Can a Goat Live Alone?
Updated on 2/9/13, Originally posted on 3/24/12/
Weekly Bible Verse: Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
We, man (meaning all humans), are made in the image of God. We are not like the animals; God has designed every person and placed us over the animals. We are to take care of our animals and not be cruel to them (Proverbs 12:10). But we also must remember that God has given us dominion over all the animals and it is okay for us to eat them if we are hungry.
Goats like to live in herds; after all, they are herd animals. If you are going to keep goats it is best to keep at least two. Sometimes a goat will be content to live with other animals such as horses, cows, sheep, or pigs. If you have other animals with your goat it may “adopt” the other animals as its herd or vice versa, and it is nice when it works out. I once had a goat and horse that enjoyed each others’ companionship and would even sleep together. I also have had horses that hate goats and chase them away. Always use caution when introducing a goat to other animals as sometimes it does not work and your goat could be injured or even killed. On rare occasions goats and dogs can live together, but you must use caution because dogs are frequently the cause of goat deaths. If you have goat friendly dogs, and the goat likes the dogs, often the goat will see the dogs as its herd. Goats that live with dogs will often think they are a dog and sometimes even act a little like a dog. If you do have a goat living with your dogs, never let the goat eat dog food; it is not healthy for goats!
Sometimes, on rare occasions, a goat can live happily alone without other animals but it will need people to substitute for its herd. If the goat is afraid of people it will need another goat or animal for its herd and will not be content to live alone. For the goat that likes people and is taken to a new home without other goats there will be an adjustment time for the goat to accept the new people as its herd. If the goat is used to living with other goats, you can expect your new goat to be upset for a few days or even a few weeks. If the goat does not get a little better day by day then it will need a goat buddy. The goat may call out all the time or, on rare occasions, become depressed and even stop eating. Every animal is different but some goats can be content to live alone; however if the goat seems too unhappy you will need to get another goat ASAP.
It is up to you whether you will own one, two, or more goats. You can try owning just one goat to see if it works but I always recommend you adopt two or more.