Do Horses Get Along With Goats?
Owning horses, goats, and tons of other animals has always been a dream of mine. However, I know that you should be careful when keeping different breeds of animals together. Here’s what I’ve learned about owning goats and horses, and how they get along with each other.
Do horses get along with goats? Horses and goats get along very well with one another, and can even be kept in the same pasture. Because they are both herd animals, they typically bond with each other quickly. However, male goats can be far more aggressive towards humans and other animals, while female goats tend to be more docile. Because of this, horses and female goats get along the best.
If you’re considering owning horses and goats, there’s a lot you should know to help you prepare and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
What to Know Before Keeping Horses and Goats Together
Normal Horse Fences Might Not Contain a Goat
Goats are good at escaping, so make certain you have good fencing that they can’t escape from. It’s recommended that you add mesh or something similar to your fences since goats can easily escape from the fencing that’s used to keep horses.
Choose a Goat That Doesn’t Have Horns for Your Horse’s Sake
When goats become comfortable with a horse, they’ve been known to walk underneath them and between their legs. Because of this, I think it’s best practice to avoid keeping a goat that has horns with your horse to avoid any incidents in the future.
Use Caution When Introducing Your Horse to Goats
Anytime you introduce your horse to new animals, it should be done with extreme caution and care. And the case is no different when it comes to introducing horses and goats.
Before you keep your horse and goat together, you should first ensure that they are comfortable with one another’s presence. If you leave them alone too early and without making proper introductions, your horse can easily wound or even kill the goat.
When first introducing them to each other, I recommend having your horse on a lead rope or in a round pen with the goat on the outside of the pen. Slowly bring them closer to one another, but back off for a moment if either animal shows fear or discomfort. Continue this process until your goat is close enough for the horse to bend down and smell.
Continue bringing them into each other’s presence and feeding them near one another in a controlled environment before letting them loose together. Once they are together, watch them for any problems, particularly around feeding time. If you plan on giving your horse or goat any special grains or supplements, I recommend separating them while you do so as eating time can give rise to conflicts.
Goats Can Injure Themselves By Eating Too Much
Any food you keep around your goats should be securely stored because they are great at getting into things, and have been known to eat themselves to death. When a goat eats too much they can get illnesses known as scours or bloat; both of which can kill them in 24 hours or less.
Something else to be aware of is that goats also like to nibble on trees and any other plants. Because of this, you should take stock of the different plants and trees on your property to find out if there’s anything that could harm them and take measures to remove it or keep your goat away from it.
Horses and Goat Diseases
One of the great things about keeping horses and goats together is that there aren’t any parasites or diseases that can be passed between them. However, both species still require routine vaccinations in order to keep them in healthy condition. Consult with a trained veterinarian to learn the exact requirements for your animals.
Commercial Horse Feed Is Bad For Goats
One danger of keeping goats near horses is that the commercial feed you give to your horse is actually toxic for goats. Should your goat ever get into your horse’s feed while unsupervised, things could get really bad.
If you plan on owning horses and goats, make sure you have a secure method for storing their food. I recommend metal containers that can’t be knocked over. Goats are incredibly crafty, so if there’s any food around that isn’t completely secure, they’ll likely find a way to get into it.
While commercial horse feed is bad for your horses, the quality of hay that you feed to your horses is perfectly suitable for goats as well.
Keeping Horses and Goats Together: The Benefits
Horses’ and Goats’ Different Diets Make for Healthier Fields
Goats eat weeds and other plants while typically leaving the grass for the horses. If your pasture has lots of weeds, adding a few goats into the mix can greatly improve the health of your pasture by clearing away the bad and making more space for lush green grass to grow.
Goats are like toddlers in that there’s not much they won’t try to nibble on, so keep a close eye on them and ensure that nothing is left out that could be dangerous for them to consume.
Keeping a Goat As a Companion For Your Horse Is Cheap
If you’re looking for a cheap companion for your otherwise solitary horse, goats are an excellent option. Horses are herd animals, and as such, they should never be kept alone. Goats allow you to provide a good companion for them without having to break the bank.
Not only are they smaller so they naturally eat less, but they also don’t require supplements and special grains which can save you a lot of money. However, when goats are young, pregnant, and nursing, they can benefit from the added nutrition of grains and supplements.
Keeping Horses and Goats Together That Get Along Can Be Entertaining
When your goat becomes comfortable around your horse, the results can be pretty entertaining. Goats like to climb on things, and whether or not that thing happens to be another animal doesn’t seem to bother them.
You can see for yourself in the video below. Goats are quite avid horseback riders. 😂
Frequently Asked Questions About Owning Horses With Goats
Can Pygmy Goats Live With Horses?
Pygmy goats can live with horses, however, because of their size they might not be the best option if you’re looking for a companion for your horse. A horse could easily wound a pygmy goat without even trying to because of their small size.
If you want to get a companion goat for your horse, I recommend choosing a normal-sized female that doesn’t have any horns. Female goats are typically friendlier to humans and other animals and choosing one that doesn’t have any horse will help prevent accidental injuries to your horse.
Can Horses and Goats Eat the Same Food?
Horses and goats can be kept in the same field, and in general, eat most of the same foods. Goats eat grass, although they tend to prefer weeds and other plants. Goats should never be fed commercial horse feed because it’s toxic for their bodies. Goats can eat the same hay that you give to your horses without any problems.
Do Goats Keep Horses Calm?
If your horse is unusually nervous, it’s been reported that goats can help calm them. They’ve been used for this purpose at horse races for years. As herd animals, horses naturally need another animal’s company in order to be happy, so getting a horse for a horse that’s alone is definitely a good idea.
Can Horses Get Sick From Goats?
Horses and goats do not have any diseases or parasites that can be passed between them. However, you should always consult a trained veterinarian when it comes to the care of your animals. Both horses and goats require unique health care routines that should be carefully followed. In addition, in order to prevent illnesses in your animals, you should ensure that they always have plenty of food and water, adequate shelter from the elements, and a clean pasture or stall.
In closing, horses and goats can get along great when everything is done the right way! To learn more about horses, you can check out more of my recent articles here.
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