Chickens and Goats ???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Adychicks, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Adychicks

    Adychicks Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2009
    Forest Hill, Maryland
    We have a hawk stalking our chickens. I know that if you are caught shooting it you can lose your house. As my DH says, and I sadly agree, we are not going to lose our house for a $10 chicken. I know it has to eat too but I still don't want it to be lunching on my chickens. I heard that if you have a goat in with your flock the hawks will leave the chickens alone. My DH surprised me yesterday with a goat! (I know ladies, [​IMG] he is SO romantic.) My question is, what now? Is this true, that a goat will protect the chickens from hawks? Can it sleep with the chickens? What do I need to be careful of? Is this a bad setup? [​IMG] What is your experience with goats and chickens mixed together?
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    ShellyLynnW likes this.
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Now you will need another goat to keep the first one company, is what now [​IMG] Seriously.

    Can it sleep with the chickens?

    You will need to devise some means of keeping them eating their OWN food (at least mostly), and you are about to discover some Interesting Facts about goats' attitudes towards fences [​IMG] Certainly a number of people successfully keep goats and chickens more-or-less together, though.

    Dunno bout the hawk thing, I have heard too many different stories on the subject. If your chickens are free-ranging (I assume?), it would be smart to make them a bunch of cover areas (brush piles, little low plywood 'tables' they can duck under, etc) so they can dash for cover when they spy the hawk.

    Have fun, good luck,

    ShellyLynnW likes this.
  3. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    DO NOT LET THE GOAT EAT THE CHICKEN FOOD! I raise fainters and last Spring my son left the chicken run open and one of my girls was able to get into some layer mix and we lost her. She left behind a beautiful set of twins.

    You can keep goats and chickens together...sleeping together is not a problem - it is the food solution that will be the toughest thing to over come for you. Please don't let her/him get to the chicken food.

    Goats are wonderful and I thnk you'll enjoy yours...however, a previous posted suggested getting another goat and I would have to agree. They are heard animals and will be much happier with a friend. They will get into a lot less trouble too. Two or even three goats would be best. Good luck - enjoy your creatures!
    ShellyLynnW likes this.
  4. Adychicks

    Adychicks Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2009
    Forest Hill, Maryland
    Thanks for all the advise so far. What is the danger for the goat to eat chicken feed?
    ShellyLynnW likes this.
  5. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had my goats with my hens and finally separated them because it became SOOOO challenging to keep the goats out of the chicken food. Goats can squeeze into the smallest of places (they were able to squeeze through a whole that my RIR roo was hardly able to!). My goats consumed plenty of chicken food through the many attempts of keeping them out of it and none of them every became sick but I have heard it can be lethal in goats (but I don't know why??).

    Definitely get another goat, though! They are happier when they are together (and double the trouble [​IMG])

    Sorry but I don't know about the hawk theory.
  6. Adychicks

    Adychicks Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2009
    Forest Hill, Maryland
    Thanks. I am planning on getting her a friend. I am also working on how to keep their feed separate.
  7. ErieSpurs

    ErieSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Elyria, OH
    If your goat gets mostly hay and forage, then eats a ton of goat/chicken food they can get bloat and die.

    What kind of goat is it? You many be able to make a small house where the chicken food is located with small doors that the goat cannot get into.
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Yep, goats are ingenious when it comes to ways of getting to any kind of food, other than their own! It's been years since I've had goats and I have never heard that chicken feed was bad for them, but that makes sense and is very good to know.

    As far as the hawk theory goes, I think it might help to have them where the chickens are free ranging. A field or yard of small chicken sized critters must look like lunch to them, a yard with chicken nuggets AND bigger non-edible sized critters might make them hesitate and move on to easier pastures. I know that big birds like turkeys keep hawks at bay as well, so I think it's the size difference.

    Still, goats are a pleasure to have around, easy keepers, and I agree with having two or more is better than just one, they are herd animals like chickens are flock animals. They need companions of their own sort to really thrive. One thing, if it's a male, make sure it's a wether. (neutered) You do NOT want an intact male, and if it's a doe, you can breed her and get milk to make yogurt and cheese!!! YUM! I like goat milk too, but not everyone does.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  9. LWeekly

    LWeekly Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    Dallas, NC
    I have a pygmy goat that lives in a pen with my 17 chickens. They all get along great and the chickens love to eat the goat feed that the goat drops. Goats are pretty messy eaters so she drops hay all over but the chickens love to scratch through that too.

    As people have mentioned, keeping the goats out of the chicken feed is a big problem. I think the issue with the goat eatting chicken feed is because the chicken feed is primarily made up of corn. Too much corn in a goat can cause a thiamine deficiency and can kill them. I finally had to divide the goat pen so I can close the goat out of one section so I can feed the chickens in the other section. I've also been working on coming up with a feeder that the chickens can get their heads through but that the goat can't eat through.

    I only have one goat but the chickens seem to be good company for her. She has a small goat box and when it's raining or there's bad weather, she doesn't seem to mind the chickens all joining her. I've even seen one of the chickens perched on her back and the goat didn't mind at all.

    My chickens are completely free ranging right now and I have seen hawks circling at times. The chickens have places to hide so I don't know if it's because of that or because of the goat that they haven't come down to get them. So far, I haven't had any problems with other predators either. The neighbors have their dog chained up in the back corner of their yard that is about 10 feet from the edge of my pen so I think that also has something to do with it. Between the goat and the dog next door, not much comes up around the pen from what we can tell.
  10. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with everything said here. Your goat needs a friend, but you already said you're looking for another one so that is good.

    I was keeping my goats and chickens together, but the food issue and fencing have been a constant frustration. My goats will do anything and destroy anything to get to the chicken food, or out of the yard. So we built the goats a new and bigger yard, next to the chicken yard. Then they destroyed the fence between them, so now I have chickens and goats trying to eat each other's food again. My husband is almost finished fixing the hopefully there will be some peace again...or we'll be having Cabrito for dinner!!!!! (Just kidding, I think....)

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