How do you integrate goats?
Don’t worry, knowledge of calculus is not required!
So far, we have needed to integrate new goats into our main flock twice. We received a lot of varying information about integrating the goats. The local advice ranged from no isolation period to over two months of isolation in separate pastures. We decided to go with
a middle of the road approach of one to two weeks separation. This allows the new-to-the-flock goats to get somewhat acclimated to their new home before meeting the other goats and working out their new social order. It also allows time for any necessary medical check-ups and treatment if needed.
We decided to integrate Oz and Elf into the main flock around 1 week after they arrived. They were a bit hesitant to meet the other goats at first and generally avoided initial confrontations by moving away when the other goats approached.
Eventually, Oz and Elf started to approach the other goats and challenge for their positions with headbutting battles.
After a few hours of testing each other’s strength, the new goats settled into the flock.
Here is a timelapse video of the full flock together:
After a few days, things mostly settled down and the goats even graze together on the pasture: