Goats with horses??? Need Advice

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mamabird, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. mamabird

    mamabird Chillin' With My Peeps

    283
    1
    149
    Apr 14, 2007
    App. Mtn's
    I am considering getting 2 goats, but can't find any answers to this question....I have 3 horses and have been told that horses and goats get along well. The horses are on 50 acres which has fence to keep the horses in, but would allow a goat would go through about anywhere. Would the goats stick with the horses or would they venture out on their own every chance they got? I would like to let them pasture together since we do have a lot of brush.... I simply can't afford to re-fence 50 acres, but I can't afford to make the neighbors mad. HELP!
     
  2. kbarrett

    kbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

    864
    7
    151
    Nov 12, 2007
    PA
    I can tell you that horses and goats tend to get along well. Years ago they were allowed on racetracks and were a common sight...in the AM any goats that weren't restrained could be found socializing together away from their equine charges. I don't know that I'd risk keeping anykind of livestock in an enclosure that I know won't hold them. Making your neighbors upset is not your only concern, you also have to consider it's your responsibility to keep the goats safe. Maybe you can find a cheap alternative to replacing your fence and add a low hung strand of hot tape?
     
  3. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    My farrier has goats with his horses. He suggested that I have a small piece of pasture that the goats can get into, but the horses can not. He said it is good to be able to feed the goats in their own space. I can believe that because I have a Belgian and a quarter horse. My Belgian eats very fast and would love more than anything to push my QH out of the way and eat his grain.

    My farrier also said not to put goats with mules or donkeys. For some reason, his experience is that mules and donkeys don't like goats. He had a mule actually kill a goat.
     
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Everyone I know says goats and horses go together well and I've seen many of them happily grazing together.
    However, when we got 2 baby goats and put them in a large pasture with my horse years ago, he went nuts on it, chased it down, grabbed it with his teeth and tried to break its neck, then stomped on it with his front hooves. We thought the little goat was dead, but it survived though with many injuries. We were able to get the other goat out of the pasture in time. My horse (a gelding) had NEVER behaved in this manner before or since. It taught me a lesson that I never forgot (that animals are never fully domesticated despite us thinking they are) and I still remember the incident because it was so traumatizing.
     
  5. Haviris

    Haviris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2007
    It does depend on the horse, some horses do not like goats, so test them out before you leave them together. As for the fencing, in general if you got a couple goats and turned them out expecting for them to stick w/ the horses, I wouldn't hold my breath. If you start w/ one goat he may bond w/ the horses out of loneliness, then you might would be able to ad a second goat and the 1st would teach the second, then again they may both venture off from the horses. And chances are, even if they are well bonded when the horses are grazing close to the fence if the goats see something tasty on the other side they will slip out for a bite.

    My suggestion is to start off w/ one as young as you can, a bottle baby may even be best, raise it up w/ the horses and it should bond w/ them like it's one of them (you will want to do this in a small goat proofed area to start w/), then after it is older and well bonded add another one. And always have a back up plan, in case it doesn't work out!
     
  6. rjv_piper

    rjv_piper Chillin' With My Peeps

    393
    0
    139
    Dec 28, 2007
    Utah
    I don't have my horses in a field together, but they are all fine with the goats. I goat tie in rodeos, so my horses have to be used to them. The only thing is trying to keep the goats in the pen. I usually just tie them up to a post to eat the weeds, and let them loose every two days.
     
  7. Renegade

    Renegade Chillin' With My Peeps

    151
    1
    131
    Oct 8, 2007
    Griffin, GA
    I have had goats, a horse, and a donkey for many years. On average donkeys make very good guardians for goats. Donkeys hate canines so they will keep stray dogs, coyotes, etc out of the pasture. Some horse are very good with goats and others are not. We had a well bred cutting horse that would try to use the goats for cutting practice. If it didn't move fast enough she ran it over and kicked it in the head. Fortunately the goat lived but the mare had to be sold. In answer to your question about will the goats stay on your property. No they won't. Goats need strong fences. Their favorite thing to do is try to get out so they can eat shrubs and flowers. They especially love rose bushes.

    HTH

    Donna
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
  8. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    For one - nope, your fencing isn't going to be sufficient. Not only do you want to keep the goats in, but you want to keep predators out...so 3 or 4 board horse fence isn't going to cut it.

    For two - a lot of horses don't like goats. I would never put my goats (Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy) in with my horses. Even my mini horse isn't allowd around them. Just not worth the injury potential.

    Just hire a brush hogger and be done with it. [​IMG]
     
  9. linebacker

    linebacker Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    0
    129
    Nov 6, 2007
    North West Tennessee
    No the goats will not stay on the horse's side of the fence. I have two quarter horses and two goats and they get along very well. They play chase and will graze together nicely; however the goats just will not stay in the pasture. I got the goats to clear up some overgrown areas so I could re-fence and planned on getting rid of them when there task was completed. Needless to say that didnt happen, my wife and kids named them the day I got them and they will die of old age on our farm (not saying that I want to get rid of them now either). During the day while we are at work we place them on tie down stakes in different areas along the fence line to continue cleaning off the fence rows, and let them off to run around the place and play once we get home in the afternoons. At night and duing bad weather they stay in their stall in the barn. Both of mine wear collars and are broke to lead so they are very easy to move around in the mornings and a small sample of sweet feed will have them running over you to go back to the stall at night.
     
  10. pepperluvsmee

    pepperluvsmee Chillin' With My Peeps

    244
    3
    131
    Feb 2, 2008
    Seven Valleys, Pa
    Goats really like to chew on horse tails, so you may want to put them in a tube sock or bag.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by