As goat keepers, the discomforting noise of a goat screaming can be annoying but just as humans like to express emotions, goats like to do the same.
Goats are social creatures who live in herds, and when one goat is threatened or scared, screaming is one of the main ways it warns others of danger. It’s important for all members of a herd to stay alert in case there is an intruder nearby.
Screaming can also be a means of communication for goats similar to when huskies are howling. Many people believe that goats are supposed to be cute and cuddly when kept as pets and expect very smooth sailing. However, this is not always the case.
Screaming also helps goats know how their fellow goats feel. They really are rational creatures and they do not do things without reason.
Their reasoning, however, is not consistent with the human thought process and will take some understanding to comprehend. The things goats do, especially their screaming, are not without reason.
Communication can mean different things. Each scream is different and a trained ear tone of the goats.
Main Reasons for a Goats Scream
Considering that goats scream as a way to communicate, it is also important to understand what the screams mean. This way, you can address the problem and keep your goat happy, making cute bleating noises instead of screaming.
It is also important to know that not all screams are directed towards the owner as the goat may be communicating with another goat. Thus, sometimes, you may just have to let the screams play out rather than attempting to make the goat happy.
When your goat screams, it could mean any of the following:
Hunger is probably the most common cause of goats screaming. The more hungry they are, the louder they get to get your attention. Many goat owners have discovered that when goats are screaming and are later fed, they tend to stop.
For those who grass feed their goats, then this is less likely to occur when your goats are in the field. It will only when they are in lock-up. If your goats’ hay, then you will need to provide them with a new batch of hay.
You should, however, note that the screaming will most likely go on until you feed them. This is why you are advised to always make sure there is a sufficient supply of hay if you feed your goats with this.
For those who feed their goat’s grass, it is best to ensure there is a sufficient supply of the grass you feed your goats. You can also cut some grass and store it for when the goats are far away from the pasture.
You will need to cut a fresh batch each day if you want your goats to continue with fresh grass. You can also use this method if you plan to transport them and do not want the screaming to be too noticeable.
As a side note, if you prefer feeding your goats with hay, then it is best to transition slowly as the change in food may lead to some instances of diarrhea.
Goats feel pain too and when they do, they let out a scream to indicate that they are feeling uncomfortable or in pain. This may happen if there is a problem with one of the goat’s limbs, a sore mouth, or some other possible problems
This can be an indicator of worms but you will need a vet to confirm that. You will also need a vet to check if the goat is injured or not.
Identifying the reason for the pain can be done by doing a physical exam or getting some blood work done. Only a professional will know exactly what is wrong and how to treat it.
The major problem with this is figuring out what the cause of the pain is. When there is an injury or the goat is stuck somewhere this becomes slightly easier as the source of the discomfort is obvious. Where the pain is something you can visually identify, then your best option is to contact a veterinarian.
You can also familiarize yourself with the anatomy of a goat to help reduce the cost associated with contacting the vet.
In such a scenario, then you may be able to examine the goat yourself and possibly identify the source of the pain. You should however wear protective clothing in case the source of the pain is something viral and can affect humans as well.
The commonest external parasites which cause goats to feel uncomfortable and scream loudly are lice and nits quite similar to what happens when humans get these pests on their body
This is why it is important to ensure your goat is dewormed on a regular basis.
This can occur especially if you have a buck in with the does or when the goats are ready for breeding.
Screaming may not necessarily indicate that they are in heat but it might be best to keep them separated until the heat cycle passes. They will most likely stop screaming when the heat cycle is over.
This only applies to female goats, and it is usually targeted at desirable male goats in the vicinity. Heat is an uncomfortable time for female goats, and they require the males to mate with them.
When a male goat does not respond to the pheromones and other signs that the female is emitting, then she will scream to get his attention. Such screams are targeted. Hence, the female directs it at the male, and you can tell if this is the reason behind the screaming.
In some instances, there will not be a male in the vicinity, especially if the goat is being isolated. In such a scenario, you will need to introduce a male into the enclosure to get the goat to stop screaming.
Alternatively, you can simply wait for the goat’s heat period to pass, at which time, the screaming will stop. You can verify that heat is the cause of your goat’s discomfort by checking for the signs of heat in the goat.
Younger goats will scream to get your attention or express their excitement. The same happens if they are playing with other goats and want you to join in.
Goats have a personality of their own and some tend to be more vocal than others. You should wait for a few minutes to see if the screaming is a one-off or a pattern. If it becomes a regular occurrence then you should determine what kind of reinforcement goes on when the goat screams.
If your goat screams every time you come near, then this needs to be addressed immediately as it can develop into a habit that is hard to break later on.
For Easy Identification
This reason is not as common, especially since they do not scream for identification. However, you can identify a goat based on the sounds of their screams. This will, however, only be the case if the goat sees its owner as someone it knows before screaming.
Research has shown that not only is each goat’s scream unique to it, but they also have accents. Same as with humans and many other animals. The accents vary according to location.
Additionally, the tone the goat has when it is younger will probably be different by the time it is mature. The accents will also be influenced by contact with other goats and migrating to a new environment. Therefore, it is best to avoid identifying a goat this way.
Have you ever noticed how a single goat screaming tends to create a chain reaction? It is advisable to isolate any screaming goat right away and resolve its needs.
It is also important to note that the goat screams can sound quite terrifying at times and human-like.
If you are unaware of this, it can catch you off guard and cause worry. It is nothing to fear or worry about as long as you can identify the cause of the goat’s scream.