Goats are often chosen as ideal animals to live on farms because they are resilient and relatively easy to care for.
Goats have been reported to thrive in most types of weather. But it is important to know which living conditions (including weather) will keep your goats healthy.
Do goats like rain? Most goats do not like rain. Some goats will not react to rain, or they may learn to endure it and continue grazing. But most types of goats will head straight for shelter right away as soon as the sky first turns cloudy.
This is a normal behavior since their instinct is telling them a storm is coming, seeking shelter. Many animals will reach this way depending on the weather condition or environment.
But it can be a great idea to give them the option to choose whether or not they want to be in the rain.
Can Goats Stay Out in the Rain?
Healthy goats can safely be left in the rain if they choose to stay there. Goats will sometimes keep on grazing in the rain.
Their digestive systems will not usually be affected by rainy weather. It would even be safe to leave goats outside in the rain overnight.
However, it is important to provide them with a safe, dry place to get out of the rain.Their shelter will need to have an elevated, slatted dry floor and to be wide enough for the goats to lie down comfortably.
The shelter must also be covered by a strong roof. The shelter also needs to be big enough for all your goats, because goats like to stay together. This means that when goat heads for shelter, the whole herd may follow them to the shelter.
Can a Goat Get Sick from Rain?
When goats are left in the rain – especially during colder temperatures – the biggest risk to their health is would be the risk for hypothermia (low body temperature)
Baby goats (called kids) are much more at a greater risk of getting sick from the rain, especially on colder days.
The younger the goat is; the more at risk it will be in; to get sick. A baby goat needs time for its immune system to fully develop.
When one of your goats is giving birth, you should be sure there is a dry, covered birthing stall available to shelter the mother goat and her brand new kid.
Pregnant goats are also at greater risk of getting sick from the cold. Pregnant goats are more likely to get an infection, so staying out in the rain can leave them at a higher risk of getting sick.
You should take the precaution of keeping a pregnant goat inside a shelter or barn during rainy weather.
Older goats, or goats who are already sick with worms or an infection, should be kept indoors during periods of rain. Since these goats are already ill, they are at a greater risk of getting sicker from the rain.
All goats are far more susceptible to parasites and worms during rainy weather. This is because those organisms live on the blades of grass and in the puddles of water near the grass. This will cause the goats to eat the worms and parasites.
You should plan to give your goats deworming medication at least once a month to remove any worms and parasites.
Goats are also at risk for bloating when they are in the rain. Feeding them baking soda during rainy weather will help to relieve this condition.
Another risk during rain is their safety: if a goat is walking on a slick surface, they could fall and damage one of their hooves. If a goat falls and is not rescued, it can be at risk of attack by predators.
If you remain concerned about your goats’ condition due to a rainstorm, it is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian.
Do Goats Hate Being Wet?
Goats don’t like the feeling of having wet fur. It gives them an uncomfortable sensation. Goats tend to avoid water and mud puddles.
Because the fur of goats is thick, it will take a long time to dry. When their fur retains wetness, this can lead to fungus growth or skin irritations.
This may discourage the goat from eating and make them irritable. If there is rain in the forecast, you might consider moving their feeder indoors so they can continue eating as they please.
This is a good way to have fewer worries about your goats during rainstorms.
Can Goats Die from Rain?
Goats that become ill from the rain can develop severe lung infections. If those infections progress, the goat could die.
It is unfortunately common for young goats who experience a combination of cold wind and rain or even snow to become sick enough from a respiratory infection for them to die.
Another potentially fatal condition is hypothermia. If a goat gets and stays too cold, its body systems will fail and it could die. It is very important for your goats to retain a warm body temperature.
Making sure your goats have enough healthy body fat will protect them from developing hypothermia.
This body fat layer will serve as insulation and prevent the goat from remaining cold. It will also help them be strong enough to fight an infection if they develop one.
Under normal circumstances, healthy goats should not be at risk of dying due to exposure to the rain. But in a natural disaster, if the rain lasts for a full day, and the goats remain outside under those conditions, even a healthy goat could get sick enough to die.
Conclusion: Do Goats Like Rain?
Although some goats don’t mind the rain and will safely continue to graze even during the rain, most goats do not like the rain and will head for shelter as soon as the rain begins. To keep your goats healthy, and to avoid potential diseases caused by rain, it is important to provide them with safe shelter and to monitor them for diseases.
But do give them the freedom to decide whether or not they’ll like to stay on the rain as each goat has its personality.