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Goats as a companion for a horse?

This is a discussion on Goats as a companion for a horse? within the Farm Animals forums, part of the Farm Forum category
  • Female goat wanted for horse companion

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    06-17-2012, 12:23 PM
  #21
Showing
We opted for a young hornless female. Just one. She and the horse quickly bonded as both breeds need companions. The fencing didn't stop her from getting out but she rarely did as she stayed pretty close to the horse. If they had to be in, they shared the same stall, altho there was a goat high opening in case into another stall.
     
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    06-23-2012, 03:57 PM
  #22
Weanling
This thread has been very helpful. My gelding is on stall rest and will be for a very long time. My mare however cannot be confined to a stall and needs to have another horse or companion with her. Another horse right now isn't an option, nor is a donkey or a mini. A goat or a sheep is pretty much the only thing that I can try. So this thread has been great. In my area baby and adult goats are advertised all the tie on craigslist for free or under $50. I have a nice pasture for it to graze on and what not so I think this'll be a fun experience :)
     
    07-12-2012, 03:18 PM
  #23
Weanling
Umm. However said copper is bad for goats is dead wrong. Goats NEED copper to survive. Goats can eat the same feed as horses, and I reccommend a female goat(does), due to the fact males when intact(bucks) stink horribly and when castrated(wethers) can develop urinary stones which can cause blockages bladder rupture and death. Does do not have that problem.

Goats are wonderful pets, but WILL eat a horse's tail and they do pretty much ignore fences, but are pretty territorial(As in they tend to stay close to home) I know several people who just let their goat's free range around their property.

Goats should have their hooves trimmed every 6-8 weeks and if you buy your goat from a breeder they can show you how to trim hooves. Goats will need a CD/T vaccine in a first series then as an annual booster. CD/T is Overeating Disease and Tetanus.

For breeds I recommend a larger breed(no Nigerian Dwarfs or Pygmies) and either raise it yourself or buy a bottle raised/hand raised goat(you want them to be friendly)

I personally love LaManchas(they have no ears) but I breed and raise them so am a little biased.

I have bred and owned goats for almost 9 years, have shown in 4-H and am a member of the American Dairy Goat Association.
     
    07-12-2012, 03:26 PM
  #24
Yearling
Lambs are the ones that cannot digest copper. It kills them.
     
    07-13-2012, 01:05 AM
  #25
Foal
No, too much copper kills lambs.

Too little copper can kill goats or sheep. Goats just need a lot more of it to thrive and sheep need very little.

Our area is short copper and we were not aware of that so we lost some lambs the first year we had sheep. Now both our sheep and goats get plenty of supplements that include copper. It is absolutely vital for their health.

With any animal it's important to know what nutrients they need, and what their feed or pasture (every pasture is different) is giving them so you can make up the difference. We learned that the hard way.
     
    07-14-2012, 01:26 AM
  #26
Foal
I have an old gelding who's alone now. My property is just too small to support more than one horse. When I bought the house there were 4 other horses kept there with him (in a ~tiny~ round pen knee deep in their own mire) were taken away. I thought my gelding would become very unhappy, but he never neighed for them or acted lonely.

It's been almost 2 years now that he's been alone (without other grazing companions) BUT he does seem happy. I spend A LOT of time with him. When I don't work I spend about 4-5 hours a day with him, and the days that I work he gets about 2 hours with me. I groom him twice a day too because he loves it. We used to ride every day but he's been sick lately so now we go for walks together EVERY day - once a day if I'm working and twice a day if I'm home.

I have other animals too. I have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 3 chickens too. He knows all of their names, and he seems to really like my chickens and my siberian husky. Oddly enough, the chickens and the husky seem to seek his companionship too. It seems mutual - especially the husky. The chickens want his feed but the husky just wants to anywhere he is.

The only thing that bothers me is that he has 1 spot on a hill where he likes to stand, sometimes for hours, like a sentinel. He doesn't stay there ALL the time, but he does go back to that spot when he's finished grazing for the time being etc. He'll stay there for hours, then graze, then walk around and nudge other animals... then go back to that spot on the hill and stand like a sentinel...

I do think he's happy. He eats very well. His eyes are bright. He whinneys and gets excited to see me. And he hangs out with the dog and the chickens a lot. But the hill/sentinel thing.... I just don't know what to think about that. Does anyone have any ideas?
     
    07-16-2012, 01:33 AM
  #27
Foal
Maybe it's an older horse thing? My aged TB mare does the same sort of thing and we do have other horses so it's not related to that...
     
    07-16-2012, 02:58 AM
  #28
Foal
I'm really glad to hear that you have a horse who does that too, and there's other horses around. :) It makes me feel better about it.
     

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