I had been planning on a "mean wean" for the babies where I just suddenly shipped out the moms to summer camp. But circumstances have led me to try a softer removal...
After the first campers departed, I allowed for goatapalloza to happen, where all the back goats hung out together. This came to a head last week when Mouse got sick. She was the bottom of the combined pecking order, got sick, got beat up and pushed away from food, and spiraled to Dead Goat Walking. So I moved the non-mom big goats back to the left-back field. But that still left the big, meany moms in the same field as Mouse.
On Tuesday, the vet came to administer ear tags and first shots. Because I had everyone caught and contained, I just kicked all of the moms (except Pansy) into the big-goat field and left the kids, yearlings, Soma, Jessie, and Pansy on the right side.
As witnesses can attest, the four-board fence doesn't stop anyone smaller than Taffy from getting through it if they are motivated enough. But, oddly, the baby boy goats aren't climbing back through to get to their moms. There has been lot of yelling - particularly from the moms - but no migration. I'm rewarding the boys' choice to stay on Jessie's side by making sure they have more sweet feed than anyone consumes in the first feeding, plenty of hay, etc. so maybe milk isn't really all that interesting anymore. And without any of the big goats, the largest challenge to their breakfast was Pansy until this morning, and now is Soma.
I'm hoping that Pansy's daughter Poppy will stay with the babies because of her bond with Sweet William. But I'm not confident yet.This entry was originally posted at http://reedrover.dreamwidth.org/2087076.html and has comments so far. Please comment there using OpenID or here if that is your preference. I'm still reading both journals.