Internet, Meet the Queen Mum
Recently we brought two new San Clemente Island Goat does into our herd, a young doeling who has yet to be named, and an 8-year-old female. This doe came to us without a name from East Hill Farm because she is sterile. They have housed and fed her as long as they could manage, and she needed a new place to call home.
It turned out to be the perfect fit. While her inability to have kids is far from wonderful for this critically endangered breed, she turned out to be a much needed authority figure in our little herd. While Willow has tried hard to be a good queen, being the same age and ending up as the smallest of our goats hasn't made the others take her very seriously. With the arrival of the new Lady of the House, Willow lost her position almost instantly, and without struggle.
The fact is, the Queen Mum - newly named for this lovely but simple flower:
- simply knows more about being a goat! She has already taught them how to rub their heads on trees to get rid of that annoying itch, pull down leaves they could never reach before and has simply taken charge with little push back.
The exception might be Violet. Violet got very used to having her way with Willow in charge. She's the biggest of the young goats, and while she never showed any desire to be in charge, no one tells her what to do either! This has led to a few light tussles between Mum and Violet, but even there, little of significance.
All in all, the entire herd seems to be benefiting from her presence. The baby has been allowed to "adopt" her somewhat, there seems to be less anxiety with a strong woman in charge, and even Clover - previously bullied and picked on by the others - is putting on more weight than she's ever had.
For the first time, instead of having a group of groups, it's like they are truly a herd!