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Companion goat... wethered male or female?

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  • Companion goat... wethered male or female?

    My horses are terrified of the exotic deer across the street, which are mostly white. I considered borrowing one or two to put in my pasture to desensitize the horses, but then I read that their horns allow them to kill lions!!! The are scimitar oryx in case you are wondering.

    My arena is right across from where they pass by, but not often enough for the horses to get used to them. When they show up, it is really not safe to ride, the horses are that scared. But I hate the feeling that they might make an appearance just as I am landing off a big oxer or the like.

    Anyway, sorry for the long preface, but I though a white goat might be a safer way to try to desensitize the horses. Will I be better off with a neutered male, female, spayed female? Anyone got advice please???
    Last edited by ToTheNines; Aug. 4, 2011, 09:00 AM.
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

  • #2
    You will probably need two. It shouldn't make any difference if they are neutered males or intact females, just not bucks.

    Since you are in TX you might want to consider a goat with horns like cashmere goats....they use their horns for cooling
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


    • #3
      You live across from Oryx????
      Your poor horses!!

      I doubt goats will make your horses feel better about the antelope. They are great for clearing up weeds in your paddock, though! If you are going to pick I'd go with a whether because they are cheaper (as little as almost free if you find a dairy goat owner), and unless you are going to breed then milk every day, there isn't really any point in paying that much more for a female.

      How long have the creatures been across the road? Hopefully over time your ponies are going to get used to them. Otherwise you might want to think about a hedge...
      "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
      Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
      Need You Now Equine


      • #4
        Saanans (Sanaans? I can never remember..) are white dairy goats, but you might have trouble finding some WITH their horns, as dairy goats are disbudded at birth. From good breeders anyways.

        Does or wethers, it doesn't matter. Wethers you can eat when you're done with them (Well you can eat does too), does would be easier to sell.

        Don't know if it will REALLY help, since I'm sure goats smell different/move different than oryx but worth a try right.

        Good luck!
        K-N-S Farm
        Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
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        • #5
          One of mine has his horns (we have a Saanen & a SaanenX) but they don't look a thing like Oryx.

          Albino white tail deer?
          "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
          Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
          Need You Now Equine


          • #6
            If it's not a health hazard (I don't know, it might be), I'd take some deer droppings (manure) and put it in your pasture. Or if you can find tufts of deer hair bring that over. Getting your horses used to the smell might help.
            Even my cats who live together, give each other a good sniff when coming in the house, there are several look-alike cats in the neighborhood and it's the sniff test that reassures my cats of their "id".


            • #7
              Anything with horns is capable of using those horns for harm, doesn't mean they will. I'd see about borrowing the oryx(s?). Perhaps you could erect a temporary paddock within your horse's pasture for them.
              If you want some goats though, I got some goats. You want turkeys? Perhaps a guinea or 12? You want cats? I got cats.
              "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


              • #8
                I think whethers make the best pets...I have two and a doe and I really much prefer the whethers...The doe is nice, but the boys are just outstanding.


                • #9
                  We used to have Saanens. Wonderful goats. For a pet get a whether. Once you hear the doe's in heat come the fall you'll never regret having the fixed males.


                  • #10
                    It's WETHER, people! WETHER!

                    Arrrrgggghhhhhh ...

                    Not that I know WHETHER it matters or not ... after all, we're on COTH!

                    Better a whether than a spaded female, what?

                    P.S. I have just got to share this, just found it when Googling "wether" because while I'd known about wethers in sheep, had not heard the term for goats before reading this thread ...

                    I found this hilarious statement on some 4-H goat site:

                    "We usually don't keep dairy goat wethers, but some kids raise and show pygmy wethers. ..."
                    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
                    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
                    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


                    • Original Poster

                      My bad. I corrected the title. But at least when I was looking a craigslist goat ads, I knew enough that when I saw an ad for a "tethered" goat, they must mean wethered!
                      Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                      • #12
                        Boy goats, specifically the wethered boys, have special feeding needs as they are subject to urinary calculi. If you google wethered goats and urinary calculi it should give you the info. Fiasco Farms site has good information on this as well.

                        I have five goats (two does and three wethers). I love them all. My vet says that sometimes wethers can get mean as they age but I've not noticed any change in my boys' sweet demeanor as they've aged.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by maunder View Post
                          Boy goats, specifically the wethered boys, have special feeding needs as they are subject to urinary calculi. If you google wethered goats and urinary calculi it should give you the info. Fiasco Farms site has good information on this as well.
                          Thanks for posting about this!! something I didn't know about and I am (1) feeding horse feed to the goats (NOT lamb b/c of copper) because I was told it would be fine for them (2) already worried about my goat's water intake since they don't seem to drink much in the pen at night (although I frequently see them drinking outside, they like that water better )

                          Right now they are on a handful of grain to get them to come in, with their fat bellies they don't need any more then that - but will definitely be getting them some goat ration for winter!
                          "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                          Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                          Need You Now Equine


                          • #14
                            TTN - if you do decide to get goats be aware they are like rats and can get their bodies through anything they can get their heads through . Little buggers are sneaky & LOVE to see what the grass tastes like on the other side of the fence...
                            "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                            Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                            Need You Now Equine


                            • #15
                              I have had goats with my horses for over 30 years( Not the same goats!) and really enjoy them- so do the horses. Now that I just have one horse , she enjoys her "herd" of 3 does. I had a wether for 17 years. He was born here ,,and lived a long and healthy life on 1 handful of horse grain per day- before I knew it could be harmful to wethers. I wouldn't do it now and my does get BS Caprine( Challenger 14%). They are just pets and really do fine on browse,, pasture and hay, but they look SO forlorn every evening that they get their handful of that grain when I feed the horse her supper. I have a Sanaan and a Toggenberg and her "Mongrel" daughter. I prefer the larger breeds. They can get into as much trouble as the dwarfs or pygmys, but are easier ( I think) to contain.


                              • #16
                                I think you should get a white llama, if you are trying ot spook proof your horses for weird smelling white things that move funny,lol. Seriously. And I wish people were giving goats away around here. Here they sell for premium prices.


                                • #17
                                  I agree, CB/TB! The wee ones are durned cute (I love my Nigerian Pygmy wether to pieces), but he is the quickest most agile goatie that I've ever seen.

                                  He can flatten himself out and blast under the paddock gate to the pasture if he sees the vet coming and I know he could clear the five foot fence if he cared to.