How do you determine who is boss? I can't tell who is boss with our goats, they all seem to be the same level of authority. I see everyone talking about their herd queen. What does she do that makes it clear to you that she is boss.
My herd queen is my La Mancha doe , Pearl. The other goats all defer to Pearl....she's always 1st to be milked & they move out of her way to let her through to the gate. If there's something new- feed, hay, a treat....she walks up & they move & let her go 1st. She never bullies, but is in authority anyways....apparent by the other goats
I seen a 13 year old (retired from running with the herd) queen a couple months back. In an effeort to show me the old gal, the owner turned her out for a few minutes. Well, that old broke down doe cleared the barn, even the queen that had taken her place had to give in. To some degree, I think it is a measure of respect that a doe earns from the ones around her.
My queen is an 8 year old ND. She is not mean, and is easy going for the most part. You hardly ever see any of the others try to buck her, and most of the time if she is headed somewhere, the others most always follow behind her.
She is the leader.....not the follower.
With our boers, it's obvious who is queen. No one else messes with her and she runs them off from her feed trough. We have 5 feeders in that pen, she will go from one to the other to the other trying to run them off and butt them. With our Nubians, Dolly is the herd queen. She is not mean to the others, just that they follow her around and she is basically the "leader". We open the side gate to let them out into the pasture and they all stand back and wait for her to go first. They eat without being butted or fighting over the food. I guess its the difference in personality and breed.
I've got two that rule the roost. I call them my Firestorm girls because they are a daughter and grandaughter of Winterwoods Firestorm. They make sure they get the choicest laying spots, spots at the feeder and are the first two into milk etc.. Plus they travel in a pair most of the time.
Would like to add one more thing. When my goats are out in the browse areas, my old queen watches out over the whole herd as if she was a guard dog.
If a dog, coyote, snake, or something starts getting too close....she will be the first to snort and give the alert. When she snorts, they all usually head to the barn. When others snort, my queen will usually go check it out before sounding the "real alarm".
Whim -- My herd queen, too, stands between the herd and anything odd -- particularly heavy equipment, hay trucks. Usually I've got the goats in their night yard before any equipment comes through the gate onto the goat side of the property. This morning while I was milking, I didn't hear the hay truck backing in right away. When I did, there was Lea standing in the middle of the driveway between the truck and her herd (and the loft).
:rofl One other weird thing that my "queen" does. If strangers come to visit, and there are fairly new born baby's on the ground....she will gather them up and take them to the barn, and usually hide them the best that she can in a back stall. She really don't care whose baby's they are either...just as long as they don't try to nurse off her.
There is a down side to my old gal though....she is spoiled rotten. If she don't get her way with me about something, she will pout, stomp her feet, make these mumbling sounds (backtalk), and is about as bull headed as they come.......but I still love her though.....even when she is my prodigal daughter.
PS....Also...other than her doe kid from this year (which is almost as big as she is now)...she is the smallest goat on my whole place.
My queen, Jasmine, will also occasionally sniff the other's pee and curl her lip like a buck. ????
She's not a bully but she runs the show.
She also is majorly in love with my husband and always comes running to him to get a pet-- she tries to sneak in a bite if he doesn't comply. She' s got big teats because we let her get too full when we didn't know any better-- it's a funny sight when she comes running-- we're thinking of doing a "goats gone wild" video
Ava is our herd queen. She is quite the sentry alerting us to anything out of the ordinary. She also teaches the "littles" on what to eat and what not to eat. Not quite so funny but is in a way, my Dad did not know that you don't feed potato or potato plants to goats. So he had placed a bunch of poatao plants in the yard. Ava would not let any of the girls eat it and constantly ran them off. My Dad was confused by this and when I got home he told me what was going on. So I told him. They aren't suppose to have that and Ava was being a good herd queen. He said he thought at first she was just being a hog until he noticed she wasn't even eating it. Well we got those plant outta there and she gave me this "would you please instruct this fella about what we can eat" look. Tammy