Kidding Stalls and Separation Anxiety

In my goat research, I’ve read about the “kidding stall,” a separate area in which a doe is placed just before she delivers. From my informal survey of the people who have goats around here, they don’t seem to go that route in southern Italy, at least when there aren’t too many goats involved.

Indeed, goat things here generally are hands-off compared to the descriptions I’ve seen on United States-based websites, but especially when it comes to kidding during which people seem to just let nature take its course.

But here at Ranch del Fabio, we have separated the girls.

A few weeks ago, Paolo and his friend built an extension on to the goat pen. This was meant to (1)  help with cleaning (being able to shift goats to one enclosed area while cleaning another is priceless); (2) allow the girls to spread out; and (3) let us split them up, which we always intended to do because, well, Pasqualina gets picked on.

You may not know it from her sweet eyes, but Carmelina is a big bully. Since the girls aren’t from the same herd and weren’t together from early kid-dom on, there are some rivalries. Things don’t get too heated or anything, but since they’re all in delicate conditions now (and Pasqualina seems to be the furthest along), yesterday we decided it was time that Pasqualina got her own space with Margherita and Carmelina on the other side of the pen.

As you can see, the only thing that separates them is a gate, and they can see each other through it, which we think is important; this way they all know they’re not alone. They do seem a bit confused by the whole thing right now, and they’ve definitely been more vocal in the past day than usual, but we think this is best for Pasqualina in the long run, especially for when it’s time to kid so she can do so in complete peace.

Fellow goat caretakers, do you use kidding stalls or otherwise separate your does from one another?

And also, is there anything we can do to stop the fighting?

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