Can Cows and Goats Live Together?

Livestock farming contributes significantly to the livelihoods of many small holder farmers, particularly in developing countries. As such, it has grown tremendously over the years resulting in the increased demand for resources. In order to efficiently manage resources, the agricultural community is aimed at finding out if cows and goats can live together peacefully. Results derived from these studies indicate remarkable findings. It is stated that both animal species get along quite fine, however there is concern regarding the spread of diseases. Farmers are therefore advised to keep goats and cows together only if they are knowledgeable about rearing different breeds on the same piece of land.

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Keeping Cows and Goats Together

A basic understanding of domestic animal behaviour and the relationship between cows and goats can contribute significantly to improved profitability and the success of the overall agricultural venture. Due to the continuous increase of animal husbandry costs, farmers are actively seeking for ways to cut down on financial investments while increasing profitability. As such, most farmers are considering whether cows and goats can live together as a means of increasing the amount of livestock on available land. This is aimed at increasing productivity thereby ensuring more profits. Experts state that cows and goats can live together and flourish. Goats are considered to be social animals that get along with most animal species including cows, sheep, horses and even donkeys. However, it is of the essence to note that although cows and goats can live together successfully, their living area should be tailored to suit both domestic species. While cows are generally considered to be docile and peaceful, goats are active species that love to climb, thus can escape in areas with poor fencing. As such, it is necessary to provide these domestic animals with a hilly area or boulders. Fencing can be used, provided it is strong enough to keep goats and cows inside the pen. Fencing is also helpful in protecting livestock from predators.

Grazing Cows and Goats Together

Cows and goats can live together as well as graze on the same piece of land. As a matter of fact, grazing goats and cows together is said to have a lot of benefits including the efficient use of resources. For this reason, it is becoming a common practise in the agricultural community.  According to various studies, grazing a pasture with more than one species of animal offers several advantages. For one thing, a mix of different dietary preferences and grazing behaviours results in greater plant utilization; that means heavier stocking rates and increased production from the same unit of land is made possible. As clearly indicated, goats and cows can graze together successfully for increased productivity as well as profits.

Stocking Density

Since cows and goats can live together without any strain on the availed resources, this practise is of the essence in allowing for improved stocking density. According to experts, stocking density is formally referred to as the number of livestock on a grazing area or unit at any one time. A study conducted at the Mountain Research Station over 4 grazing seasons indicate that grazing cows and goats together is an efficient way of increasing the overall amount of domestic animals on a limited unit area. The research recommends adding 1 to 2 does per head of beef cattle, depending on the amount of unwanted vegetation. This does not have any adverse effects on productivity. Note that if pasture is in short supply, goats will be at a disadvantage. In that case, it is advisable to move them to another pasture or into a woodlot. Ideally, paddocks should be used when grazing goats and cows together. This ensures availability of sufficient forage to sustain both species.

Can Cows Get Worms From Goats?

Another factor to keep in mind when considering whether cows and goats can live together is the impact on health. A serious concern among farmers is the spread of diseases across the herd which can result in enormous losses. That being said, it then becomes necessary to find out if goats and cows are prone to similar diseases and what can be done to prevent the spread of disease and infection.  According to research, there are some diseases that are only prevalent in specific species hence cannot be transferred to cows. Most gastrointestinal parasites from goats cannot survive in the stomach of cattle and vice versa. This means that cows and goats can live together in order to decrease internal parasite worm loads. This in turn limits the treatment administered to livestock which could slow resistance of parasites to convectional medication. However, cows and goats can be affected by the same disease as such vaccination should be carried out timeously. Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure that disease or infection manifestation is dealt with accordingly so as so prevent its spread. It is also advisable for farmers to possess some form of understanding on the prevalent diseases to both species as well as their symptoms. This allows for timely rectification hence maintaining productivity and profitability of the overall agricultural venture.

What Animals Can Live With Cows?

Typically, cows should be able to live well with other cows provided that they have enough space, food, water, and mineral access to control the need to compete. Experts state that cows and other sanctuary mammals such as goats, pigs, donkeys and horses can live harmoniously on the same pasture and do not tend to bother one another. Keeping cows with other animals is practised as a means of improving the usage of forages while controlling expenses of mowing and weed management. Studies indicate that cows and goats can live together or with other animals in order to increase the use of forage by over 20%. The multi-grazing system is therefore an excellent way of managing livestock dietary plans consisting of mostly forage while cutting costs spent in managing the forage. Cows can also be kept with animals that do not necessarily feed on forage. They can share an outdoor space with birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese provided that all species have their primary needs met.