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Do Goats Bite? Is It Common and What to Do About It

If you are interested in getting a goat there are probably some questions that you want to find out before or even after getting a goat. You may be wondering if goats have nipping tendencies. So do goats bite and what is something you can do?

Goats have the ability to bite and can bite at times. However, not all goats will be biters and the ones that do bite have a hard time biting because of the flat palate on their upper jaw used to scrape leaves off brush.

But what can you do if a goat bites you and what does it mean? Reading on in this article can help explain some of these questions and help you determine if goats can be aggressive or not.

Do Goats Bite?

Although goats can be great pets or farm pets, they do exhibit some behavior traits that can be quite questionable. One of these traits is biting. While not all goats bite, some have these tendencies, and it can seem problematic. There are reasons as to why a goat might bite that may be surprising.

What Does It Mean When a Goat Tries to Bite You?

There can be many reasons why a goat tries to bite. Although it can be quite a nuisance when they bite and nip, figuring out the cause or reason behind their biting can help you prevent it.

When a goat tries to bite you or other things there are usually reasons behind it.

The reasons a goat may try to bite:

  • Goats could be expressing dominant behavior
  • They could be trying to play
  • Biting can be a form of communication for goats.
  • Sometimes goats can get too excited when eating and give you a quick nip.
  • There are some instances that goats will bite when threatened or stressed.
  • Instances of abuse or neglect can contribute to a goat starting to bite.

Goats are happier when they have things to play with. Look through these Goat Toys on Amazon for inventive feeders and large balls or toys for your goats.

There are some cases when a goat may be having health problems that contribute to them wanting to bite. Health problems that can cause this reaction in your goat will be from pain but there may be other serious injuries that will need care from a vet.

Here’s a video to help understand why goats may seem aggressive:

What Should You Do if a Goat Bites You?

Even though goat bites shouldn’t cause major concern or injury, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t cause issues.

The way that a goat’s teeth are designed is similar to those of a cow. Since they lack upper incisors, they hardly will cause bleeding or even break the skin. In these typical bites from your goat, there is no medical attention that needs to be done. There is also no concern to clean the area since the skin is not broken.

However, there are rare cases where injury or damage to the skin can be done when a goat bites. This typically happens when it is feeding time and the goat gets too excited and your hand or finger just happened to get caught.

  • A goat’s most dangerous teeth are at the back.
  • These teeth are the premolars and the molars that are used for crushing, grinding, and chewing their food.
  • This makes the back teeth have a powerful bite.

Other than causing the skin to break or bleed, these bites can often carry diseases and bacteria that can be passed to humans. One of these diseases that can be passed with a goat bite is rabies.

Although rabies is generally transmitted by being in contact with milk, feces, or skin goats can also pass this through their bites.

With the transmission of bacteria and disease, any goat bite that results in broken skin or bleeding will need to be cleaned and have medical intervention.

To clean the bitten area:

  • Wash the area with mild soap and warm water to remove any germs or bacteria
  • After assessing the bite, apply a topical antibacterial cream and a band-aid to keep the wound clean and protected.
  • Watch for signs of infection or symptoms like discharge, odor, fever, body aches

In cases where a goat bites and breaks the skin in pregnant females, medical attention should be checked by a doctor.

Avoiding Goat Bites

While bites are typically not serious, there are ways to help avoid these bites.  The simplest way is to raise your goat with good behavior. This is done by reinforcing acceptable behaviors. Other things that can be done are to avoid behaviors like dominance to occur with any goats.

Creating a safe environment for your goat(s) can help with annoyances caused by other animals. When an animal gets aggravated, they are more likely to nip and bite.

This can apply to goats as well. Ensuring that your goat has plenty of food and water sources can also help with aggravation from other goats as well as make it easier at feeding time.

Are Goats Aggressive?

Generally, goats are great pets to have. With mild-manners, goats typically enjoy the company of their humans and other animals. This means that goats will rarely bite due to aggression. When they bite while playing or nip at others, like other animals, it is one of their ways of communication.

If a goat is abused or neglected, this can cause territorial behavior as well as make the goats in question fearful. In the cases of abuse and neglect, goats will become aggressive and show other signs of this aggressive behavior by headbutting, kicking, and biting.

Concluding Thoughts

Although goats can nip and bite, it is rarely due to being aggressive. When these mild-mannered animals bite they typically are trying to communicate, nip during play, or due to excitement during feeding time.

There are several things that you can do to ensure that your goat doesn’t bite. These range from reinforcing positive behavior from a young age to making sure they have plenty of food sources.

Aggression can be seen in goats, although rare and in special circumstances. Their bites should not even break the skin or bleed but sometimes they can and washing the area well should do the trick. Just make sure that you pay extra attention to prevent infections from occurring and get medical attention if needed.

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