A Morning Adventure, or, life with goats

So I went down to do the morning feed and critter check before heading off to the middle school and another day of not strangling eleven year old brats, and found out that the bucks had rearranged themselves overnight.

I put QRR Fred, my junior buck, in the field with a few of the Boer/Kiko cross does a few days ago. I usually have a December and a March kid crop, to hit the two largest holiday demands in the area. Anyway, Fred was just loving life with his does and everything was peachy. Grinder- my commercial Kiko senior buck- didn’t agree, of course, because there were does over there and none with him therefore the situation was unacceptable. Bucks are simple beasts, after all.

This morning, Grinder’s fence (heavy grade chain link!) has been bent over, mangled, and crushed down. Grinder is not in his pen. A section of the fence that is currently holding Fred and his batch of girls is crushed and bent. Grinder is in the field with them.

Grinder is my dangerous buck. He has a habit of trying to put his horns through peoples’ livers or spleens when he gets upset. I usually advise people to get rid of bucks that act like Grinder does, but I keep him because he is a paragon of good health, good hooves, good calorie conversion, and good parasite resistance. He’s also vicious, but we’ve learned how to work with one another. (Actually, he’s learned that I bring food and only manhandle him when he starts a fight, and I’ve learned most of what sets him off.) Grinder is also closely related to some of the does in this field, so I’m already starting to worry that this could be a problem.

Then I notice something.

Grinder is NOT the one hogging the shed, or the one keeping the does together, or the one taking the food first. Grinder is staying back, giving Fred his space, and waiting his turn to get to the feed buckets. In short, Grinder has been thoroughly whipped.

I never thought I would see the day. My vicious beast, who is currently about 225 pounds of horn and bad attitude and hair-trigger violence, has been put squarely in his place by the much larger but much, much gentler Fred. Apparently Fred’s gentleness ends where Grinder’s existence begins.

Of course, I still have to get Grinder back out of there somehow, because he’s got some pretty nasty looking cuts and welts on his shoulders and ribs…

Goats. They keep you on your toes.

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