Last Updated on May 7, 2022 by admin
If you’re trying to find a new friend for your horse, you might be wondering what is the best type of goat for horse companion. Let’s find out everything you need to know about keeping goats with horses, and the best types of goats to get!
Why Do Horses Need A Companion?
All horses should live with another animal, preferably a horse or other type of equine. This is because horses are herd animals, with a very sociable nature. If a horse is kept alone it may become bored, lonely, dull, and depressed. Horses will often also become distressed if they are alone, particularly if a close companion is taken away from them.
In many countries, it is enshrined in animal welfare legislation that horses should be provided with a companion. This forms part of the ‘five freedoms‘, a piece of animal welfare research that outlines the basic needs of all animals. So, as well as food, water, shelter, and medicine, we also need to ensure that the social and emotional needs of our horses are met.
The principle behind providing a horse with a companion is that horses should have the freedom to express normal behavior, This means the horse should be given the opportunity to interact with another equine, satisfying their need to communicate, play, and perform mutual grooming. A horse does not need to live with another equine at all times, but for management reasons, it is often preferable to keep groups of horses together or within eyesight of each other.
Is A Goat A Good Companion For A Horse? Best Type Of Goat For Horse Companion
Sometimes it is impossible to provide a horse with another equine to keep it company. This may be because you do not have the space or facilities for another horse, or perhaps the financial commitment of another horse is too large. It might be because your horse has to be temporarily confined to a stable to recover from injury or disease, and you are unable to keep another horse nearby.
Whatever the reason, you might start wondering about providing your horse with a companion of a different species, such as a goat. But is this a good idea, and will they get along? And what is the best type of goat for horse companion?
Although they are two different species, horses and goats can get along very well, and many people choose to keep a goat as a companion for a horse. This can be a great solution if you need to keep your horse away from other horses. A goat can also be useful to keep one horse company while you take the other one out for a ride or away for the day to an equestrian event.
Horses and goat are both intelligent creatures, and they can develop a close bond if kept together. If you can’t get another horse to keep your lonely horse company, then a goat is a good substitute.
What Is The Best Type Of Goat For Horse Companion?
If you are considering getting a goat or two to keep your horses company, there are a few things that you should bear in mind:
- Stick to female goats if possible. Male goats can be aggressive, either towards horses or even humans.
- It is a good idea to get dehorned or hornless goats if you can find them, to reduce the risk of injury to your horse.
- Horses and goats have different dietary requirements; they can graze in the same paddock but any additional feed should be given separately.
If you think you’re up to keeping goats, then getting the right breed is essential. You want a goat that is tame and easy to handle, and one that is not too adventurous or likely to escape. It is highly probably that you will need to reinforce your fencing to keep the goats secure.
The best breeds of goat for keeping with horse are:
- Nubian Goats – a larger goat breed that is placid and easy to handle.
- Pygmy Goats – smaller goats that are suitable companions for ponies and miniature horses.
- Boer Goats – a stocky goat breed with backward curving horns.
- Saanen Goats – a white breed of goat with a lanky body and long neck.
Summary – Best Type Of Goat For Horse Companion
So, as we have learned, the best type of goat for horse companion is a female goat, without horns. The goat should be calm, placid, and easy to handle. You should match the size of your goat to your horse, as small pygmy goats may get trodden on by large horses.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the best type of goat for horse companion! Do you have a goat and a horse that are completely inseparable? Or maybe your horse is frightened of goats, and you could never keep them in the same place? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Can Goats And Horses Be In The Same Pasture?
Goats and horses can be in the same pasture, and they complement each other well in their grazing habits. Goats eat shrubs and trees, while horses eat grass. This means they do not compete for the same food supply.
Do Goats Calm Down Horses?
Goats seem to have a calming effect on horses, and many horses will develop a strong friendship bond with a goat companion. This can be very useful if you need to take one horse away from another, as the goat will provide companionship for the lone horse.
Do Horses Get Sick From Goats?
Horses and goats do not share any parasites or transmissible diseases. This means that horses cannot get sick from goats. However, they should not be allowed to eat each other's feed, as this might make them ill.
How Do You Introduce A Horse To A Goat?
Horses may be scared of goats at first, and they should be introduced gradually to each other. Keep the goat in a nearby paddock for a day or two to allow your horse to get used to the sight, smell, and sound of the goat. You can then allow them to meet each other nose-to-nose, but should not be left alone together until they seem completely relaxed in each others company.