Yes, with livestock it generally does not work as smoothly as we think it will. I have had two groups of does and one group of adult bucks since last fall when the Golden Guernsey girls joined us, but the overarching goal has always been to have one group of does, and one group of bucks, with an alternate pen for emergencies or newbies.
Things don’t always work out that way, and we kept things fairly static, but moved Pickles and Pippi into the Guernsey pen in order to wean their kids. And that pen is definitely closer to the milk stand, so it works quite well for milking times. But even though Pickles was no longer being drained by her kid Fergus, she has not been settled in the new pen, and she has not gained any weight in the mean time. Not a successful move, even though it did wean little Fergus!
And then last week we were working in between the two pens of girls, and tidied up and went in for the night. When I came out in the morning to milk, it was all over without any evident fighting!
I probably had not latched the gate between the two pens well enough, and with a little pushing, they opened it and had a great time getting to know each other over night. Upon inspection, it was obvious that no blood had been shed, and all the girls were happily mingling.
And so, the best laid plans are out the window, but thank goodness it all worked out well. Sometimes we get lucky!