Goats are just as popular as dogs and cats even though they are not the most ideal pets. Domestic goats are typically raised as livestock, while wild or mountain goats live in the Mountains.
Both goats have predators in their different habitats, but this piece will focus majorly on domestic goats and their predators.
While goats are supposed to live up to 18 years, many do not live close to that age due to predators.
So which animals predate goats? Do these predators consider goats as their primary food choice? Find out in this article.
Top 9 Goat Predators: Animals that Eat Goats
Also read: Are Goats Friendly? Do They Make Good Pets?
Coyotes attack goats when they look for food in human settlements. A coyote will consistently attack a goat barn and eat as many goats as possible until preventive measures are implemented.
Bears attack goats more often than they do any other domestic animal. While bears primarily eat meat they can find in the wild, they occasionally stray to human settlements for food. They target goat sheds, kill a few, and steal one to the wild.
Eagles have mastered the act of killing domestic and wild goats. They trip wild goat climbing mountains by grabbing their legs, so they fall to death. Also, they will pounce with a drop dead weight of 1200 pounds to kill a small domestic goat. Golden eagles are the number one bird of prey that kill domestic goats for food.
Mountain lions or cougars kill and eat goats. They share closer proximity with mountain goats and can kill them with ease. Domestic goats are even easier to kill, and mountain lions have been recorded to kill them occasionally when they come across a barn.
Feral pigs attack small goats, especially newborn babies, and young goats under one year. If kid goats are unavailable, feral pigs, especially the boars, will subdue weak and sick adult goats and kill them for food. Feral pigs also scavenge goats’ stillborns.
Also read: What Do Goats Eat? All About Goats’ Diet
Foxes can kill goats. They are highly intelligent animals that can be very brutal with their attack. They can pick out small and weak goats from the herds and attack swiftly. They rarely attack healthy adult goats because of the difficulty of subduing them.
Wild dogs are brutal social hunters, and when they attack goats, they ensure they kill many. Wild dogs eat domestic and wild dogs and have close to a 90% attack success rate. They are sharp killers and predators you should worry about if you have a goat house near their habitat.
Bobcats are opportunistic and fierce eaters that can attack goats feeding in farmlands in a swift hunt. They often attack at night when their prey is more vulnerable. They pounce on the goat and bite it fatally on its neck.
Wolves can kill and eat goats but only do so occasionally. They do not consider goats as primary prey and will only target them during food scarcity. Wolves prefer to stay in the wild to maintain their distance from humans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Foxes Eat Goats?
Foxes eat goats and do so intelligently. Fox primarily attacks kids’ goats because they are much easier to subdue. They do not like to attack adult goats because of the difficulty of putting them down.
Bucks or male adult goats are generally stubborn and will likely fight off a fox. Hence, foxes prefer to attack goats during the kidding season.
Do Coyotes Eat Goats?
Coyotes eat goats and will never pass an opportunity to attack a shed if they find one during food scarcity. Coyotes are one of the primary predators that most goat breeders try to keep away. It is essential to learn the right skills to protect your goats if you live in a coyote-dominated area.
How to Protect Goats from Coyotes?
Coyotes can attack and kill goats in sheds. To protect your goats from coyotes, you can implement preventive safety measures like:
- Moving all goats into a fully enclosed home in the evenings.
- Installing an electric fence around your home or the shed.
- Setting traps and snares that can injure coyotes until they associate your perimeter with pain.
- Having a guardian dog like the popular Great Pyrenees will protect your livestock.
Will a Male Goat Kill a Baby Goat?
A male goat or buck can kill a baby goat. Bucks can be so aggressive that they can attack a newly born kid. This is why separating a newly birthed kid, and her mother from the herd is recommended.
Bucks are especially aggressive with female goats and can mate them when they are just 4 to 7 weeks old. This act can injure the younger goat and could result in life-threatening injuries.
Can A Snake Bite Kill a Goat?
Snakes can kill goats. Big constrictors often steal their way into a goat shed and attack them for food. Smaller snakes that normally feed on mice may bite goats; if they are venomous, they could kill the goats.
Rattlesnakes, puff adders, and cobras are common snakes with enough venom to kill a goat if the latter is not treated quickly enough.
Non-venomous snake bites can still be dangerous and even fatal to goats if the wound gets infected.
Can an Eagle Pick Up a Goat?
Most Eagles cannot pick up a goat weighing past 3 pounds. They can only pick very young goats. Eagles only mostly attack mountain goats by grabbing their legs and tripping them, so they fall to their death.