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View Full Version : What Goat As A Companion?



nasalberry
Apr. 8, 2011, 02:34 PM
For a horse.
Yes, he's been around goats in the past.

What breed? A doe, or a wether? I need something that won't escape my hot-wire & barbed-wire fence, that can live outside in N.E. Ohio weather (with a run-in) year round. Something laid-back and not ambitious to get into trouble.

Does such an animal exist?


Thanks for any info! :)

Sakura
Apr. 8, 2011, 02:46 PM
Saanens are large and docile. I have two and they are loves. I'd go for a wether as a companion.

Mali
Apr. 8, 2011, 02:52 PM
if your horses are fairly mellow - look at fainting goats. I had 3 of them, and they stayed in my electrobraid fencing without any issues. They are slightly larger than pygmies, but don't have much desire to climb or adventure. I loved mine and would get more again in a heartbeat.

leilatigress
Apr. 8, 2011, 02:59 PM
Fainting goats are fun until they teach your young foal to 'faint' with them! We had one that was a bit of a hot house flower. Dogs would bark and he'd swoon, plastic bag goes across the pasture and down he'd go. We forbid anyone from making him faint on purpose but it really didn't take much. We ran into an issue when one of the mares we picked up from auction foaled out and the foal started doing it. Separation of the two did fix it but playing with the foal and the dog would bark and down she'd go.

CB/TB
Apr. 8, 2011, 03:54 PM
I like the larger breeds, too. I've had Nubians, Toggenbergs and I havea Sanaan and a Toggenberg( and her daughter) now. The larger breeds are easier to contain ( although, the sanaan can clear a stall door and has gone over a 4'wire fence) and are a bit tougher, health-wise, I think. I like to have at least 2 so they can keep each other amused if the horse goes anywhere. A bored goat is not a pretty sight! I prefer hornless. I've had a wether who lived to be 17 who loved my mare and they's curl up side by side and nap.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 8, 2011, 03:55 PM
Saanens are large and docile. I have two and they are loves. I'd go for a wether as a companion.

As a bonus, you'd be saving a life, cause most male goats who aren't wethered or breeding stock usually become a meal.


Fainting goats are fun until they teach your young foal to 'faint' with them! We had one that was a bit of a hot house flower. Dogs would bark and he'd swoon, plastic bag goes across the pasture and down he'd go. We forbid anyone from making him faint on purpose but it really didn't take much. We ran into an issue when one of the mares we picked up from auction foaled out and the foal started doing it. Separation of the two did fix it but playing with the foal and the dog would bark and down she'd go.

Please please PLEASE say you have some video of this?!!? :lol:

RougeEmpire
Apr. 8, 2011, 08:04 PM
I grew up with Neubians, love em. Big, tough and friendly!

Epona142
Apr. 8, 2011, 08:06 PM
Any large dairy breed wether that's been dehorned. I have Nigerians but then again I also have ponies so...the larger Nubians are hardier.

fivehorses
Apr. 8, 2011, 08:08 PM
I have an oberhasli, but I think it is about as much companionship for my horses as a rooster.

I don't think the horses see it as a 'companion'.

tradewind
Apr. 8, 2011, 08:20 PM
My pygmy goats have been wonderful with the horses, and not real ambitious as far as goats go about escaping. Whethers make the absolute best pets. Before I got goats I talked with goat breeders and they all were firm in saying that whethers regardless of breed make the best pets.

kinnip
Apr. 8, 2011, 08:22 PM
I love my LaManchas. They are very friendly, mellow goats. And they're the prettiest!!

MightyBobbyMagee
Apr. 8, 2011, 08:23 PM
I say the smaller the better, but then I love pygmies! I had a buck I used as my herd sire, but except when his ladies were in heat, he far preferred the company of my OTTB. They were best buds, and he helped alot in calming Storm down. The horse couldn't be in his stall unless Napolean was with him, and Napolean went on many trail rides with us.

They loved to pick on each other. (http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/34123_528594765405_71400625_31181293_7160598_n.jpg )
Naughty boys (http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/34123_528593722495_71400625_31181245_4979568_n.jpg )
They could get turned out on the front lawn and keep each other there. (http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/31762_527729908585_71400625_31150318_3681094_n.jpg )

nasalberry
Apr. 9, 2011, 07:51 AM
Thanks for all the info!

Next question:

Although I'm extremely experienced in horse care and handling, I really don't know a thing about goat care.
Do they need feed supplements or just hay/grass? De-wormed? What vaccinations, if any? Do their hoofs need trimmed (and who does that vet? farrier)? Etc., etc., etc.

I am looking for a really low-maintenance animal. I don't want to accidentally kill something because I'm ignorant of how it should be cared for. :no:

CB/TB
Apr. 9, 2011, 09:13 AM
My goats are not milking,, just pets, so they just get Tetanus and Rabies shots every year. Wethers can be prone to kidney stones,, so shouldn't have grain, so I've learned over the years. That said, my wether was born here ,, lied for 17 years and ate a handful of sweetfeed every day of his life and was fat ( too fat, actually0 and playful right up to the day he crossed the Bridge. He also kept his hooves neatly worn all by himself,, thanks to my rocky pastures. Other goats i've had needed my blacksmith to trim as needed, but not had to do it yourself.

ayrabz
Apr. 9, 2011, 09:43 AM
MBM: those pix are just so heartwarming!!!!

I KNOW my gelding would love a widdle companion...he's always 'nose to' the barn cats, or dogs, sniffing, wanting to 'meet' them....

One thing (not to hijack) does anyone find one type over another to be better suited IF they were the 'only' goat/additional companion? I know, I know...its always best to get two.---- but IF there were a companion animal that does better/ok 'alone' that, given my situation is one I should consider. And, for awhile to come, this companion could be solo most of the time, and my gelding just come for visits.

nasalberry
Apr. 9, 2011, 10:27 AM
... does anyone find one type over another to be better suited IF they were the 'only' goat/additional companion? I know, I know...its always best to get two.---- but IF there were a companion animal that does better/ok 'alone' that, given my situation is one I should consider...

This too! :yes:


Do you have to teach a goat to pick up their hooves as you would a horse?

Epona142
Apr. 9, 2011, 03:09 PM
Goats are easy to trim hooves on. Good manners are important of course.

I recommend checking out the goat section of fiascofarms.com

LOTS of excellent information.

KBC
Apr. 9, 2011, 03:14 PM
Fainting goats are fun until they teach your young foal to 'faint' with them! We had one that was a bit of a hot house flower. Dogs would bark and he'd swoon, plastic bag goes across the pasture and down he'd go. We forbid anyone from making him faint on purpose but it really didn't take much. We ran into an issue when one of the mares we picked up from auction foaled out and the foal started doing it. Separation of the two did fix it but playing with the foal and the dog would bark and down she'd go.

ROFLMAO, just to funny

Mali
Apr. 9, 2011, 05:13 PM
http://pets.webshots.com/album/308074236tnbNlM

Here's a few photos of my gelding with one of my fainting goats (the first of 3 that I've owned). Sadly, the goat was put to sleep this past December due to advanced arthritis. The funniest thing I ever witnessed with my horses and goats happened one afternoon when I paid a surprise visit home over my lunch hour. As I drove up our lane, I startled the herd. The goats high tailed it for the barn, with the horses in hot pursuit. Suddenly, the littlest goat fainted right in front of my old gelding. The gelding stopped immediately, dropped his nose to the goat, and as soon as the goat jumped back up, they all merrily trotted to the barn - with the goat leading the way. I was very impressed with the empathy my gelding demonstrated for his little doeling.

coloredcowhorse
Apr. 9, 2011, 07:05 PM
Another breed you might consider...Boers. They are attractive meat type goats. If you got a doe you could breed her and she'd likely twin or possibly have triplets. They sell for pretty good prices (one fellow here that got laid off by state budget cuts built his herd with one breeding season from about 20 does to about 35 or 40, bought a new unrelated buck and is making almost as much with the goats this spring as he was working...plans to keep a few doelings this spring and purchase a second buck so he can breed the daughters of one to the other).

Foxtrot's
Apr. 9, 2011, 07:11 PM
A barn around here had a goat and he was a cute thing, nice and friendly, not a nuisance or anything, just wandered around - except he dropped his pebbles everywhere, in the aisles and all over the place.

karlymacrae
Apr. 10, 2011, 06:18 PM
I boarded at a place years ago that had goats, and they got into EVERYTHING, and pooped EVERYWHERE. I wouldn't get one. I like miniature donkeys as companions. Cute as heck!