How to Hold a Baby Goat Safely: Everything You Need to Know

In this article, we will teach you how to hold a baby goat safely and ensure that both the goat and the human are happy!

Goats only like to be held if they are being held in the correct way – since certain methods for holding goats could potentially harm them! With this thought in mind, today, we’re looking at how to hold a baby goat to ensure it feels comfortable and safe – and the potential benefits that holding your baby goats could have down the line.

Charlotte Riggs

A passionate owner and breeder of Boer Goats, Charlotte is ensconced in daily goat farm life at Himmon Boer Goats in the UK. A member of the British Boer Goat Society, she spends her spare time also involved with goats. You could say, and she would admit, she is somewhat obsessed!

Himmon Boer Goats – Dorset

Do Goats Like to be Held? 

Before we go any further, we need to clarify: do goats like to be held? Yes!

A friendly goat, in most cases, will often like to be held by humans. As such, if you have been looking to spend a little more time with your goats, holding them regularly could be an excellent way to reaffirm your bonds. 

However, not all goats like to be held. We’ll look at this a little more closely in later sections, but it’s worth remembering this. So, if you have attempted to pick up a baby goat and they don’t seem to like it, make sure to be considerate and kind to your baby goats feelings.

Why Do Baby Goats Like to Be Held? 

There are several reasons why baby goats like to be held. Generally speaking, baby goats like to be held as it allows them time to bond with their owner.

Many friendly goats enjoy the attention, and as a result of this, being held allows them direct contact with their owner. 

It’s safe to say that holding a baby goat can be a great way to increase their affectionate side. It also allows the one-on-one goat cuddles, compared to just cuddling them in a group when they may all be crowding for attention – not the best way to make friends with an individual animal.

How Do You Hold a Baby Goat Safely?

If you decide to hold your baby goat, it’s crucial to do so safely. Holding a baby goat puts you and the goat at risk, and while it might not seem like something that’s dangerous, you could do a lot of damage to one (or both) of you.

An important aspect of holding a goat is that when holding a goat kid, you should always be careful to keep it secured tightly to your chest

Never hold the goat kid underneath its throat, as this could cut its airways off; usually, in my experience, the most comfortable and secure position to hold a goat kid is with one arm under its hindquarters and one behind the shoulders.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Holding a Goat? 

Dangers of Holding a Baby Goat for the Person

The dangers you face while holding your baby goat largely depend on the kid’s characteristics.

A newborn goat kid, for example, will likely not be able to do any notable damage to you. 

For example, newborn goat kids are born with soft hooves and do not have horns at birth; as such, the only real damage physically a newborn goat kid can do to you is to bite.

Although, speaking from personal experience here, don’t underestimate a newborn goat kid – they can have very sharp teeth! 

Things become a little more dangerous if you’re trying to hold an older baby goat.

Breeds such as Boers, for example, can grow to 20kg / 40 pounds or more in a matter of months, and picking these kids up could begin to cause muscle strains and soreness if you’re not used to lifting (wriggly!) weights. 

In addition, you may notice horn buds starting to come through at a few weeks old if your kids aren’t disbudded. If the kid throws its head around, it can easily clobber you with these – again, personal experience! – and let me tell you, that’s not a pleasant experience.

There is also the risk of sharp hooves and even stronger biting when your kid gets a little older, so you should always consider this a potential risk.

However, regardless of the age of your goat kid, it’s always worth remembering that you can potentially get ill from the bacteria living on your goat kid.

As such, after holding a baby goat, always wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.

Dangers of Holding a Baby Goat for the Kid

It’s not just you who could be put in danger by holding a baby goat – the kid itself could also be at risk! There are two main risks associated with holding a baby goat:

  1. The kid may get sick if any bacteria or pathogens are on your clothes, especially if they begin nibbling your clothes!
  2. If your goat kid begins to wriggle, it’s easy to lose your grip on them and drop them. While goat kids are very nimble, a fall from a height can still hurt them. This is even more of a concern if the kid falls onto a hard floor, such as concrete or very dry soil. As such, when holding a goat kid, always take care to hold them securely. If they begin to wriggle, let them go carefully, so they don’t risk themselves.

How Can You Tell if a Goat is Enjoying Being Held by a Human or Not? 

If a goat doesn’t enjoy being held, don’t worry – they will let you know! Goat kids who don’t want to be held will wriggle a lot and try to escape, sometimes also crying out in fear or distress.

If you notice this with your goat kid, we strongly recommend letting them go immediately. A distressed goat is not only more prone to illness, but it’s also harder to hang onto.

If your goat kid does not enjoy being held, but you still want to get them used to the idea, start by making sure they are friendly first – this should always be on their terms.

Once they are happy coming over to you, you can then look at holding them close to you – but with them still standing on the floor for security. Only once the goat is comfortable with having your arms wrapped around it should you attempt to pick it up off the ground again.

Of course, if it still panics, let it go immediately.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve ever wondered, “do baby goats like to be held,” we hope today’s guide may have helped.

In many cases, baby goats love to be held – however, it’s important to understand how to hold a baby goat first. Indeed, baby goats can be wriggly little things, so holding them improperly could cause them to get injured or stressed.

In addition, it’s much easier for you to hold a baby goat properly. Luckily, with the right approach and support, this is pretty easy to pull off overall.

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