The breeding part worked out well, but being a companion for Gruffy didn't. Elvis was constantly pushing Gruffy around, apparently for the sport of it. Oftentimes Elvis wouldn't let Gruffy into the buck barn, especially when the hay feeder has been filled with fresh hay. Elvis did the same thing with Alphie, and then Hooper.
Goats don't like change but I doubt Gruffy or the little guys will miss him. I hate to say it, but neither do I. I think we'll all appreciate the peace and quiet.
|Alphie, Gruffy, and Hooper|
It Was Time For Elvis To Go © June 2013