If you want to own farm animals, you likely want to own more than one. However, the animals you own must be compatible for their well-being and comfort. With this in mind, can donkeys and goats live together?
The answer to this question depends on the personality type of the donkey you have, it varies in each farm case. Some donkeys have an attachment to goats and get along with them well, whereas other donkeys can pose a threat to goats and be unsafe. Generally, the more familiar the donkey and goat are with each other, the better they will be able to live together.
Understanding the benefits and risks of pasturing different species together is important for any farm owner. So, read on and discover the answer to can donkeys and goats live together.
Can Donkeys and Goats Live Together and Get Along?
In the best-case scenario, donkeys will protect and guard goats against harm. The sheep will gather around the donkey for protection from danger since the donkey is the larger animal. Whether or not they can actually live together depends on the personality of the donkey and goat you want to pair together.
Donkeys that have been rescued can be territorial and even aggressive against goats, resulting in injury or even death in extreme cases. Introduce donkeys and goats to each other slowly to reduce the risk of interactions like this from happening.
This is how to introduce donkeys and goats to each other safely and increase their chances of bonding
- Keep the donkey and goat separate from each other at first, making sure that they cannot reach each other for at least 2-4 weeks.
- Halter and lead the donkey to the goat when they are meeting nose to nose for the first time, so that you can guide their movement if they start to get aggressive.
- Gradually increase the time that the goat and donkey spend near each other, permitting them to get along well.
- Never force a donkey to interact with a goat, and observe their interactions once you feel they have gained mutual trust.
- If they start to display any signs of aggression or aggressive behavior, separate them immediately.
- Remove the halter and lead rope from the donkey once you are sure that they can graze and live with the goat peacefully.
- Check on them regularly to ensure that they continue doing well.
The best time to introduce a donkey to a goat is when both species are still young so they can spend as much time as they can with each other and get accustomed to each other’s behaviors and presence.
What Factors Can Keep Donkeys and Goats from Getting Along?
Besides the temperament and behaviors of each animal, other factors that can keep a donkey from getting along with a goat include:
- The donkey is not gelded and hormonal- hormones can cause unintentional aggression.
- Female donkeys in heat- may get irritated by a goat’s presence and push them away.
- Territorial behavior – some donkeys are solitary and will not allow a goat into their space.
- Loneliness – some donkeys have been alone for a long time and act out because they are scared.
If your donkey has any of these problems, it does not mean they will not ever get along with a goat, they may just need more time.
How to Prevent Aggressive Behaviors in Donkeys and Goats?
The only way to prevent aggression from both animals is to make a proper introduction and let them take the time they need to get to know each other. Animals will have ups and downs in their relationship just like humans. Just like one bad interaction does not mean they are incompatible, them always getting along does not mean they won’t ever get on each other’s nerves.
Competition among herd animals is normal because they use it to establish dominance and create the hierarchy. However, if it gets too out of hand, they will need to live separately for the health and safety of both animals.
Avoid adding an adult donkey to a herd of goats without proper introduction, that is just asking for trouble. The goats will act hostile towards the donkey because they see it as a threat or vice versa.
Pros and Cons of Raising Donkeys and Goats Together
Having donkeys and goats live together has both advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider these when answering the question of can donkeys and goats live together. Weighing the pros and cons will ensure you make the most sensible choice. Although donkeys and goats are similar, they will not automatically get along.
These are the benefits of keeping donkeys and goats in the same enclosure:
- Donkeys and goats can defend themselves against small predators, meaning that their enclosure will be safe from any harm they might cause.
- They keep the grass cut and well-kept by grazing on it since they are both herbivorous animals. This also prevents weeds from growing.
- Goats eat the weeds and underbrush, leaving better food for the donkeys to eat.
- Goats are susceptible to different parasites than donkeys, meaning they can live together without the possibility of making each other sick.
- Grass can regrow in other areas of the pasture land because the goats and donkeys are grazing together.
- They can mutually groom each other and keep themselves clean.
These are the drawbacks that can come from pasturing donkeys and goats together, especially if they do not get along.
- More waste will be on the pasture land, making it more unsanitary and making more work for you to clean up.
- Greater chance of injury and fighting among the species.
- More territorial behavior.
- Destruction of the pasture and any structures in it from fighting.
- Intentional or accidental killing of either species.
Ultimately, it is your call to decide if you want your donkey and goat to live together, regardless of the advantages it might bring. Pay attention to their behavior when near each other and determine if they will be good partners.
Do Donkeys Need Companionship in the First Place?
Donkeys are herd animals, they thrive with other donkeys or animals to spend time with. Although they could live alone, solitary donkeys are more prone to sadness, loneliness, and depression. They could also destroy their living space due to boredom. Donkeys form strong bonds with their herd mates.
What About Goats?
Like donkeys, you can keep a single one but they are better off with another goat or companion animal. Solitary goats can get lonely and bored, which are two behaviors that can lead to willful habitat destruction. Goats who are lonely will survive but not thrive.
However, goats can be bossy and territorial of their space. So they need time alone as well as with others. The balance between friend time and alone time will keep your goat happy and healthy.
Can goats and donkeys live together? Yes, if they can get along. Although both donkeys and goats thrive with herd mates, they have to like the animals they are placed with. If they do not get along it could lead to aggression, injury, and or death. Aggression can be prevented among donkeys and goats through a careful introduction.