The question of why goats drink their own urine is an interesting one. It can be speculated that they are trying to rehydrate, but the truth is probably more fascinating than you think.
Goats are funny animals. They will do anything to make sure they stay cool, including drinking their own urine. This is because the urea in the urine evaporates and helps keep them cool.
Goats are ruminants, which means that they digest their food, regurgitate it, chew on cud, and finally swallow the cud again. So it should come as no surprise when you realize that they drink their urine also.
Animal behavior is often difficult to comprehend, but if you are looking into the reason why your goat drinks its urine, then you are in the right place.
Goats actually drink their own urine to re-hydrate themselves. The urea in the urine is a source of water and salt, so it’s no wonder that they do this.
If you see your goat drinking its urine, don’t be surprised or worried – it’s just taking advantage of an easy way to stay hydrated.
Below we’ll look at why goats drink their own urine, as well as other unusual behaviors that you can expect.
Reasons Why Goats Drink Their Own Urine
Goats drink their urine for different reasons. Some of these reasons include,
- To stay cool
This unusual behavior is quite common among male goats. It is also important to note that while this behavior may be common among goats, it does not occur naturally.
The main reason why goats drink their urine is that it is part of a mating ritual. Unlike humans where perfumes serve as attracting scents, the opposite is the case with goats, as urine is the attraction.
As a matter of fact, the worse the smell of the urine is the better the male’s chances with the females. The females can also send messages to the males using pee.
When a female goat pees, the male will perceive it and can detect the presence of pheromones. If pheromones are present, then that is an invitation to mate with the female.
One reason why male goats drink their own urine is that the smell of it mixed with the smell of their body makes them more appealing to the females.
It must be understood that this behavior does not occur naturally, but is rather learned after years of observation and experience.
Goats are constantly on the lookout for things that they can eat or drink. Their food consists of almost anything they can fit in their mouth – grass, old hay, and other plants.
They will even chew on tin cans because there is some salt or sugar inside these items, or they can smell it. Because of the variety of available food, goats who drink their own urine may be hungry.
Drinking Urine to Stay Cool
The main reason why goats drink their urine is to stay cool because the urea in the urine evaporates and helps keep them cool. When temperatures are high, they look for anything they can find to drink, including their own urine
Some people theorize that this is because the urea in their bodies can help keep them cool. This is not true at all. When you look into the matter you will see that goats eat first and then drink water, if there’s any leftover. They do not first drink their urine and then drink water.
In order to stay hydrated, goats look for resources on the ground where they can find salt and minerals. When it’s hot, they lick rocks because of the salts that are secreted from them. They also lick animal droppings because of the nutrients in them.
In the absence of anything else to drink, goats drink their urine as a means of staying hydrated.
Testosterone is also the reason why goats drink their urine. When the testosterone level of a goat is too high, then it will proceed to drink its urine and spray some on its body.
As a result of this, both the drinking urine problem and bathing in urine can seemingly be stopped by castrating the goat.
The only downside is that once you castrate this goat, it will become sterile, and cannot be used for reproduction purposes. As such, you should only apply this measure when you have no further use of the goat in that regard.
How to get rid of goat urine smell
Your goat may have a strong smell. It is important to know how to get rid of goat urine smell which can be caused by bacteria or diet, so you are able to provide the best care for your pet.
First things first: check for any health issues related to your animal’s peeing habits. If it turns out that there is nothing wrong with them physically then there are some other alternative options.
The first option would be to take steps towards adjusting their diet which should reduce the amount of urination they do at one time as well as reducing their need to urinate if left unchecked over time.
Another thing you could try is putting down straw or hay (depending on what kind of flooring you have) and sprinkling baking soda on it. It is best if the hay or straw has been out for a while as this will remove that fresh, just cut smell from it.
You will need an enzyme cleaner and a salt solution in order to remove the odor from walls and floors. You can also use baking soda on carpets or mats where they urinate often as it will absorb odors better than commercial products on the market today.
Other Mating Rituals you can Expect from your Goat
There’s no getting over the fact that goats drink their pee, even though its though it’s targeted towards mating. It also happens that drinking and spraying urine isn’t all they do with regards to mating, nor pee-related rituals.
Goats also paint their faces and pee on their hooves to increase their chances of getting a mate. This seems to make bathing in urine seem like a small problem compared to other things goats do with pee.
Some of their other mating rituals include:
Goats are no strangers to mounting each other as the habit starts when they are young. However, the mounting as children is completely different from what happens when they are grown.
When a male wants to mate with a female or is aroused, he goes around mounting females aggressively, seeking one that will accept him.
This process is usually forceful and can sometimes get violent especially when the female is not interested.
Release of Pheromones
This is done by the female goats to get the attention of the ale goats and facilitate mating. The female goat starts to secret pheromones that are strong mating attractants drawing the male to her.
She then gets to choose which male she gets to mate with fighting off any males she doesn’t find desirable. She has to however endure being mounted by different males who are attracted by the pheromones.
After mating though, the pheromones stop until she is in the mood once again.
When a male goat is trying to be friendly, he will release pheromones but there’s more. He will also spray the object of his affection with urine
Goats are not really picky about which end they use for peeing and this means they can spray their targets either on the face or on their backsides.
Spurting urine on his hooves
When a male goat is trying to show dominance, he will lift up both his front legs and release some urine onto the ground while standing on his back feet
He will also do this in a high position where he can see everyone including other males or females that are in heat.
This is done by the female goats, targeted at the males. When the female is in heat, she requires a male to mate with her, she proceeds to get their attention. When her other sign of heat is ignored, then she will switch to something else, screaming.
The screaming isn’t usually loud and is usually targeted at the male she is trying to attract.
The screaming can get pretty loud and aggressive when the male is non-responsive and will not stop until she is answered.
Sniffing each other’s genitals
This part is more common and obvious than other mating rituals. It’s something that we see in dogs and other animals, where males seek females by sniffing their genitals. In goats however it carries a slightly different significance.
The genitals of females will not only help them identify females but detect those that are in heat. The pheromones the females secrete are concentrated around their genitals enticing the males as they detect it.
You shouldn’t worry when you see your goat drinking its urine, if anything, you may want to encourage it.
Some goat owners go as far as not bathing their goats – especially during mating season – to improve the possibility of mating, and increasing the herd.
If you consider this extreme, then you do not have to use this method. You can simply limit how frequently you bathe the goat and that should work as well.
If you are simply rearing a goat as a pet, then castrating it will not be a bad idea, and you can bathe the goat frequently. It is also important to remember that they are not human, so while their habits may seem disgusting, they are harmless.
It may seem gross to most people, but it turns out that goats drinking their own urine isn’t gross at all.
Drinking or using urine for other activities is completely natural for goats and not worth too much worry.