Your Opinions Please:

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Your Opinions Please:

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  • Goats or horses eat more grass

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    06-24-2011, 11:36 AM
Your Opinions Please:

I am going to house my Appaloosa mare on my property, but because she will be alone and at the advice that I've gotten on this site, I am going to get her a companion animal. Many have mentioned goats, some mini's, and other pigs.

Which are the easiest keep? I'm concerned that the goat will eat more grass than my horse. My paddock area is minimal although many have told me that it's plenty, I still plan to supplement with hay outside.

I'm open to all suggestions. If anyone is around Western New York, Rochester, Batavia, Buffalo area and knows of goats, etc. for sale, please let me know. I cannot say enough thanks you's for your advice and knowledge.
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    06-24-2011, 11:40 AM
All except pigs are fine for companion animals JLynn, except that goats are escape artists.

There's an old saying, 'If it won't hold water, it won't hold a goat', so your fences need to be as goat proof as possible if you want to go that route.

Goats will eat the weeds your horse won't touch though, so that's on the plus side of the equation.

Don't get pigs. Once they become sexually mature, many of them become aggressive. Plus, they need someplace to wallow as pigs have no sweat glands.

A mini or two would be fine, but you have to worry about foundering them if they get too much grass.
    06-24-2011, 11:45 AM
There are goats advertised in the farm section of the Rochester CL all the time.
    06-24-2011, 11:47 AM
Thanks guys! You're great!
    06-24-2011, 12:11 PM
Person from my local forum keeps big sheep as a companion. They ride together (sheep follows the horse on trails)! Hard to believe but I've seen pics.
    06-24-2011, 12:16 PM
Yep, sheep work well too, and they'll eat the same weeds a goat does.

Sheep are dumber than a box of hair, but that might be preferable to the sneaky cunning of a goat!
    06-24-2011, 12:19 PM
How freaking cute would that be to ride down a trail with a sheep following! *squeeeee*
    06-24-2011, 12:20 PM
Green Broke
Hi and welcome!

Angel, my grey horse, had a few bovine companions over the years when she was not in with other horses. First she shared 15 acres with Rocky and Rolly, two adorable (and friendly!) two calves and they all got along quite well.

Then she shared 10 acres with Daisy (original huh?) and she loved Daisy but Daisy did not love Angel.

Angel's favourite thing to do when I let her go into her paddock after riding was to round up Daisy and drive her all over the paddock, from one end to the other and back again. Although, Daisy was morbidly obese so I figure it was just personal training. Other than that they got along just fine and could usually be found grazing together.
    06-24-2011, 12:20 PM
Llamas are awesome companions, and they require little to no daily care! They're great protectors against coyotes, also.
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    06-24-2011, 12:23 PM
Keep in mind with sheep you will have to shear them every summer since they don't shed like goats do. They are also more prone to skin diseases like ring worm as compared to goats. Yes, sheep are dumb and easier to contain than goats. If you go the route of sheep you will also have to purchase feed specifically for sheep as there is copper in horse feed. Copper is toxic to sheep and will slowly poison them to death. I showed sheep and goats back in high school, so I am speaking from experience.

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