The other day Lee and I decided to move the March bucks in with our four year old buck, Nico, just for a while. We were planning ahead for the October kidding of our full blood does and finishing up the August breeding season for Jan. kidding and we were running short of room. And there stood Nico in his big pen, lonesome, all his girls gone, and we thought why not give him some company?
We donít put older bucks together because years ago we had titanic battles fought between them and decided to never do that again. We canít afford to have our main bucks hurt and if I have a particularly good buck, Iím not about to have him hurt. So, these older bucks are put in large individual pens and are surrounded by girls in different pastures and they can keep an eye on what the girls are doing, plus see what that no good (their term) buck is doing in the other pens.
Now, we will run young bucks together of the same age group. And, you have to remember, we also disbud our Boer goats. Never could stand horns. Ran into too many problems with horned goats years ago with other breeds of goats, so itís off with the horns on our place. Itís a personal preference type of thing. But, this works out when these young bucks get rough on each other. Itís really hard to get rough on each other with a smooth head.
So, cautiously we turned six March boys in with mature Nico. They were six months old, he was four years old and a man of the world, er, buck of the world. Well seasoned, he had no interest in those young twerps, and having no horns himself, he could not do a lot of damage to them if he butted them.
He totally ignored the tykes but they took one look as this big buck and their eyes bugged out and they stood in shock and awe of Nico. "Holy Moses!" they said, "Is that a goat or Godzilla?!"
The wind shifted and essence of Nico washed over them. They knew that smell. It almost smelled like them only more overpowering, so this huge animal was a buck, they decided. They cautiously approached Nico, he reared up on his hind legs and towered over them, threatening to knock them into the next county.
A strange thing happened, five boys took off in alarm, one boy stayed and even ran up to Nico and stuck his nose into the side of Nicoís neck. Nico controlled himself and only knocked the kid back a couple of feet, but the kid came back and stuck his nose into Nicoís neck again. And, again, Nico knocked the kid back, and again the kid ran up and did the same thing. Nico was getting very confused about this, but being a laid back type of individual, he walked off ignoring the kid.
The kid quickly lined himself up with Nico, side by side, touching him, staying close. No matter how much Nico threatened the kid, the kid was back against his side, taking every step that Nico took. The kid had decided that there was going to be only one top buck in that pen and it was going to be him. He became closer to Nico then Nicoís shadow.
This started really freaking Nico out. He thumped the kid a few times, reared up and threatened the kid, and even decided to outrun the kid. By this time I started calling the kid "The Tick", you couldnít peel him off Nicoís side.
Now, we take care of sweet olí Nico who throws great kids and is easy to handle. I hollered to Lee who was closer to the gate, to get the kid out of there, he was bugging our Nico. Lee stepped into the pen and called Nicoís name. Nico came flying to him yelling, "Help! This kid is crazy! Make him leave me alone!"
Lee did have to about peel the kid away from Nico and take him to a smaller pen next to Nicoís. Nico lumbered off to the shade, huffing and puffing, and laid down and looked around and said, "Man, what happened?! Was that kid weird or what?"
We put the The Tickís brother in with him to keep him company and every couple of days weíd turn them both in with Nico and his young crew. And, the same thing would happen and weíd have to peel The Tick off of Nicoís side and put him in the separate pen again, and we did this again, and again over the next couple of days.
Finally, this weekend a truce was called between Nico and The Tick. They stared at each other for a minute. Nico said, "Man, Iím getting tired of this. If you want to hang out with me, you can, but stay back!" The Tick agreed to these terms and there you go, seeing Nico and The Tick sauntering out together, the kid a foot away from Nico to give Nico some space, and Nico accepting the fact he had a shadow.
And, The Tickís attitude now is there are two main big bucks in the pen among all those other pipsqueaks and he is willing to share the spotlight with Nico instead of trying to claim it as his alone. Now, donít worry, the kidís registered name is not "The Tick", thatís just his nickname. Of course, he thinks his name is "Number One Uno Buck of the Farm", but I believe Nico has named him "The Idiot."