Within a herd of goats, there is a fairly strict social order. Violet is the queen of our herd (see "Goats of Note: Violet"). From there, it pretty much goes in order of seniority, with extra status for social merits like intelligence, toughness, sweetness, gravitas, and hard-headedness (literally and figuratively). Sometimes, the pecking order is not entirely clear, and the goats resolve disputes through physical combat, mostly in the form of head butting.
For a new goat in our established herd, introductions can be overwhelming. Thus, when we recently acquired two new milking does, Coffee and Tea, we didn't just throw them in the goat pen and hope for the best. We gave them a few days to acclimate to our routines. During this time they slept in the nursery pen in the milking barn and grazed by day in a temporary pen that they did a marvelous job of clearing. They sniffed their new herdmates through the fence and enjoyed their pasture time.
By the time we officially introduced them to the herd, they already kind of knew each other. There was a lot of circling:
|Coffee, meet Veronica|
|Coffee Sniffing Baby|
|Jasmine and Coffee|
|Jade and Tea|