Chickens Living with Goats
Can chickens live with goats? Yes they can but there are pros and cons to consider.
When it comes to raising backyard livestock, two of the most popular options are chickens and goats. Goats will bond and protect chickens because they are very social animals. Chickens and goats coexisting together on your ranch is beneficial. It is recommended that chickens and goats have their own sleeping and eating areas. Chicken feed needs to be kept in the chicken coop away from goats and both should have separate freshwater containers. Goats require lots of clean water to produce milk. A chicken roosting on your goats’ water container and pooping in it is not a good idea. In bad weather, chickens will huddle together in their coop to keep warm. Goats will huddle in their goat pen to keep warm too.
Three common diseases are coccidiosis, Salmonella bacteria and Cryptosporidiosis.
Chickens and goats are susceptible to coccidiosis, a protozoa host specific disease. Because it is host specific, chickens cannot pass coccidiosis to goats and vice versa.
- Salmonella Bacteria
Salmonella lives in chickens intestines and excreted in chicken droppings. A doe’s udder can get dirty therefore, as a result, spread salmonella to a nursing baby.
Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by the protozoa (phylum Apicomplexa). The parasites infect the respiratory tract and can cause diarrhea. Crypto is not host specific, in other words chickens can infect goats and vice versa. Crypto can be fatal to goat kids too.
Chickens and goats love to roam and forage. Chickens are the happy clean up crew in the goat pen and they keep the grazing area in check from parasites.
Most often, goats will poop and pee right where they bed down at. Chickens will keep the flies and other annoying insect populations from getting out of hand. They are great to have roam around in the goat grazing area because they will eat the deer worm parasite and slugs too. A great benefit for goats!
Chickens Living with Goats: Chickens Need a Coop
Trisha, Kimberlite Ranch Queen, collects chicken eggs daily.
As much as chickens enjoy hanging out with goats, it is important they have their own home they can roost in and lay eggs. Although it can be fun having an egg hunt every day, it is best to have the coop to collect the eggs from one spot. However, chickens may find certain nest areas on your farm where they feel safe to lay eggs. At Kimberlite Ranch, our chickens have a nest under a goat feeder and another nest under bushes close to our house. Most of our eggs are found in our cute chicken house.
Goats Help Keep Chickens Safe
Chickens living with goats are much safer than being on their own roaming around on a ranch. Kimberlite ranch sits in a valley with big mountains where many predators reside. Because our chickens hang out with our goats and our Anatolian Shepherd, they are safe during the day and night.
Be sure to check out 3 Things New Goat Owners Must Know.
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