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How/where do you find a goat? And are they really worthy equine companions?

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  • How/where do you find a goat? And are they really worthy equine companions?

    Pretty much that. I have suspicion it was said mostly as a joke, but our farm owner and I were talking about one of our horses who is suddenly the only horse living out 24/7 and we're worried he's going to be lonely. FO mentioned getting him a goat for company. I LOVE goats (I know they can be pains, but I have always loved them), so I'm all about this, but I don't know the first thing about finding one...or how to pick a good one.

  • #2
    They're on Craigs List all the time around here. Or, check with your local extension office because 4-H'ers raise and show goats so if the extension office can't get you in touch with someone, they could get you in touch with a 4-H leader who would know.
    Will your fence actually keep them in?


    • #3
      Go to nearest livestock sale barn on whatever day they have their sales....in most sales barns (auctions) the small stock goes through first...chickens, ducks, geese, sheep, goats etc, then the cattle and lastly the horses. Or put an ad "looking for...." on your local area Craigslist. Suggest one that has been dehorned (although my horses had two goat companions for several years, both with horns, without injuries). A castrated male is probably best (called a wether) and a meat breed such as a Boer is sturdier than some of the milk breeds (Boers are predominantly white with a dark, usually brown or chocolate colored head/neck and have floppy ears). Pygmies are cute as can be but not really horse companion sized. Do NOT get an intact male...they stink for starters and can be very territorial. You can train goats to carry packs or pull carts....very smart and very personable...lots of fun.
      Colored Cowhorse Ranch
      Northern NV


      • #4
        What kind of fencing does the pasture have? Goats are serious escape artists. The smaller the goat, the easier they get out...I would try to find an alpine wether or a nubian cross wether. They are bigger, but not meat goat big....like a boer or a kiko. goats can make fabulous companions.


        • Original Poster

          Will your fence actually keep them in?
          We've yet to do anything half-assed on this farm, so if we seriously were to get a goat, the fence for the pasture it would live in would be made "goat proof", as I'm assuming our lovely three board could probably be escapable for must industrious goats!

          Thanks for the info...the goat love of my life, Sourdough, must have been a Boer...big, kinda white/blonde, and absolutely the sweetest.


          • #6
            a goat looking at a 3 board fence would say, "Fence?? What Fence???"

            As to goats being good "buddies" for horses, My daughters's small pony shares a paddock with our three goats when not out on pasture, and I kinda liken his reactions to them as a 12yo kid treats his younger brothers and sisters... he'll look out for them, but you can tell they get on his nerves sometimes.
            If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


            • #7
              I have minis - and yes, they are escape artists. Half the time, I have no idea how they got out. I think they're like cats. If their whiskers will fit, they barge through.

              Mine are out with the mares all the time. They get along great. They don't interact a lot...but no issues.

              I lock mine up at night. We now have coyotes around and I don't want to risk it.

              They're a blast to have around, even though they're annoying as hell, at times.


              • Original Poster

                So, should we get him one or two??


                • #9
                  http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y25...atbroke001.mp4 (turn down your sound-my son's froggy 13 year old voice is a loud surprise)

                  Our pony loves her goat buddies-she will step over to the wood spool so Griswald can climb on her back. They're all fence crawlers so they live together in a woven wire laced with electricity pen. This pony is a sweet kind critter-a more aggressive horse could hurt a goat if he wanted to so be sure the personalities are aligned before you turn everyone loose. This pony will protect her goats and they all eat together.

                  I got my goats free in the paper and the one in the video was given to me by someone that got tired of the baby goat when it grew up. All wethers which in general are the most friendly version of a goat. I love my goats-tons of personality, they don't eat much, and have such a sweet fun nature.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                    So, should we get him one or two??
                    I would get two so that whoever is left behind still has a buddy-you never heard such bellyaching as a goat who has been left alone!
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                    • #11
                      Please keep in mind that an auction is just NOT a good place to get a goat.

                      While most goat diseases aren't communicable with horses, one very serious one IS.

                      In goats it's called CL or Caseous Lymphadenitis. It's a lymph node abscess, incurable, and once it gets into your ground it stays for a LONG time. Highly contagious.

                      And horses can get it. It become Pigeon Fever, or Pigeon Breast.

                      If you want a horse companion, get a BIG wether. Nubian, La Mancha, Alpine, Boer, a neutered male. Nubians are fun especially, I'm a sucker for those.

                      (I raise Nigerians and Nubians)

                      Try to get one from a reputable breeder. Wethers are generally inexpensive. Most operations send them straight for meat. Try to find one disbudded (it will not grow horns.) Horns are a problem just waiting to happen, I learned my lesson well there.

                      Male goats are susceptible to urinary calcium buildup, so you want to watch the diet and make sure its balanced. It has nothing to do with *when* or *how* a goat is castrated, that's a wives tail, as full grown bucks will get it as well. It's diet related, calcium to phosphorous ratios.

                      Avoid auctions, avoid horns, avoid intact males. Mini goats can work but a full size goat is generally easier to keep contained. Mini goats are freakishly clever.

                      Accidents can happen. My goats and two ponies share three acres. In several years I've only had one serious incident, a goat came in with a smashed hip. I can only presume from an equine kick.

                      Some goats will eat horse tails. Mine don't thankfully.
                      K-N-S Farm
                      Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
                      Website | Facebook | Youtube


                      • #12
                        When you buy feed remember the tell them you need goat feed for a neutered male. Most feed companies make several kinds of goat feed. "Production" Goat (milk goat), "Meat" goat (self explaining), ect. Often "meat goat" feed has additives to reduce crystal build up in the Urinary tract. I also agree that a bigger breed is a better choice.


                        • #13
                          I know someone who breeds the Boer goats because she said people are looking for healthy ones for their herds. If you are interested let me know at Barnmom45@aol.com and I'll forward your email to her. This is in south east Chester County, PA.


                          • #14
                            I agree with Luckydonkey who said you need to have a good fence!
                            I had a Nubian goat once, for a weekend. We had electric wire fence and that was a joke to the goat. He didnt want to be with the horse, he wanted to be with us! Every time we turned around he was on the deck looking in the back doors.
                            Come Monday I called the lady we bought him from and asked if she would take the goat back. Luckily she did.


                            • #15
                              I would get one from a dairy; that's where the 4Hers get them from. They're raised right by knowledgeable people.


                              • #16
                                Companion Goats

                                We have two Boer goat brothers looking for a home together. They are a bit over a year old, neutered, super friendly, and used to living with horses...just in case you are interested


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                  http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y25...atbroke001.mp4 (turn down your sound-my son's froggy 13 year old voice is a loud surprise)
                                  That's so cute!

                                  I have five goats, three mini horses and a Thoroughbred who all pal around together. One Pygmy goat in particular has adopted my Thoroughbred and they are always together.


                                  • #18
                                    I have a large nubian wether cross who is a hoot. He is about 275 lbs and about 10 hands high. He has horns but that was kind of a good thing as he protected his full sister from dog attack a few years ago. Had he not had his horns, both goats would have been dead. He did get one horn stuck somewhere and it broke off and boy did it bleed...ugh. We wrapped his head in gauze and pink vet wrap and he looked pretty riduculous for about a month. Since the attack, he has chased stray dogs out of the pasture.

                                    As for keeping a goat in a fence, GOOD LUCK!!! There is an old farmers saying that goes something like this....if you can throw a bucket of water at a fence and no water gets through, then the goat will stay in the fence.

                                    My goat jumps out of the horseguard fencing and is sometimes in the backyard eating the pretty green grass. Thankfully after jumping in the UPS truck one day, he has decided to stay toward the back of the property and out of strange cars.

                                    I will say that he has become an excellent companion for my older horse who is agressive with everyone. But for some reason, he loves this goat and the two of them hang out together in the pasture while my other two horses go off on their own. Mean old horse also allows goat in his stall.

                                    They are an odd couple but I know it has helped my gelding to have a companion that is stress free and not a threat to him in any way.
                                    Keep in mind...normal is just a dryer setting.~anonymous


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by Joysie View Post
                                      We have two Boer goat brothers looking for a home together. They are a bit over a year old, neutered, super friendly, and used to living with horses...just in case you are interested
                                      Oh boy. Very tempting!

                                      Thanks for all the info, everyone! Now, I just have to find out how much of a joke it was or not! Our poor guy (who is VERY sweet and mellow) is miserable by himself, and he's breaking my heart. I hope we can get him some pals!


                                      • #20
                                        I got one of my goat from the giveaways list and the other goat from a breeder who did not want to use him for breeding so he is a wether, both goats were well mannered and well taken care of. I have answered some craigslist goat ads and found some unhealthy ill mannered beasts.