Goat companion for lonely horse?

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Goat companion for lonely horse?

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  • Horse has goats but is still lonely
  • Can goats bond with horses as herd

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    08-04-2012, 11:42 PM
Goat companion for lonely horse?

We just bought a goat named Lilly. She's young, I don't know exactly how old, but still pretty much a baby, and she's a small goat- not sure the breed, but it's a mix of two. Anyway, she's not getting to be big.

She was kept with another goat, her sister, for all her life, up until now. My horse is kept in a pen by himself and could definitely use a companion, and she's never been alone before, so I was thinking that they could, if they got along, be together.

I'm worried that they won't get along, though... Basically, what I'm asking, is what do I do to introduce them? Will I know instantaneously that they'll get along, or will I have to keep them together for a while to get used to each other? Envi has never seen a goat before in his 6 years on this earth, and he doesn't do too well with new things... He just doesn't get used to things easily.

I'm thinking it might be best to put them in a pen next to each other, although I'm pretty sure Envi would just sit on the other side of his pen. He's a stubborn young chap... He would most likely have nothing to do with the goat if I didn't put them in the same pen so that they have to be together, but again, I'm worried just tossing them together will result in injury.

I'd just like some help from someone who's had experience with goat companions for horses, lol... I'd really love it if they could bond, they both need a friend that isn't me, because unfortunately, life doesn't give me as much time as I'd like to spend with my furry friends.

Also, I heard that goats eat manes and tails. I like his mane and tail, I'm trying to grow them out... of course I could live with it if he was happy with a little goat buddy, but still...?

And I'm sorry if this doesn't belong here, I'm not sure where to put this. If it should be somewhere else, I'd love it if you could move it to it's proper place, if it's not too much trouble!
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    08-05-2012, 01:00 AM
I have seen lots of goats with horses. I have not done it personally, but it does work. I have a llama in with mine. And you would think it unlikely for them to bond, but he loves them and they tolerate him. You can tell though, when I take two away, that they really do like him, they just prefer eachother over him.

I would say start with a fence between them. And give that a few days. At least then they can get used to it before you put them in together.
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    08-05-2012, 01:10 AM
Horses are heard animals and honestly should not be kept alone. Goats also are heard animals. So, therefore, they would very much enjoy the company of one another.
    08-05-2012, 01:58 AM
That's what I was thinking would be a good idea, but like I said, I'm not sure if that will work with Envi- he doesn't warm up to new things easily. He's the type to just sit on the other side of the pen or something, and completely ignore whatever it is until he can't possibly do so... I guess the best thing to do is try it, though- as long as there's a fence they can't get hurt, which is what I'm worried about.
Being alone wasn't an issue when I had the time to spend with him, but now that school's starting so I'm going to have homework, I'm a senior, I have college stuff to do, I'm going to have to get a job, I have community service hours required to graduate, etc. etc., I just can't always be out there with him. And it hurts me to see him look lonely... :(

Thanks guys!
    08-05-2012, 06:48 AM
Horses definitely prefer their own kind for company but if you are going to try and introduce a goat then I would be very careful about how you do it. Some horses are fine with other animals and some arent, my neighbours had a horse that had killed goats and other smaller animals in the past. Even if they do get along a kick or even just horse play that wouldnt seriously injure another horse could easily kill a small goat. I would keep them separate for a good while or just let them have each others company with a fence in between them at all times. I let my mini graze with my gelding for a couple of hours every day but I don't leave them together 24/7.
I have heard that goats love chewing on tails if the horse is tolerant enough to stand there and take it!
    08-05-2012, 11:11 AM
Introducing horses to goats can be tricky. I have a mare that charges my dogs so I knew she wouldn't like a goat. I have two goats and two horses. My gelding was alone with a goat for months and they did good. I would see how your horse acknowledged your goat, if its friendly sniffing then put them in.
    08-05-2012, 07:59 PM
Thank you all! That's exactly what I was worried about, him hurting her without meaning it because she's just so small... If I had to put her in with any horse, though, it would be him- he's gentle and minds his own business, he's also rather small, and if he took a shining to her he would protect her from anything, as he has quite the mommy syndrome.
Kiwi, maybe building a goat pen that connects to his pen would work- I could lock her in there when nobody's there, but they would be close to keep each other company and could be together when we're home. With a nice area for her to run in, connected to a little goat house, which would connect to his pen- so she'd have space to play when not with him but could easily get in there or escape if she needs to. We'd have to build it from scratch though, so I'll let you guys know how they interact with me holding her, as that's really all I can do right now.

And as for the tail, maybe I could braid his mane and put his tail up... Maybe with a sock or something so he could still flick flies. Anyone know good ways to avoid this?
    08-05-2012, 10:19 PM
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    08-05-2012, 10:20 PM
One of my goats nibbles on everything! But even my most passive horse wont let him chew his tail. I've never had a problem with this.
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    08-05-2012, 10:22 PM
Green Broke
I've put goats in with horses that were on stall rest. Never had a problem.

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