Conundrums

Jessey

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I was all set in my mind that when Hank and Niko came home I’d separate Jess off next to them; Niko needs free access to hay/grass, Hank can afford it too (they run all their weight off with vigorous play), Jess needs to be on rationed haylage for her breathing and weight and not chasing the boys about telling them off on her dickie foot, and Dan has got very fat with her as they’re very quiet and she happily lets him share and his and her ration is very different so hay and play would be better for him.

But, before I got the boys home Wednesday I brought their fly rugs back and put them in the barn, and Jess stood sniffing them nickering, which broke my heart a little bit 🥺 and even though they’re back (in sight but not touch as main field was sprayed on Tuesday) she’s still sniffing the rugs and trying to groom them and calling them to check in frequently 😔

So now I’m not so sure, should I just have all 4 on track in the day with haylage and put H&N on grass at night and shut Dan off with just hay and Jess with haylage? Or just accept she’s going to miss them, even though they will be touchable over the fence for the most part? I haven’t yet started knocking posts in for semi permanent dividing fences etc.
 

carthorse

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If it isn't too much work I'd see if they'll settle over a fence line where they can touch each other. Yes she's calling to them, but she hasn't pined for them when they weren't there. If I remember correctly you had problems with them all in together so I'd be keeping them apart if I were you. It'll also be less work for you if they can be managed as two groups rather than one, and while you may not believe it your needs should be considered too! Obviously if they wont settle after a few days then you'll have to reconsider, but I suspect they will.
 
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Jessey

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They will tolerate separation I’m sure, I just feel bad!
It’s actually less work if they’re together full time, but it’s not in everyone’s best interests at the moment.
I’ve already got round bales ready to put out for the boys which will reduce my workload significantly, I absolutely cannot go back to soaking enough hay for 4 on it 24/7!
 

carthorse

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Don't feel bad, there really is no reason why you should. If you can manage them better apart then do that, it's better for them and you.
 
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Jessey

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Very true, I feel bad because she’s always been a loner and she finally has a little gang she considers hers 🤷🏻‍♀️ But keeping them separate is better for everyone’s physical health, though she may decide otherwise and take fences out anyway but hopefully not!
 
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Jessey

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It’s funny how things shake out. 6/7 weeks the boys have been home and I’ve had Jess & Dan, then Niko & Hank together (2 groups) and it’s by far easier for me. Jess and Dan are quite content, Niko is quite content, but dear Hank isn’t 😞

Hank has always been a cheerful happy go lucky guy, but increasingly he’s hanging back and almost always has his ears back, though he cheers up for some one on one scratches but I have to go seek him out to do it, where previously he was my shadow.

I’m thinking I may try swapping Hank and Dan every morning and night, Niko is on grass in the day and Dan can’t have that but he’s shut off at night. I can at least do it on days I’m not working (just imagining the chaos of trying to switch them in the dark 😂). Putting them all back together isn’t an option until spring, I have a barn full of hay that Jess can’t eat!
 

chunky monkey

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Weird considering niko and him seemed to be playing loads. But i suspect hes had a bit too much rough play and nips from niko and its knocked his confidence.

Funny enough i noticed last night chunky and over the weekend chunky had his ears pinned back loads. I think he is getting wound up by someone whos bored. Is a job to know what to do for the best.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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it's always so damn difficult isn't it. Our little herd is quite settled, so long as everyone understands that Buddy is Boss.....he is a right bully. But they all generally just say yes Buddy and give him the two digits behind his back - plus the donkeys totally ignore him anyway.....
 
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horseandgoatmom

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Wow horses ... goats... no difference.
Trying for a happy medium.

After Theodores death over time we settled Chester In with Lincoln.
I always worry about his neck.

A
Few months ago we started to try to acclimated everyone together during the day to start then Lincoln and Chester
back separate at nite.

Now thank goodness they heve a availability to all be together but the gate across inside making 2 areas accessing thru the 2 separate clubhouse doors is still there.
The connection gate outside between both areas is open all the time now.

Its musical goats
LINCOLN sleeps in his original area at nite
most nights Chester is there too
Some nites Jefferson is in with him
Other nites the 3 of them are over there.

Sometimes during the day kinley is in there..

But they all seem good and settled together
Kinley can be a bit of a bully but
Now if he does chase Lincoln a little
Lincoln seems to give a little bit of a run away looking like hes laughing then spins around come on lets play.
 
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Jessey

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Weird considering niko and him seemed to be playing loads. But i suspect hes had a bit too much rough play and nips from niko and its knocked his confidence.

Funny enough i noticed last night chunky and over the weekend chunky had his ears pinned back loads. I think he is getting wound up by someone whos bored. Is a job to know what to do for the best.
They still play, it was very much Hank initiating it and being rough, Niko would be the one hiding in a corner to avoid Hank.

I actually suspect Hank has pushed his luck one too many times and had his ass handed to him and that has knocked him. Thats why I thought a little break in with Jess a couple of times a week might be a nice change for him, though she won't tolerate any BS either. Perhaps just adding Dan with Hank and Niko would be better, so they little guys can hang out together.
 
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