Goats are plant-eaters, which means they have natural predators in the wild. As pets, goats often live outside. Even in the safest areas, they are likely to face predators. If you’re ready to raise goats, it’s critical to understand how they protect themselves from the dangers out in the world.
Most of the time, the goat’s natural form of defense is to run away. However, goats will have different strategies if backed into a corner with no place to run. They may charge with their horns and stamp on the ground to intimidate.
If you’re interested in learning more about the goat’s defense mechanisms, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about how goats protect themselves, the main predators of the goat, and what you can do to keep them safe. The more you know, the better off your goats will be.
Goats attempt to protect themselves against coyotes, but there is only so much they can do. Coyotes have claws and fangs, while goats have cloven feet and horns. They only have a few defenses that can work against the coyote. The more goats there are, the better their chance at survival.
Here is what a goat will do if they spot a coyote:
- Attempt to run away from the threat
- If trapped in a corner, stomp and thrash threateningly
- As a last resort, charge the coyote with their horns
They may or may not make it out alive.
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.
Unfortunately, many goats live in pens. They have nowhere to run and can’t use their best defense mechanism against the predator. Many add larger animals, such as donkeys and llamas, because these creatures act aggressively towards coyotes. Goats can defend themselves but need help to win.
Here’s a quick video showing a way to protect goats from predators:
Two defenses provide the best protection for goats – living in a herd and occupying a place where they can hide. Goats may have horns and the ability to run, but those features do nothing compared to the sharp teeth and jagged claws on many of their predators in the wild.
Goats can escape predators by running. The most effective form of this action occurs when the goats run together. A large group makes it tricky for a predator to grab its ideal catch, so goats have a better chance of making it out alive.
Of course, this defense means the goats need room to run. If they are fenced in, predators will have no trouble picking out the weakest creatures of the pack.
They often target baby, elderly, or sick goats that have no way of employing their best defensive measure. A goat that can’t run has no way to protect itself from a predator in the wild or on a farm.
It might seem like the main predator of a goat is a coyote or a similar creature. It may have been that way at one point. However, the main predator has changed.
Today, the primary killer of goats is the wild dog. There are over three million in the United States, and they won’t hesitate to prey on goats they see in a yard. Dogs need to eat, too.
Here are a few of the main predators goats encounter besides the dog:
- Mountain Lions
Anything with claws and fangs in the area may see goats as an easy target for their next meal.
If you live in an area with these creatures, your goats could be a target. It’s critical to provide them with the defenses they need to protect them from becoming the next feast of a wild creature. Goats have a better chance at survival now with the addition of human protection on their side.
Goats stand a chance against smaller predators such as foxes, especially if there are many. They can trample this creature underfoot and push forward without too much fear. However, they will have a trickier time trampling bears or bobcats beneath their cloven hooves. Baby goats can’t trample anything.
This lack of defensive ability makes it necessary for humans to aid their goats with a little more protection than they have in the wild. Let’s discuss a few things you can do as a goat owner to defend your little group of goats at home.
Goats have many predators, but there are also tons of ways you can defend them. Let’s discuss a few of the most practical goat defenses.
Here are the best ways to keep goats safe from predators:
- A quality fence that keeps goats inside and prevents predators from jumping in
- Electricity added to a fence
- Grouping the goats with defensive animals, such as dogs or donkeys
- Providing a shelter for goats at night
- Deterrent lights
These should keep fanged creatures at bay. (source)
It might cost a little more to keep goats safe, but losing money is better than a dead goat. If you want to keep your animals safe, enact a few measures to keep predators out and goats inside. Defense in the evening hours is most critical, as you will be asleep.
Goats are adorable. Unfortunately, they don’t come with many defense mechanisms for predators. They can run, stomp their feet, and charge with their horns if things get bad. These measures don’t stand a chance against creatures with long claws and sharp fangs. Goats are helpless if they live inside a fence in a yard.
If you have goats, keep them as safe as possible. Pen them up with donkeys and llamas. Add an electric fence to the perimeter. The more help you can provide your goats, the safer they will be if a coyote or similar predator decides to eye your goats for lunch. Act to keep them as safe as possible at home.