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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, just wanted to know if horses and goats are compatible lol! We can't afford another horse but my horse right now is lonely since we ate his cowfriend (;D)..we were thinking about a goat! Probably a wether. It definitely would be less expensive. So if you have had a goat and a horse before please reply :)

Also, are goats hard to take care of?
 

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In general I would say yes , although I have a year old Jack donkey and a goat and they don't get on at all! My goat has to stay in a large pen with 13 hens lol . On the other hand my donkey would ram you over without a second though and it bites and kicks ( i do not have a say in any of these things)

If you do get a goat make sure you have a good fence that the goat cant escape out of , they are fast critters lol . What about a sheep , they do very well with horses or maybe a shetland they are very hardy and will only need hay , you can also get them very cheap.

Oh another thing I would say is goats (especially males) stink!
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Agreed. Goats and horses are very compatible. We have three goats, one in each of our horse pens, and they get along with the horses fantastically. The only problem? Everyone's right. They get in to EVERYTHING. We have five wire fencing with sturdy wooden board on the top and bottom, and they still get out! We've actually had to renovate all of our locks and stuff too, just to keep them out. One goat in particular- Montana - is a big pain in the butt. He's as tall as or taller than half of our minis and can get out of anything. He's leapt over our 5 foot fence, opened the bolted closed round pen, let the other horses out, gotten into the tack room, and eaten saddles!

If you can put up with their constant mischief though, goats are great. They rarely get sick (get a DEHORNED one if you do get a goat, though. It makes for less bills!), you can buy one cheap at auction or from a 4H member (that way they're collar trained, too) and they'll eat whatever your horse eats. Our horses love them =]

if you want something simpler though, you could try a miniature donkey. We have two donkeys at the moment and they get along really well with the horses too. Fearless and good companions, but remember that they can be just as hard as a goat to catch and lead if not trained properly! Make sure that the donkey you get is gelded though xD otherwise all kinds of issues can break out. We've learned from experience! They're also known to be quite loud at times... hehe.

Haven't tried the sheep, but they sound great too, especially if you already have a pasture.

 

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Thanks guys! I feel stupid XD I completely forgot about minis! The decision now is a goat or a mini lol.
 

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Just remember that a mini needs just as much attention and such as a horse, as well as shodding and vaccinations! An ill trained mini can still do a LOT of damage. They know how to use their hooves and teeth! I should know o.- we've got 36 of them.
 

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If you do get a goat and if I remember correctly, do not allow your horses to get into goat feed (if you feed it any sort of goat feed instead of just hay) as it is lethal to horses. I can't remember what's in it though..
 

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Poseidon- many people have debated the idea of there being toxic amounts of copper in goat feed, fine for goats- but lethal to horses. Really though, there is often more copper found in general horse feed such as Purina horse and pony feed than in goat feed. However, you're right. Most people say not to chance it with the horse by letting it get into goat food, not only because of the copper but because goat feed generally is made up of only corn, oats, and barley, all things that can be fed in limited amounts to horses, but can make any horse sick if too much is ingested. I would personally recommend just buying a nice, hardy goat who does well on roughage, so you dont have to worry about that. And if you do decide that the goat needs something extra, they do perfectly fine with generic horse and pony feed (thats what our goats eat, because they have a limited amount of roughage for both the horses and goats). Generally goats are much more hardy than horses are, so changing their food is a better idea than the horses.
 

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we have a goat on our yard and our horse get on really well there all run round the fields and have a really good time so yes there can get on
 

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Poseiden & Endiku - some livestock feeds designed for ruminants (cloven hoof animals) contain Rumensin. These are usually cattle feeds, but can be for other species. I guarantee you it is deadly toxic to horses. It causes severe heart problems (among other things) and can kill young stock very quickly (like 24hrs or less).

I worked on a legal case once where a grain mill delivered a load of feed to a cattle ranch containing Rumensin and went back for a new load of grain to deliver to a guy who owned a bunch of horses. I can't go into any detail (for obvious reasons) but that guy lost something like 35 head of horses of varying ages. Some within a day or two and the older ones had to be put down because the heart damage made it unsafe for them to do their jobs. The only grain they ate was horse quality that had touched a truck used to haul a Rumensin feed.

OP, I have 2 goats and my horses don't like them. They are mean to the poor goats so I have to tie them out separately. I use them to get rid of weeds and strip the leaves off of tree branches. I like having them around, but won't get any more after these guys die. They are both wethers and descented. Only one is dehorned, but I wish they both were. I personally have never had my goats jump on anything or try to wreck stuff. They are both collar & lead rope trained though. If they get loose the first things they go for are any landscaping my mother has done that cost her a bunch of money (They looooove expensive bushes & flowers - so much tastier than regular grass, lol) I also have never had a problem with them chewing horse manes & tails, but some people have.

taking care of them is pretty easy. I just feed them hay I have swept up off of the floor or crumbs left over from my horses. if that isn't enough, I toss them a flake of hay. I quit feeding them special goat chow because they just sorted through it & ate what tasted best. I don't feed them any grain, but they love snacks. Any fruits, veggies, or lettuce that is going bad, we feed the goats. They go nuts for the last "half crushed won't make a decent bowl" part of any cereal we have (especially froot loops) You should also know that goats will need their feet trimmed. I do mine only about 4x per year and they also need to be wormed. You really can't use equine paste wormers for them. I think quest and safeguard might be the only ones?? I give them Sub-cutaneous ivermectin shots.

If you get a mini - be careful because they require all the same things a horse does, but can get sick more easily from not having their diets watched closely. You really couldn't get one if you are planning to turn them out on very lush grass. I have heard that mini donkeys or even a small regular donkey rarely have problems with founder, so that may be a better choice than a mini horse.
 

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My sister only has space for a shetland as mum runs a smallholding. Ivy (said shety) lives with goats and sheep, he likes some of the goats and tend to put up a fight with the sheep. He's very happy with his companions!
My own lad had to be grazed by himself with sheep next door, he loved the sheep. He once was actually loaded using a sheep as he refused to go on!
Also with the feed some feeds in the uk contain beet as its safe for goats to eat dry, but obviously horses can't eat that!
Choose a bred carefully as some breeds like old english are extremely clever, so can be hard to keep contained. Its worth speaking to different people with different breeds of goats and asking them for them. Wethers aren't hard to keep but do require feet being kept trimmed, and in some places (like scotland) they need a shed/stable as goats don't like rain.
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