Companion goat - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-30-2013, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
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Question Companion goat

I had a few questions about getting a goat as a companion for my future horse. I am in the process of adopting a horse from a rescue near me. The lady who runs it offered me a free buddy horse for the one I'm adopting, however I don't think I can care for 2 horses. So, she said getting a goat would be fine.

My questions are -
What sort of goat would be best to get, just as a friend?
I guess size would play into that, so I'll give some info. The horse I'm interested in he is about 15 hands, or at least right in that area. He is also pretty mellow, or at least what I've gathered from him. He is 18 years old, and he is currently turned out in a small herd.
And, while grooming him and such at the rescue, there were chickens and dogs underfoot & he didn't mind those at all.

Also, what sort of arrangements should I make for shelter and a water bucket and such?
I didn't plan on getting a goat. Haha. I only have one stall, that will allow for 24/7 turn out. Will the goat go in the stall with the horse? Or will that create problems?
Should I get a baby? An adult?
And how do you introduce the two.. would it be okay to have one in the field & then get the other and add it in later? Like assuming I get the horse & then a few days later introduce the goat in?

Any information you can toss at me would be wonderful.
I've tried doing some research. But, since I don't know what breed of goat I'm after, I don't really know what path to follow.

Sorry if most of these questions have already been answered, I tried to search first but couldn't come up with much.
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-31-2013, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Texas
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I bought a baby Nubian goat to serve as companion for my first horse, but in retrospect, the horse was just fine - it was my human side worrying about her loneliness.

Unfortunately, this young goat had only ever been around other goats and humans, so it wasn't a good match for us - as soon as any human would leave, the goat would begin a constant and frantic 'maa-maa, maa-maa' and finally the horse would get annoyed and go as far away as possible. After a few weeks we found a new home for the goat. The horse fared just fine alone for the next year, before I bought a second horse.

As far as goat care, she had access to fresh water at her level (the horse's big tank was too tall) and I gave her a handful of horse oats & hay per the goat breeder's recommendation. My 2 stall barn had open access to the pasture, so the animals could come and go as they pleased, but I did start the first few days with the goat in one stall, horse in other.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-31-2013, 03:42 PM
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Location: Michigan
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We have dairy goats & horses. For the most part they are kept separate because I have a few geldings who like to chase my goats and we do not need dairy does with broken legs.

If you want to try a goat as a companion I'd look for a larger goat. (By that I mean do not buy cute little Mini-breeds, Pygmys or Nigerians) (Larger being: Nubian, Lamancha, Alpine...) Secondly.. I wouldn't suggest a baby goat. Our goat kids are totally clueless when it comes to what could injure them so sticking a kid out with a horse would make me nervous! Third.. buy a doe or a whether (fixed male). Do not by a buck, you'll hate him ;) I suggest de-horned goats. The ones with horns can injure themselves, your horse, you, they get their heads stuck from time to time... Also make sure that your fencing is up to the challenge of holding a goat. You'll need woven wire (like red brand fencing) and wooden posts or if you do use electric fence you need wires every 6 inches and all of them have to be hot.

Not the best picture but this works best -

A goat house is an easy fix, a couple pieces of plywood can make a nice run-in or even a large dog house will do. The goat will try to eat your horses feed and should not, so keep that in mind - grain time should be separate. They can of course share hay, goats are picky eaters so the horses help clean up what goats waste. Goats are chatty, they climb, they're naughty, escape artists so just know what you are getting into. A proper fence is really THE KEY. I think a lot of horse folks think getting a goat will be easy but they are a whole different ball game! The horse may or may not think the goat makes a great pal, its probably easier to look for a cheap pony or just let him live alone if you think hes doing OK.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-31-2013, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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My mare and a young doe became devout companions. If either was gone for too long the other would be running and hollering. Some days it was the goat and sometimes the horse. When the goat gave birth, the mare became Aunty and would babysit while the goat sought out browse. That's when my little Cairn would follow her to keep an eye on her. The mare would lie down and let the little ones jump and climb and slide off her back. If the goat failed to come when called, the little dog would come running and show me where she was. I opted for a female that would remain hornless. I didn't want buck odor.
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