Can I Keep Bucks Together?

In some species, the males will not cohabitate and folks coming from a background with those species wonder how to manage bucks.

Unlike other species, bucks are generally very peaceful.  I joke about the “bro club” they form, because they seem to become even more attached to each other than they do to their does.  I have observed year after year that when the does are all bred, the bucks will call to each other and act as though they want to be back together.  When I do reintroduce them into their bachelor pen, they are often content and seem almost relieved to hang out with the boy club again.

In the off season, we keep all our bucks together peacefully in a single area.  Just like the doe herd, they exist together in a cohesive group, eating, sleeping and snuggling together.  Though I’ve never had a buck get serious in attacking another buck, they do rough house and get rambunctious with each other, blubbering and mounting each other frequently.  During breeding season, “head knocking” is the norm and you may even find they’ve bloodied each other, but my overall sense of this is that it’s all in good fun.

Put two bucks together with does, on the other hand, and you’ll have absolute chaos.  Multiple bucks will compete relentlessly and harry the does to the point of exhaustion.  We have been able to successfully keep a single buck in with a group of does over winter with no issues, but never two or more bucks.

So to answer the question, yes, bucks can and do coexist peacefully together and I would recommend having two bucks so they have companions when not in with the does for breeding.

Continue the discussion in the Buck Care and Management forum.

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