If you’re a goat owner, you may have been asked the question: do goats need company? The answer is no. In fact, because of their herd instinct and territorial nature, goats are much happier when they have space to roam.
With that being said, if your goat has lost its herd or is in a situation where it can’t move around freely (like living inside), then yes-goats do need company.
Having a goat as a pet is an important responsibility, but it is one that can be rewarding if you’re prepared to offer the appropriate care.
Goats are herd animals and will typically become stressed when they don’t have any room to move around. They are friendly creatures, as well as intelligent, curious and quite independent.
The general nature of goats has its upsides, like goats having free reign to forage, and being perfect additions to small farms, even when they are other livestock on it.
Another positive side of having a goat as a pet is that they are less demanding than dogs or cats. Goats are also relatively low maintenance animals, needing little more than food, water, shelter and veterinary treatment.
Is it OK to Own One Goat?
Goats are a great pet for many people who live in rural areas and have land. They can be used to maintain the property, make cheese, provide milk, and provide companionship. However, they do need plenty of space and care.
Before you decide to get one goat as a pet, consider these questions: What will my goat eat? How much pasture does my property offer? Can I afford hay for wintertime food? Do I have enough time each day to spend with goats? Does anyone in my family suffer from asthma or allergies that could worsen if exposed to large quantities of goat hair/fur/dung particles?
If you have answers to all of these questions then great! Goats would be the perfect pet for you.
Goats by nature are herd animals and like other herd animals, they would naturally form a strong social order within their herds. This ensures that the rest of the herd could watch out for any potential dangers while keeping in touch with one another.
This characteristic provides its own advantages. If you’re just starting off with goats, it’s best if you start out by getting at least two or more if you plan on keeping them in outdoor stables.
If you plan on keeping your goat indoors, then its best if you plan on getting more than one goat. It is also important to note that you should only have the same gender.
If you are keeping them indoors for a certain period of time, then owning one goat is OK. As long as you give them enough space to roam around and consider giving them toys so they won’t grow bored and become destructive.
Do Goats like to be Alone?
It’s a common misconception that goats like to be alone. In reality, they do enjoy their time away from the herd but they will spend more of that time wandering around looking for companionship.
If you only have one goat, a companion will help keep your goat occupied. Keeping more than one goat will help keep boredom away. This is because goats are intelligent animals and would choose to play with each other rather than just napping all day long.
If you have two goats and want them to be happy together, then you should consider providing them an area where they can retreat from each other if needed.
If you keep them indoors then use a baby gate to divide your living space so there is always plenty of room for both animals.
If you’re keeping them outdoors, you should also consider installing two shelters (if they are out in the elements), one for each goat. This way, if one goat wants some alone time, then it can retreat back into its own shelter and relax by itself.
No goat owner wants a lonely goat. By their nature, goats are mischievous animals, so a lonely goat is far worse than the average mischievous goat.
Lonely goats have been seen to become far more destructive during this period, their mischief takes a turn for the worse. In a way, two goats causing mischief seems far better than a lone goat prone to destructive behaviour.
If your goal is to start a small herd, having a buck and a doe is a solid idea. You can as well get a neutered buck (wether) and a doe or two does, if a herd isn’t what you are after.
A human standing in as a companion for goats is quite hard, irrespective of how much love the person has for the goat. This is because a goat is a prey animal and has this strong instinct to survive. This makes it wary of any potential dangers, even if the danger comes in the form of a human being
Can a Single Goat be Happy?
When getting a single goat, it is important to consider that its happiness will largely depend on you and your willingness to give your goat the love and affection that it needs.
While rearing a single goat may lead to them getting lonely and bored, there are several things that you can do to increase their happiness.
Goats are intelligent animals, they understand what friendship means and would appreciate any efforts made by humans.
You should start by giving them more space or making sure that they have enough food and water for the day. If they still don’t seem happy after these changes, then try to play with them more often or give them some company.
You could get a friend or relative to visit them if you don’t have the time. Just make sure that they are vaccinated so your goat won’t catch any diseases.
Of important note is the fact that although goats are smart, they also tend to be mischievous and simply enjoy annoying their human friends.
Finding ways to keep the goat happy is the best you can do and there are certain ways to go about it.
For this to work, you need to be consistent from an early age with your goat, as you train your goat, get it involved in activities that it can participate in alone or with you.
Consequently, since goats are quite intelligent, they grow to learn what they’ve been trained to do and carry it out as well, keeping them occupied and happy.
While it is ideal to have more than one goat, if you only have access to a single goat, there are ways for you to ensure that they are happy.
If done correctly, this will mean devoting enough time and effort so your goat s not lonely.
A single goat can live a better, healthier and happier life within its herd, so if you want a happier goat, then it’s best to have at least two.