Have you lost some members of your herd due to predator attacks recently?
Goats are easy targets for predators because they’re weaker and can’t fight against cruel predators.
So, you may be pondering about how to keep goats safe from predators at night to make sure no one from your herd falls victim to the hands of vicious predators.
If so, you came to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll share with you helpful tips on how to protect goats from:
- Coyotes and other predators like foxes, bobcats and raccoons
- Mosquitoes, ticks and other parasites
- And extremely cold temperatures at night
So, without further ado, let’s now discuss how to keep goats safe from predators in your area.
Guide on How to Keep Goats Safe From Predators At Night
Raising goats in an area surrounded by predators is ultra-challenging, especially at night.
But with the right preparation and a complete set of barriers and fences, you can protect your goats from predators at night.
However, let us first identify the possible predators in your area and analyze how threatening they are to your herd so you can take appropriate safety measures.
Determining The Common Predators In Your Area:
These are the common predators that you must watch out for if they exist in your area:
One of the biggest threats to homestead animals is the foxes.
They usually prey on small animals like chickens, but goats are also at high risk, especially during the kidding season.
The newborn goats and their mom are weak and vulnerable during that time, so they can’t easily run away from predators.
Remember that smaller goats are more prone to foxes than larger ones because foxes can’t take down bigger ones, so they usually attack the kids.
Even though there is a lot of food around, you should not be careless because foxes may still attack your goats just for fun.
Coyote is a canine species closely related to wolves, specifically to eastern and red wolves.
They are widely known as attackers to other animals and even larger than them and humans, especially children.
The population of these predators is still increasing every year.
So, raising goats in an area where coyotes are active is hard and challenging, even in urban areas.
You need to be extra careful to protect your homestead and your family.
One of the biggest competitors of coyotes is the wolves.
They are relatives that share the same personality as carnivorous hunters.
Even though fewer wolves exist in the US, you should never underestimate them, especially if you reside in a state where they are officially protected.
Wolves prefer to pursue larger animals, but if your goats are nearby or if other prey in the region is in short supply, they may turn to them instead.
This animal belongs to the Felidae family and is usually called a Red Lynx.
They are medium-sized cats that hunt meek animals, like goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks.
Bobcats are widely known in North America and usually dwell in undeveloped areas.
So, why are they dangerous to goats?
First, they attack during dusk, night, and dawn.
Even though they don’t hunt in the daytime, it’s still unsafe because they might hunt occasionally if they’re hungry.
Second, they are very fast and have sharp claws and teeth that can kill their prey.
Luckily, they don’t attack humans, but if you have a homestead, you must watch out for these predators.
This animal is the biggest goat predator.
Due to their prominent size, they can easily knock down prey.
Bears are aggressive mammals, even to humans, especially when they need to protect their young and food.
They have big front paws, and victims, especially smaller animals like goats, can be taken down with just one slap.
They devour their victim alive, leaving with no body parts remaining.
6. Mountain Lions
Technically, mountain lions aren’t subspecies of lions because it’s more closely related to smaller felines.
But they’re still part of the Felidae or cat family, and they can take down your whole herd when they’re hungry.
Remember that mountain lions are active almost all day and night, especially during dusk and dawn when prey like deer is around.
7. Stray Dogs
Not all dogs prey on goats.
In fact, some dogs are friendly towards goats and can be trained to be shepherd or guardian dogs for a sheep or goat herd.
However, hungry stray dogs with nowhere to turn to might attack small animals to survive.
If there are stray dogs in your area, you need to protect and secure your goats, especially the young kids.
These flying predators usually feed on fish.
But if they can’t find one, they might attack the members of your herd, especially the young kids.
They have strong and hard beaks that can take down young goats, and they can fly, so no fence can stop them from attacking.
Raccoons are medium-sized mammals.
They are often smaller than young goats.
However, they turn aggressive when cornered by people or animals, especially when they have kids.
What’s more dangerous about them is that they can be rabid and kill the victims like dogs.
And they can also be carnivorous and target goats if they can’t find food.
Luckily, their size can’t take down mature ones; they can only attack young goats.
Whatever predators frequent your area, you need to create a plan to keep your goats safe from these predators at night.
And to help you with that, we curated a list of tips below to ensure you won’t miss a thing.
Tips on How to Protect Goats from Predators:
Now, it’s time to unveil the goat’s life-saving tips on how to keep goats safe from predators.
By taking these measures, you can protect your herd and keep the hungry predators away.
1. Make your goat pen predator-proof
Goats need a safe place for protection.
A sturdy shelter can provide protection from predators and extreme temperatures.
But it must be built properly to prevent predators from entering your homestead.
The materials should be high quality and durable enough to keep the predators and your goats secure.
2. Add deterrent lights
Installing a deterrent light is another effective way to get predators away from your herd.
It is a light that emits powerful flashing or flickering LED lights.
But how does it work and benefit your goats?
The two connected lights look like huge eyes.
It can fool predators, making them think that there are larger predators that are stronger than them in your area and scare them away.
3. Secure your fences
Ensure your goat enclosure has strong, secure fencing at least 4 feet tall.
A sturdy, high-quality fence built to the appropriate height can prevent coyotes from jumping over it and accessing your goats.
If you want to ensure no burglars or predators can enter the pen at night, set up double fencing in your area and around your pen.
This way, you can have a double line of defense for your herd at night.
What type of fences can you use?
There are several types of fences that you can choose from, but your choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Some popular options include woven wire, electric, and wooden fences.
Woven wire fences are popular because they are durable and can keep predators out.
Wooden fences are also popular, but they may not be as effective at keeping predators out as other fences.
The most effective are the electric fences because they deliver a mild shock to predators, deterring them from entering the enclosure.
However, you must ensure the fencing is installed correctly and that your goats are trained to respect the electric charge.
4. Lock up your goats at night
Predators know no time. They attack in different situations and times.
So it’s very important to secure your goats, especially at night.
What should you do to protect them? It’s better to lock their shelter or pen at night.
Then, use a strong and indestructible latch to ensure predators can’t enter.
But is it really necessary?
Do goats need to be locked up at night?
You can’t guard goats overnight, and they sleep for at least 5 hours at night, so they are vulnerable at nighttime.
Even though goats are alert in their surroundings and can identify possible predators with their excellent vision, they still need to be locked up in safe and secure pens.
It keeps them safe from predators, and it also protects them from extreme weather and goat thieves.
5. Secure the young kids
Young goats are small, weak, and need to gain experience.
So they need to be protected, especially from terrifying predators.
If predators are active in your area, keep the kids in a secure pen where predators can’t attack them.
The pen should be free from drafts, and you should keep the goat bedding clean to prevent health problems.
You must also keep your pen warm because young goats can’t tolerate cold.
6. Get livestock guardian dogs
Livestock guardian dogs and llamas are commonly used to protect goats from predators.
These animals are trained to protect the herd and can be effective deterrents.
It might not be easy to build a connection between goats and dogs, but with proper training and enough time, they can be as close as siblings.
So, it’s better to raise them both together and give them some time to play together and strengthen their bond.
When they get old, dogs will start protecting their weak goat friends.
7. Check the area at night
Checking the pen at night can help you feel reassured that your herd is safe.
And if ever predators appear and try to destroy your goat’s pen, you can immediately take action to stop them if you’re around.
Besides, if you’re on guard, you can easily scare and chase them away so they won’t bother your herd.
8. Clean up after kidding
Predators are attracted to the scent of prey.
So, keeping your goat enclosure clean after kidding can help reduce the risk of attracting predators.
You should also clean up the garbage and waste because predators might use it as a hide-out when spying on your herd.
It’s worth noting, though, that each predator has its own unique way of attacking its prey.
So, to help you ensure that you have a deterrent plan for each, we detailed how to protect goats from different predators below.
How to Protect Goats From Foxes?
Setting up a secure fencing system is the best way to safeguard your goats from wandering dogs and other predators, even though older goats can protect themselves against foxes.
It’s always important that the fences are high, strong, and indestructible by goats and predators like foxes.
Setting up a deterrent red light is also helpful to scare foxes and keep them away from your area.
How to Protect Coats From Coyotes?
Coyotes are night predators.
Just like other predators, they prey on weaker animals to survive.
Aside from the above-given tips to protect your goats, if they are active in your area, it’d help if you could install some traps or snares to keep coyotes away from your site.
But if you don’t want to harm the coyotes, you can use a red reflector to stop them from entering your area.
How to Protect Goats From Bears?
Since bears are strong, large animals, make sure the fences are higher and stronger than them.
It might be hard to find a fence like that, but electrical fences can help.
The strong electric current can electrocute bears once they touch the walls.
Luckily, it’s very unlikely that bears will attack herds because they mostly live in forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts, where food can be found everywhere.
However, you should not be complacent and always choose the best fence for better protection.
How to Protect Goats From Stray Dogs?
Protecting your herd from stray dogs is easy compared to other predators.
Because they are often weak when hungry, it takes a lot of work for them to break down fences.
But still, your fences should be well-built so they can withstand any weather and any predators.
Another way to stop dogs from attacking your herd is to put food for them outside or away from your fences.
So it is no longer difficult for them to find food to survive.
But they’re not the only predators you should watch out for.
Tiny creatures like ticks and mosquitoes can also pester your goats silently.
So, how can you protect your goats from them?
We’ll dig into that below.
How to Protect Goats From Ticks?
Ticks, mites, fleas, and lice are annoying parasites that feed on goats’ blood.
Getting rid of these organisms is not easy, and as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
So, how can you protect your goats from ticks and other parasites?
Change the bedding of your goats, and make sure to clean their pen regularly.
Furthermore, always check the skin of your herds if there are signs of infections.
If they are already infected, inform your veterinarian and ask what insecticide or parasite repellant is safe for your goats.
But first, you need to identify what type of ticks infested your goats so you can give proper treatment.
How to Protect Goats From Mosquitoes?
Like humans, goats can also suffer from mosquito bites. Aside from being itchy when bitten, infected mosquitos can carry Rift Valley Fever Virus (RVFV).
This zoonotic virus is mosquito-borne that can cause acute infections in goats.
That’s why you also need to protect your herd from them.
What can you do to prevent the infections?
You can protect your goats using Ear & Facial Body Wipes Insect Repellent.
But is it safe for them?
Yes, as long as the insect-repellant wipes are organic, chemical-free, or DEET-free.
Since we’ve already talked about how to keep goats safe from predators at night, you surely want to keep them safe from extreme temperatures too.
So as a bonus, we put together some tips on how to protect them from cold and make sure they’re comfortable during this time of the year.
How To Protect Goats From Cold?
Goats hate the cold season because they can’t tolerate the low temperatures, especially when it rains and is windy.
So, how can you protect them from cold?
There are many ways to do that. The first thing you can do is to keep their shelter warm.
It should be covered to keep the cold wind out, but it should also be well-ventilated.
The second is to provide them with thick and warm bedding, which they can sleep on when the temperature drops at night.
Then provide warm, clean water for your goats.
It’s hard to keep the water hot when the temperature is freezing.
So it would help if you prepared a heater for the water.
Lastly, provide complete and balanced nutrition by feeding them with high-quality goat feed because healthy ruminants have a higher chance of surviving the cold.
FAQs On How to Keep Goats Safe At Night
What keeps predators away from goats?
Secure your wired electrical fencing to prevent attackers from climbing or digging under the fence. The other thing you can use is the red deterrent light that can scare predators away.
Are goats vulnerable to predators?
Goats are docile and weaker than other animals, so they’re always vulnerable to predators. That’s why they need extra protection, especially if you’re living in areas where predators are active.
What is the defense mechanism of a goat?
Goats don’t have sharp and strong teeth or feet that they can use to protect their kids and themselves.
The only defense mechanism is their horn which isn’t effective when fighting with aggressive predators.
So the only thing they can do when there are predators is to run away as fast as they can.
What is a goat’s worst enemy?
Their worst enemies are predators like aggressive dogs, coyotes, foxes, wolves, bobcats, bears, lions, and eagles.
What are goats afraid of?
Goats are innately afraid of water, especially when they get wet.
Moreover, they know they need drinking water to rehydrate their body.
But, you can help them face their fears if you take the time to train them since they are young.
Can goats defend themselves?
Goats have horns that they can use to defend themselves from other fellow herds.
But usually, when aggressive animals attack them, all they can do is run away.
Final Tips on How to Keep Goats Safe From Predators At Night
Goats are excellent escape artists but roaming around, especially at night, puts them at high risk.
Stronger predators can easily knock them out and devour them.
So, make sure to set up a secure and high fence, place deterrent lights, and lock up your goats at night.
And if possible, visit them at night time or get a guardian dog for them.
By taking the steps above, you can help keep your goats safe from predators.
Remember that prevention is the key.
You may need to invest in equipment a considerable amount, but by doing so, you can keep your goats safe from predators at night.