Rats are a frustrating pest: they eat other animals’ feed, disturb habitats, and destroy property.
Because they reproduce very quickly in ideal environments, rats can quickly go from a non-issue to an infestation.
That’s why it’s important to consider whether something you’re adding to your yard or farm may be attractive to rats.
Goats usually have a neutral relationship with rats since a goat’s habitat may attract rats but goats usually destroy a rat’s natural habitat.
Can goats eat rats?
No, goats don’t eat other animals no matter how small.
Goats are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants and vegetation, not meat.
However, rats have been known to eat almost anything.
Rats are hardy animals and will even eat trash if the opportunity arises.
Rats have also been known to eat meat, although only after the animal has died.
You shouldn’t have any issues with rats bothering your goats though, since rats usually avoid larger animals.
Can goats help in rodent control?
Keeping goats can go a long in way fighting an existing rodent infestation.
Rats and other rodents seek shelter and food in areas with lots of plants and foliage covering the ground.
Their natural predators such as birds and snakes find it difficult to navigate these areas, giving rodents a perfect hiding place.
Goats love eating small shrubs and bushes where rats and other rodents like to live, removing their shelter and chasing them away.
Many cities and areas with a rat problem have found unexpected success using goats for rodent habitat control.
The more open your fields are, the better. Rats rarely run across open fields with no cover unless they are desperate.
Keeping your area clear and free from unnecessary bushes will go a long way in fighting rodent infestations.
If you’re looking for an animal that hunts rats, you should get a barn cat or a small dog.
Barn cats that have rats as their only food source will quickly clear a rat colony.
Small dogs that are good at hunting rats will get rid of rats even faster since they hunt to kill and not for food.
What attracts rats?
Even though goats can be a great solution to a rodent problem, some things related to keeping goats will still attract rats, especially in a farm context.
Rats are known for destroying property, especially wooden structures.
They can make their way into a building’s foundation and gnaw away at it for a long time without any visible effect from the outside.
It’s important to get pest control involved the moment you see a rat or any signs of a rat infestation since it can have devastating effects.
Rats also carry many harmful diseases because of their lifestyle.
They will eat infected and rotten animal carcasses and even trash from their dark, damp homes.
Do goats attract flies (or other pests)?
Like any other farm animals (or even some domestic animals), goats will attract some flies.
Flies like manure, food, and animals that can’t protect themselves so well from pests.
Goats aren’t more or less attractive to flies compared to other small farm animals.
Goats can scratch themselves with their legs and wave their tails to chase flies away, but flies usually find a way to land on goats.
After they land, flies like to puncture or slash the animal’s skin and then suck up blood.
The most common pest infestation that specifically targets goats is intestinal worms.
This pest is hard to spot until it has had a significant impact on the goat.
It’s a good idea to deworm your goats often to get rid of this pest since it’s almost guaranteed that they will be infested if they forage in the wild.
Do goats stink a lot?
Goats are known for stinking quite a lot, but this is only a seasonal smell.
During the breeding season, bucks (male goats) will let off a pungent odor that serves to mark their territory and attract potential mates.
They rub their urine with this odor everywhere they can and even urinate on themselves to let it be known far and wide that they’re ready to reproduce.
This odor is so strong that it can seep into a goat’s meat and milk (including other nearby goats), so it’s best to keep bucks separate during the breeding season if you’re not breeding them.
Goats don’t smell strongly at all outside this time.
Are goats dirty animals?
No. Goats are very clean animals and don’t like getting dirty.
They will avoid situations that will make them muddy or otherwise filthy.
Goats also don’t like getting wet and will avoid dipping in water.
If they get dirty, they’ll try to lick themselves clean.
While many people may picture goats as filthy animals similar to pigs, goats are more like cats that lick themselves clean and don’t like getting wet.
Your goat habitat may attract rats, but that’s only due to food, bedding, and shelter.
Goats may even help solve your rodent problems.