Horse owners planning to bring a goat to their homestead, think of putting their horse and goat in the same stable. But they wonder if horses and goats will get along, or can they really live together? While the idea of keeping a horse and a goat together might seem far-fetched to some of them.
On the other hand, many horse owners regard goats as ideal companions for horses. If that’s the case, what things should be kept in mind while introducing a new animal to your horse? This step-by-step guide will help you to successfully introduce your horse to its new goat friend.
Let’s deep dive into it!
Do Horses Get Along With Goats?
Horses are usually good and comfortable sharing their outdoor space with other animals, especially goats. However, you need to keep an eye on them in the early stages. Horses and goats are both social animals, and they enjoy interacting with other animals. In addition, both species are easygoing and naturally like getting along with one another.
Like humans, each animal has a different personality and nature. So it’s important to understand how your horse behaves if you bring another animal and put them together. A horse can be hostile or friendly, and much of its temperament depends on its surroundings
Benefits of Horses and Goats Living Together
Being social animals, both horses and goats love living in groups and being around other animals. Both species are quite intelligent and can form a good bond when brought together.
Usually, horses and goats feel stress and anxiety when living in isolation. An anxious horse walks or runs within its stable. But if a horse has a companion, there are fewer chances of experiencing stress or anxiety, and it seems calmer and more agreeable with the owner.
The relationship between goats and horses is quite significant. Let’s look at different aspects of their relationship.
Do you know goats are considered one of the best traveling companions of horses? Horses feel less nervous and happier when they have one or two animals to interact with. Also, from an economic point of view, getting a goat as a companion for your horse, either in the stall, on the field, or on the road, is more beneficial, as compared to another horse or pony.
Though both the species are herbivores, goats, as well as horses do not compete for food. Goats are good to feed on tree branches, bushes, and weeds. Whereas horses commonly prefer feeding on grasses and legumes.
Once the goat is done feeding, it will make space for the grasses and legumes that the horse can feed on. From a feeding perspective raising goats and horses together is suitable and quite manageable.
Goats’ active, social and fun-loving nature will bring entertainment to the other animals on the farm or stable, and also for their caretakers.
Goats love climbing not only on inanimate objects such as fences but also climb on their animal friends, including horses. Watching a cute goat climbing on horseback is a lot of fun.
Consider These Things Before Introducing a Goat to Your Horse
Before introducing a goat to your horse’s personal space, you should take care of certain things to make sure the meeting and pairing go well.
These things are even more important if your horse is seeing a goat for the very first time or the horse is new to mixing with other animals, or you have never raised different animals together.
We have listed below some things that a person should know before pairing a goat and horse together.
If your horse has never come close to a goat before, then you need to be extra cautious while introducing them to each other. Otherwise, animals might end up getting scared, overexcited, or injured.
Do Not Mix Their Feed
As horses and goat feeds are formulated differently, giving your goat horse feed can be toxic. So it’s better not to mix their feed.
Also, keeping a separate feeding place for both the animals will eliminate innate competition among them, and will give them a sense of security that their portion of food is reserved.
Build High, Strong Fences
Goats naturally have climbing abilities, due to which their owners often find them in unusual places, and they can easily climb fences and escape. Therefore go for woven wire fencing and make your fence tall enough to prevent escape.
Choose a Calm Goat
A female goat without horns is the best to get along with horses. This is because a goat with a horn can injure your horse, while male goats are often more hostile than female goats. But as in humans, each goat has an individual personality, so you should make your decision after considering the same.
Tips to Safely Introduce a Goat to Your Horse
The introductory phase is the most challenging part when keeping a horse and a goat together in the same place. Although, introducing a horse to a new goat is almost the same as introducing two equines to one another.
Here are seven ways you can safely introduce a goat to your horse.
If it’s your horse’s first time meeting a goat, maintaining a distance between both animals is extremely important. It is ideal to keep the goat close enough to the horse, so it can easily bend and smell the goat. However, keep the goat at a distance that the equine cannot reach and bite it.
Feed Them Together
Consider feeding the goat and horse in close proximity in a well-controlled environment. But be careful to not mix their feed as there is a difference in nutrients required by both the animals.
Feeding time is an excellent opportunity to observe their behaviors to determine how well are they getting along with each other.
Watch Out for Their Safety
When you feel satisfied, let the horse and goat out together to interact. Carefully observe and keep alert at first to ensure the safety of both the animals.
Use a Lead Rope to Handle Your Horse
Hinder the horse with a lead rope or put it in a round pen when bringing a goat near it. This will make sure that the interaction is steady.
People Also Asked
Let’s look at questions often asked by horse owners and caretakers regarding horses and goats living together.
Can horses and goats eat the same food?
Both animals eat almost the same kind of food. They can eat the same kinds of hay; however, horses naturally need a lot more. On the other hand, goats prefer feeding on grass and other plants.
Try to provide both the animals with plenty of hay at all times so that they can eat whenever they want, and you will not face any problem letting them feed in the same space.
But still, goats have different dietary requirements than horses; you can not give them the same food all the time.. Also, don’t give your goat commercial horse feed as it is poisonous for their bodies.
What breeds of goats are best companions of horses?
Goats come in different shapes and sizes. Finding the best match for your horse can be difficult. Take into consideration these few points before deciding what breed or gender of goat you get for your horse.
Adult or full-size goats are way better compared to dwarf goats like Nigerians and Pygmy. The lateral goat breeds are too small and are unsafe to live with horses as that could lead to accidental stepping over them.
Choose bigger goat breeds such as Nubian, Lamancha, Kiko, Saanen, and Boer. All these breeds can live more safely with horses than smaller goats. Choose female goats over males because female goats are calmer and less aggressive towards horses, humans, and other animals.
Also, male goats have a strong goaty odor that causes the whole stall to smell. We will suggest selecting a dehorned goat as horns can be harmful and may injure a horse. It’s better to trim goat hooves a few times a year to keep them in shape.
Can Horses Get Sick From Goats?
There aren’t any serious diseases that a goat can pass onto the horse; however, it’s always better to consult an expert when it comes to the health of your animals. Horses and goats both need different health care routines that should be followed accordingly.
Additionally, to prevent the animals from any illness, make sure that you provide them with plenty of food and water, adequate shelter, and a clean pasture or stable.
To summarize, goats and horses are a good fit and get along very well. Both animals enjoy each other’s company and can live together harmoniously. If you are thinking of putting a goat and horse together in a stable or a farm, consider the suggestions we have given above to ensure their safety.