Goats are mammals you can find in African, European, Eurasian, and Asian countries. They are herbivores that depend primarily on leaves and grass but will also eat fruits. Their skin is covered with fine fur, and they come in varieties of colors, including white, black, brown, and tan.
Goats can live for about ten to fifteen years, and they weigh about 55 to 77 kilograms (120 – 170Ibs). You can find them in mountains and dry woodlands. But what animals eat goats?
Here’s a highlight of some animals that eat goats. This insightful piece is a must-read whether you are a rancher raising them in the wild for milk and meat or just own a pet goat or two.
What Animals Eat Goats?
Carnivores and omnivores are the two categories of animals that would naturally see goats as the next meal anytime they find a herd. The following animals are flesh-eating predators that would feast on your goats anytime:
Bobcats, also known as Red Lynx, are nocturnal animals native to North America. They are always active at night like other feline family members, but they enjoy hunting both day and night.
They are famous for creating problems for livestock owners because they eat goats. Like many other felines, they will always play with your goats to subdue them before dealing the fatal blow. A typical bobcat will stalk your goat for a while and then ambush it within a short distance to deliver the fatal blow. Bobcats like to hunt bigger prey they can kill and come back to eat, especially when food is scarce.
One of the top predators of goats on the food chain is the coyotes. They are a common goat predator. Many livestock farmers continue to lose sleep as they try to deal with coyotes attacking their goats at night. Coyotes are typically nocturnal, and they actively hunt at night.
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Mountain lions are bigger than bobcats and would easily capture and tear a goat apart for lunch. They are so dangerous that one of them is enough to wipe out an entire herd of goats and turn your farm into a horror movie scene when extremely hungry.
Foxes usually go for the smaller animals like chickens and other baby animals. Note that your baby goat is more susceptible to being a fox’s prey than its larger counterpart.
They pose a significant risk to your goat, especially during the kidding season. Usually, foxes will go for the kids since they aren’t strong enough to fight off a mature fox. But it would be best to also protect the new mother as she is still in a weak and vulnerable state from the pregnancy and the child-birth.
While many other predators will not hunt unless they are hungry, foxes are different. They will hunt and kill for sport. So, your goat is still at risk even with the abundance of other food sources.
One bear is large enough to wipe out a herd of goats, and there is little you can do when the craze massacre begins. Bears kill goats and other prey by biting the neck and slapping their prey with their big front paws.
For smaller farm animals like goats, bears will consume all of it except the larger bones, rumen, and some skin. They make a great meal for bears.
Stray dogs are another category of animals that can hurt your goats. Their strategy is to attack and injure the legs, hindquarters, tails, and ears. When the injury is overbearing, goats may be marred and scarred for life, or it could lead to death.
Compared to other animals that see goats as food, this case is slightly different. Stray dogs are crazy and looking for something to take it out on. And in many cases, they may eat part of the goat if they happen to be hungry.
Wolves prefer hunting larger animals, but they will turn to your goats if food sources become scarce. This is because goats are easy prey to wolves which they can subdue anytime.
Vultures are extremely dangerous predators. They are famous for attacking as a group to scavenge dead animals and other things. Sometimes, they kill their prey, and at other times, they eat the remains of another animal’s kill.
There are three different types of vultures in the United States. They are the black vulture, California condor, and turkey vulture. The typical criteria for scavenging for vultures are dead carcasses, but the same does not apply to the black vultures.
Black vultures are more aggressive compared to the turkey vulture and California condor. While turkey vultures and California condors mainly feed on the dead animal carcass, black vultures will kill live animals for food. Their main targets are usually small animals like lambs, goats, groundhogs, calves, etc.
Black vultures use their powerful hooked beak to peck their prey until they die. Then, they share the animal’s carcass with other vultures in the group.
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Eagles are prolific hunters with very deadly hunting skills. They are very fast predators, and their game is to fly away with the baby goats. They also hunt adult goats, but smaller goats are easier for eagles to hunt.
When a typical eagle spots a target, what it does is to come from behind and pick the goat by the horns. It then flies high and drops the goat from a very high altitude. It then flies down to pick its kill and heads home to share the meal.
Shocking as it may seem, owls are strictly carnivorous. They depend on flesh for survival. Rodents, rats, hares, and other small animals interest owls. They also like to hunt fish to balance things.
Since owls are nocturnal animals, you need to be careful and watchful at night if you happen to have some around your farm. This is because that’s when they hunt, and your baby goats or smaller goat breeds may become an owl’s dinner for the night.
The above is the typical list of goat predators to be careful of if you have goats. As a livestock farmer or a pet owner, knowing what animals eat goats will surely help you know how best to protect your goats from predators in your environment.
While some are less likely to come for your goats because they stay in the wild and depend on goats such as mountain goats, others will dare to come into your residence and your farm to kill a goat or two. It would be helpful to have some protective measures around.