Goats are one of the first animals that got domesticated by humans. They are good browsers and mountain climbers, but what about swimmers? Can goats swim?
This article will give you some facts and knowledge about this particular ability of goats and what to do when your baby goats fall into the water.
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Can Goats Swim?
Surprisingly, goats are amazing swimmers since their birth. Their swimming ability is inherited from their ancestors, who were wild animals. At this time, you can easily catch a sight of a goat swimming in the river.
As they lived in a hazardous area, swimming was a vital skill to survive as goats need to swim between areas to feed and migrate.
However, domestic and pet goats nowadays seem to have more trouble with swimming than their ancestors as their habitats have changed significantly and they no longer need to thrive so much for food.
Do Goats Like To Swim?
Of course, goats are not keen on swimming like ducks or geese. Most of them tend to avoid water and they only swim when they really need to.
At times, they would have to swim across a river or a stream. This might be for the aim of searching for a breeding partner or better grazing area. Once swimming is necessary for their survival, they will not hold back at all.
If goats stay underwater for too long, their body temperature will fall, which can negatively affect their immune system and cause them many diseases.
Can Baby Goats Swim?
As we mentioned above, goats can swim since their birth. However, baby goats should not expose themselves too much to the water as their immune system is still weak and they might face hypothermia.
If your baby goats fall into the water, you should quickly scoop them up and dry them off with a towel. Next, they should be given some hot water with a spoon of blackstrap molasses, which will provide minerals, natural vitamin B, and calories. You can also add some cayenne into the hot water to raise the goats’ body temperature.
Can Domesticated Goats Swim?
Domesticated goats hate water, just like cats. They hate getting wet so much that they will run to the nearest hiding spot before the rain comes through. However, their aversion to water can be changed in the long run.
This strange behavior’s reason might come from their ancestors. The wild goats were well-known for their capability to climb and walk on steep mountain edges with ease. It was their hooves that allow them to climb.
They are certain that if their hooves get wet, it will be difficult for them to walk and climb icy mountains.
Another idea about their dislike of water is that by staying dry, they will be less likely to get parasites that can potentially infect their hooves.
How To Teach Your Goats To Swim?
If you want to teach your goats to swim, first you need to earn their trust, which is not easy at all. After you have gained their trust, you can help them get familiar with the water and overcome their aversion to water.
The most effective way to do this is to help them get exposed to water early in their life as in this phase baby goats are quite inquisitive and they will not hesitate to get down to the water.
That’s being said, you should not expect them to jump into the water immediately.
Once they know that swim is within their ability, they will love it.
However, you always need to guarantee the goats’ safety by tying a rope around them. When things get out of hand, they can be pulled out immediately. Also, you should not expect them to be able to swim on their first attempt.
Avoid Making Your Goats Wet!
As we mentioned above, goats hate getting wet, therefore you should avoid making them wet. There are many potential diseases that goats can get if they swim in rivers or ponds.
For instance, goats will be more sensitive to footrot and other fungal diseases on their skin. Also, they can get lung diseases such as pneumonia if they get wet in humid weather. Moreover, many goat parasites live in water and they might enter the goats’ bodies.
As a result, you should not bathe your goats if it is not necessary, especially in cold weather. If you want to clean your goats, just use a towel to wipe the goats and blanket them until they are completely dry.
In short, goats can swim. It is not impossible to see a goat swimming as this is simply the natural instinct of goats. However, domesticated goats are not fond of getting wet, but you can slowly change their water aversion and teach them to swim.