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Goat as a horse's companion?

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  • Goat as a horse's companion?

    Thoughts? I know nothing about goats, except that they can get out of fencing.

    What kind of goat would you recommend?

    Sex? Certain age?

    What do goats need for care/feed?

    A better animal? Donkey? Don't want to deal with pony and their grass issues...

    Would prefer an animal that won't freak out if the horse leaves for a show.
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    When I worked with race horses back in the dark ages, we had several horses that had goats. They survived by eating the horse's hay and whatever grain was dropped, and we'd pour a little grain down on the floor for it. Billy goats stink, so I'd go with a nanny if I were you. At various times we'd have a goat pen if horses who had goats were claimed --- the goats didn't go along.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Cool. I looked through the paper and saw the following: a bunch of Nigerian Dwarf Goats (seem too small); 2 "Commercial Boer Cross Goats" both born in March (one red "buckling kid" and one black and white wherther); and "Boer Goat Bottle Bucks" born in May (2 are twins)--I assume they are being bottle fed?

      Thoughts? I really know nothing...
      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        Goats are pretty easy if you learn the basics.

        You want a wether (neutered male) or a doe kid, no bucks unless they can band it for you when it's young but not too young. Mine were 4 months old when I got them and they were still fun babies but one died of stones while the other is going strong. I would rather see them banded around 6 months old...

        Bottle kids are on a bottle, bound to be adorable but a bit of a pain while they still need their bottles.

        Goats can eat most everything you feed your horse but in very small amounts. Like, handful of grain and a bit of grass mix hay. No straight alfalfa, no straight grass, they like a mix.

        They can be little monsters to keep in a fence. Electric and woven wire are your friend. There are goat halters or you can just put a collar on them to tie them up if/when needed.

        My horses love goats and the goats love the horses...the one in this video is a dwarf mutt, my other goat is a little bigger.... get a small one-they grow until they're three or so, don't get suckered in thinking it will stay small. Goats are very very fun, personable, social and easy to care for. http://fiascofarm.com/goats/index.htm

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/5833107...in/photostream
        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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        • #5
          Non-breeding goats, ie wethers or pet does are fairly easy to care for. BREEDING goats is the hard part!

          Stones and urinary calci has more to do with diet than when they are banded, because no matter what the age, the urinary tract shrinks back up, and even older intact bucks can get urinary calci due to poor diet.

          Nigerian Dwarfs are good, but so are just about any breed, when it comes to companions. I have a mini-Nubian who is bonded with my mare despite the fact they live with an entire herd of goats. It seems I can't take a picture of my mare without April being in the shot.

          https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net...50944093_n.jpg

          A good free choice mineral should be available. I have never once had a single goat chew on a horse tail. But it does happen.

          You want a goat that was disbudded as a kid to prevent horn growth. Horns get stuck in fencing and are just a pain in the butt. None of mine ever attempt to headbutt me, as that is a lack of respect and I won't tolerate it.
          K-N-S Farm
          Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
          Website | Facebook | Youtube

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          • #6
            When I got my OTTB he had a goat! He was an ornery little guy with big horns AND he head-butted! Anyway, my horse had had him for years. Loved the little guy. Fortunately he didn't come with the horse .
            Founding Member of "I Kept 'Off Topic Day!' Open"

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            • #7
              I have goats (Nigerians) and a miniature spotted jenny donkey (Vidalia), and I would definitely go with a mini donk over a goat as a companion to a horse. My horses seem to just tolerate the goats and don't seem all that interested. Then again, if I had a solitary horse, that might would change.

              My Appaloosa gelding actually started life as my stallion and wasn't gelded until age 6. He's much more serene but doesn't exactly play well with others. So I had to put him in his own pen and the evening I decided to do this, Vidalia, who had been residing in that pen with a pony, refused to be caught in order to come out. So, in went my gelding and they've been best buds ever since and are quite the odd couple. Vidalia is adorable, personable and affectionate. She is not noisy, but does have the same requirements as a horse regarding shots, worming, hoof care, etc. Still, I love her way more than my goats. Just my .02.
              Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
              Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Do mini donkeys or donkeys, for that matter, have all the issues with grass that ponies have?
                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                • #9
                  Hi
                  I have had a goat for my horses for 7 yrs. They are they BEST for companions. Do to deed resirickion I can only have 1 and 1/2 horses on my property so it was perfect at the time.
                  The nanny I had was so great and easy to deal with and care for.
                  I didn't have to worry about leaving another horse at home when I would go to a competition or a trail ride . But as others have said I wouldn't get a buck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                    Do mini donkeys or donkeys, for that matter, have all the issues with grass that ponies have?
                    No not as much. They are more like browsers than the ponies are. If you have good grass, just don't feed them any grain. They absolutely do not need it and are very easy keepers. They seem more prone to foot issues if they are grain fed.

                    Goats are easy and very sweet. I just haven't found them to be as personable as my donkey. This is my daughter brushing Vidalia in the aisleway of our barn, no halter, no lead, Vidalia just adores the attention. http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...b/be7edae0.jpg Supervising: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...s/7682190d.jpg and goes on trail rides with us at liberty: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...s/787095eb.jpg
                    Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
                    Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog

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                    • #11
                      If you go onto thegoatspot.net you will find everything you ever wanted to know.
                      Life is short, ride the best horse first.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by FatCatFarm View Post
                        No not as much. They are more like browsers than the ponies are. If you have good grass, just don't feed them any grain. They absolutely do not need it and are very easy keepers. They seem more prone to foot issues if they are grain fed.

                        Goats are easy and very sweet. I just haven't found them to be as personable as my donkey. This is my daughter brushing Vidalia in the aisleway of our barn, no halter, no lead, Vidalia just adores the attention. http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...b/be7edae0.jpg Supervising: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...s/7682190d.jpg and goes on trail rides with us at liberty: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...s/787095eb.jpg
                        I LOVE you pictures!!!
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                        • #13
                          Make sure you'll still want to keep the goat if the "horse companion" thing doesn't work out.

                          A friend of mine bought a goat to keep his lone gelding company, & the horse really brutalized the poor thing - to the point of actually picking it up & throwing it over the fence!! Since my friend had only wanted the goat as a companion, luckily the original goat owner was willing to take the goat back. But you can't count on every goat seller to be so amenable. At kidding season, they're pretty much counting on getting rid of all the culls asap. They don't want them back.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                            I LOVE you pictures!!!
                            Thanks! She is our third mini donk. We got a pair of long weanlings who were shipped down from MO first. They were on the skittish side and while sweet, never became quite as easy to handle as I wanted. We even gelded the little jack, who was a brat, and still they could be difficult to catch, so I sold them as two year olds. The jenny was definitely the sweeter of the pair. Vidalia allegedly had not had alot of handling either, but if so, she came around very quickly and is sweet as pie. So get a jenny or a gelded jack if you go the donkey route. And I agree with what Bacardi said about goats and horses: your horse may not care for the goat and it bears keeping in mind.
                            Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
                            Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog

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                            • #15
                              That donk is SO cute!

                              Most of my goats have a LOAD of personality...but not all of them. LOL.

                              Some of them have so much personality I wish they'd tone it down. Some of my goats know tricks, others learned tricks I wasn't trying to teach...bwaha.

                              I will say that my mare, when she was alone, didn't care for the goats. My first pony seemed happy living with them, but my sorrel mare in the picture would talk to the neighbor horses and was lonely. (She wasn't alone too long thankfully)

                              So it obviously depends on the goat for personality and the horse if they care, like with all things.

                              K-N-S Farm
                              Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
                              Website | Facebook | Youtube

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post

                                Sex?
                                I would recommend against sex with a goat.
                                www.OneJumpAhead.ca

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                                  What kind of goat would you recommend?
                                  I don't know anything about goats, but I have wanted one of these for years!
                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9_CdNPuJg

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                                    Sex?
                                    Unless you're going to get into breeding & milking, I'd strongly suggest getting a wether, which is a gelded billy. If for no other reason than they're worth nothing to dairy-goat breeders so end up either being euthanized at birth, sold for meat, or - gelded & sold for pets/companions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by subk View Post
                                      I don't know anything about goats, but I have wanted one of these for years!
                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9_CdNPuJg

                                      I think the fact that people breed fainting goats is horrific. They are at a serious disadvantage if a predator is nearby, and it's not funny in the least to see them fall over
                                      "The best hearts are ever the bravest"

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                                      • #20
                                        That's what they were developed for.

                                        Put in with your cattle, and your cattle are being chased by a predator or pack...

                                        Goatie falls down stiff, predators get a meal, cows are safe.

                                        I have a couple of half Myotonics (they don't actually faint, the muscles stiffen - as they get older, most don't fall over, their legs just lock up) and they do not "faint."

                                        They are now bred as a meat breed and have excellent bone to meat ratio and grow very well. I am also seeing that many have just lovely udders, which is why I have added some specific lines into my herd.

                                        They also seem to carry a long haired gene in certain lines, and are being used to create a marvelous long haired little goat. Quite pretty, though I couldn't imagine keeping one clean and brushed out.

                                        As for the amusement factor, honestly it would probably annoy me more than make me laugh if mine "fainted" LOL.

                                        Predators will kill your goats, fainting or not, if you do not have the proper protection for them.
                                        K-N-S Farm
                                        Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
                                        Website | Facebook | Youtube

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