HELP - Introducing horse and goat.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Wildsky, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I need some suggestions on introducing our horse, who is very lonely - to our goat, arriving on Saturday to be her friend.

    We have one rather large barn for the horse, with an enclosed space for her about 2000sf.
    We would like to keep them together, we have to fence in some parts as the goat will be able to climb out as it is....

    I'd love nothing more than to have our entire 3 acres fenced and then just let EVERYONE move around at will... but right now we can't afford to do that.

    I need some suggestions on integrating the lonely girl horse, with the new boy goat!
    THANKS!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2007
  2. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has she been around a goat before? I know sometime when a horse hasn't seen something before they will freak out. If you have a small area that the goat can be kept in beside the horses area were she can look over the fence at him and get use to him for a while before you put them together it should be ok.
     
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    [​IMG] I've only had her a year (my horse), she was rescued, and then I adopted her from her rescuer.... so I have NO idea if she's seen a goat before - she likes dogs, she loves them in fact. She hated chickens - she couldn't care less NOW - but she would NOT go NEAR them before they actually moved in next door!

    We only have that one area fenced, and we will need to fix it up - some horse panels on the one side the goat will get through.... we "could" put the goat in with the chickens for a night or so, but heck I don't know what THEY would think of that idea! Our coop is a big shed as well, about 20x8 - with 12 resident chickens... so there would be space for a goat in there, on a temporary basis, but the horse barn is MUCH bigger and loads of space, its about 20x30 I think, not all space accessable. (you could park two cars in the space available)
     
  4. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't put the goat with the chickens, I would be worried they would get hurt. Some goats are "leashed" trained, you should find out. If she is then you can tether her in the yard during the day and maybe make a small corral for her at night. Other then that maybe just fix the fences and let her go and let her go and hope they work it out. Good luck
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I would have them meet in a "neutral zone", not in the "horse's zone". I would have them out together, but make an area with a bar across that the goat can get into but not the horse, in case the goat needs to run for shelter.
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    We can try the bar across inside the barn, that would cut the space in half, and I'm not sure what Rosie (the horse) will think about that new idea! The barn is cornered off inside, into an L shape, we feed her on the one side, and the other side I put down shavings for her - I'm not sure that she actually SLEEPS in the shaving side, there never seems to be much activity in there, but with shavings you can't really tell.

    Oh we have our work cut out for us, fixing the fence, with 3-4 inches of half melted icy snow on the ground and more snow coming today (DH is working) ..................
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I have no goatkeeping experience to offer but knowing horses I would suggest two things:

    1) please don't leave a halter on the horse when the goat is accassible if the goat has horns (and probably not even if the goat doesn't!) -- not that it's ever a good idea to leave a halter on and perhaps you don't, but I know some people do and it could lead to a lot worse here than just a chewed-up halter;

    and

    2) no matter how well they seem to get along, I would really not leave the horse and goat together when you are not directly observing (for first day or two) or awake and within easy earshot (for the rest of the first couple weeks). I've known horses to pick large dogs and a mini donkey up by the scruff or withers, which is sometimes harmless but can sometimes cause severe injury esp. if the non-horse gets scared by it. I know a horse who lost an eye to a 'friendly' horned goat, they'd only been together a month or so and the supposition is that the goat tried to start a game of head-butting. Etcetera.

    Even if you have a partitioned area where the goat, but not the horse, can get to, there is no guarantee the goat WILL get there in time, especially if it's just a 'game gone bad'. I know it's a pain in the neck segregating new animals but so are major vet bills and a good long GRADUAL introduction can go a long ways towards letting each party figure out how the other one ticks.

    Good luck,


    Pat, wanting goats someday but waiting til the whole 'we're getting chickens now' thing is less fresh in her husband's mind [​IMG]
     
  8. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I have horses and goats but they dont run together. The goats do have a pen by themselves and a few roo's live with the goats. If you run your goat with your chickens you need to make sure it cant get to the chicken feed at all because it will founder and die from chicken feed. I dont feed the roo's that live with my goats they eat goat feed. Its safer that way and theya re fat and sassy too. If the goat has horns not a good idea to run it with a horse. Like Pat said you dont want to ask for trouble or a accident. I thopught of putting a wether with my donkey but he is to onnery and dont want the goat hurt. My horses dont like dogs so that stopped the goats and I have about 40 Nigerian and pygmy goats here. I just keep everything separate cept running my cattle with some of my horses and sometimes the horses get frisky and run some of the calves. So I guess it all depends on your space and with goats you really need 2 because they are a herd animal.
     
  9. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] Perhaps they shouldn't be together....

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2007
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If the idea is mainly to provide a companion for your horse then it seems to me the easiest most straightforward thing would be to get another horse (/pony/donk). Since they have the same requirements. With a goat you can't be sure you won't end up with a still-lonely horse *and* a lonely goat and have to get one more of each anyway [​IMG], plus goats have such different fencing and feed requirements than horses do.

    However if the main point is to get this particular goat, and believe me I want goats too eventually so I do understand that sort of thing [​IMG], then if I were in your shoes I think I would figure out a way to fence in an INDOOR pen for mr goat for the time being. In the horse's large barn. It kinda depends how big the goat is and what sort of stuff you have lying around or easily available, but you might be able to improvise with spare gates and plywood and wire fencing? That way you would have somewhere for the goat while you get turnout fencing, more-permanant shelter, etc worked out, and the goat and horse can start getting visually acqainted. Alternatively perhaps you could knock together a goat-sized lean-to off the side of the barn, but then you have to worry about fencing and/or supervising any time spent together w/the horse. Or the packed-with-junk shed could be emptied and a see-thru goatproof door or gate put on, and the goat could live in there for time being. While I am a huge believer in turnout for animals (my 3 horses live ou 24/7), I think it's space and fresh air that count the most, not necessarily being under the sky per se, if push comes to shove for a while.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     

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