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-   -   Goats as a companion for a horse? (http://www.horseforum.com/farm-animals/goats-companion-horse-116562/)

SunnyK01 03-15-2012 09:07 PM

Goats as a companion for a horse?
 
I apologize if this subject has been discussed repeatedly :)

My horse is suddenly faced with being a single horse after 14 years of living with 1 or 2 other equines, and I am faced with the dilemma of what type of companion animal to get for her. Another horse is not an option right now, so I am really considering either a goat or a mini donkey. The problem is that I know next to nothing about goats! I hear that they are great companions, but can anyone verify this?

What type of routine care and maintenance do goats require? One of my pastures is fenced completely with electric tape fencing - will a goat respect that? I assume goats need their hooves trimmed - how often? Do goats need vaccines, etc? Any pros/cons of a male goat vs. a female goat?

Will the goat actually hang out with a horse? Are there specific goat breeds that are more beginner friendly?

Any advice is appreciated!

Joe4d 03-15-2012 10:04 PM

goats basically ignore fences, If there is plenty of food inside the fence they will generally stay in the field. They will eventually bond with the horse and form a herd. You do not want a male goat, trust me on this. Get a gelded male or a female. They really dont need much care at all, maybe hooves trimmed once in a blue moon if ever. bag of goat wormer , tetnus shot. Thats about it. The eat grass and weeds, bit of whole corn. DOnt give them horse food. Horse food has copper which is bad for goats. The little bit the horse drops wont hurt them. Give them some shelter like a big dog house up off the ground a bit, they like to sit up off the ground inthe shade where they can look out at things. Goats are very easy and require minimal care. Which is why they are used as companion animals.
The big issue is the fence though. They will ignore it, might be a problem for you.

gigem88 03-15-2012 10:17 PM

I know alot of racehorses are stalled with goats, but I don't know about being in a pasture setting.

clip clop 03-15-2012 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe4d (Post 1410066)
goats basically ignore fences, If there is plenty of food inside the fence they will generally stay in the field. They will eventually bond with the horse and form a herd. You do not want a male goat, trust me on this. Get a gelded male or a female. They really dont need much care at all, maybe hooves trimmed once in a blue moon if ever. bag of goat wormer , tetnus shot. Thats about it. The eat grass and weeds, bit of whole corn. DOnt give them horse food. Horse food has copper which is bad for goats. The little bit the horse drops wont hurt them. Give them some shelter like a big dog house up off the ground a bit, they like to sit up off the ground inthe shade where they can look out at things. Goats are very easy and require minimal care. Which is why they are used as companion animals.
The big issue is the fence though. They will ignore it, might be a problem for you.

I agree 100 percent. If the goat does find spots in the fence to get out u have a major problem. Electric or not they are very good escape artists. I would go with the mini donkey. They make good companions for horses as well. They do however sometimes think they are bigger than what they are but once they learn to respect each other they should be well off
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SunnyK01 03-15-2012 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe4d (Post 1410066)
goats basically ignore fences, If there is plenty of food inside the fence they will generally stay in the field.
The big issue is the fence though. They will ignore it, might be a problem for you.

Do they generally wander far if they get out of a pasture? We have about 10 acres total, the barn area takes up about 1/2 of that. The other 1/2 is the house, and pole barn which is up a hill from the barn. There is probably a full 2 acres of hay field next to the pasture, so if the goat would just sit there and eat the growing hay, it may not be a big deal. If it will wander further than that, and end up in the road, it may be a big deal!

TimberRidgeRanch 03-15-2012 10:24 PM

I would see about adopting a small pony or donkey. I have used goats in the past as well. Most times the goat becomes just as attached as the horse does. especially if they bond in the stall. I have also see chickens ducks etc etc lol. But do look at adopting so many need homes.

Joe4d 03-15-2012 10:53 PM

mine has never gone anywhere or got in the road, I have 10 acres also, in a long rectangle. He hangs out in the yard, or lays out on the back deck, He was a baby when I got him and bonded right away with my old horse. So not sure about an adult goat. Hes never wandered off. I have a corral with goat fencing I lock him in when I am gone for more than a day or two, more to keep dogs out than the goat in. I dont have a garden so if you have a garden it will be an issue.

chandra1313 03-15-2012 11:07 PM

Hi, we bought a mini donkey for my gelding, and I can tell you it was the best thing we ever did. Our gelding and donkey played together, chased each other. My gelding would get down on his front knees and neck wrestle with our donkey and my donkey will get on this big pile of dirt and they wrestle that way too, its so funny when the donkey gets up there the gelding comes over and they start playing. I think my donkey is saying hey come and get me lol Goats while sweet animals and we had them too don't care about horses they are more busy thinking about your flowers and rose bushes ;-) We also have a llama and he gets along great with the horses, he doesn't wrestle and jostle but he does run with them.

goodhrs 03-16-2012 02:50 AM

Goats will chew your horses mane & tail off, plus they jump & chew on everything. They are hard to clean up after & very wasteful. They will sleep & poop in your horses hay and then they wont eat it. That has been my experience with goats. NO THKS.

PaintHorseMares 03-16-2012 05:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe4d (Post 1410149)
mine has never gone anywhere or got in the road, I have 10 acres also, in a long rectangle. He hangs out in the yard, or lays out on the back deck, He was a baby when I got him and bonded right away with my old horse. So not sure about an adult goat. Hes never wandered off. I have a corral with goat fencing I lock him in when I am gone for more than a day or two, more to keep dogs out than the goat in. I dont have a garden so if you have a garden it will be an issue.

Our friend down the road has a number of goats and they've never had any wander off far. As you said, though, don't be surprised when you find them outside of what you thought was an escape proof area.

You can always just get one or two and see how they work. At least around here, you can buy goats for a lot less than adopting a dog from the shelter. As Joe4d mentioned, with a shelter and something to eat, they require almost no care at all.


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