Sheep as a horse companion

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by sassy_mare, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    323
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    I've got 2 horses and my mare gets extremely upset when I take the gelding out for riding. I was thinking about getting a sheep/goat as a companion. Here are my concerns:

    I have 3-strand electrobraid fencing and woven wire perimeter along the road (only 1 side of property).

    I only have 2 stalls so the sheep would have to share w/ horse on the cold winter nights (not stalled all the time)

    I have no sheep/goat experience - is there any diseases that can be passed back and forth?

    My significant will KILL me if he ever finds goat prints on his truck!

    What can you tell me about keeping these critters as companions?

    Thanks!
    Sheri
     
  2. Ranchermom

    Ranchermom Sam at the Pecan Ranch

    Messages:
    218
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Location:
    South Texas
    Sorry I dont have much advise but the topic had me smile cause I recently watched with my daughter Black Beauty and in one scene they put a sheep/goat in the stall to calm Beauty and the goat/sheep went flying out it was funny. Poor animal.

    I have sheep barbado they are not tame though and are skittish I wouldnt recommend them. We got rid of our goats cause they would take turns throwing the sheep into the electric fence to see if it was working. Smart but then they would get their heads stuck in the fence for hours till I rescued them.

    If I ever get another goat it would be with no horns for sure and I would be able to milk her. Good luck on your companion quest. Maybe a minature donkey?

    Sam
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,086
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    We keep our horses with the sheep on occasion. they get along fine. I agree stalling them together might not work, it'd depend on the horse though.
     
  4. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    Messages:
    8,280
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    Now in Virginia
    One thing no one has brought up. Is Sheep can't have the level of Copper that horses need. This can cause you problems in feeding grain and keeping Mineral and salt blocks for the horse.
     
  5. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    I wouldn't recommend it. Your horse will get very excited when seperated and will probably stomp the sheep/goat. I would get a small donkey or pony. If your horses have never been around sheep before they can sometimes hurt or even kill sheep unless closely attended for several days. I don't think they are really going to see them as a companion either. Plus they do have different nutrional requirements although I do give my sheep horse mineral blocks since there are no sheep mineral blocks sold in this entire county.
     
  6. eieiomom

    eieiomom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,391
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    We have had sheep in with our horses for the past 13 years.
    They did fine together except when we would take our mare out without our gelding and he would throw a similar tantrum.
    In our experience, even though they kept each other in good company, it didn't solve that same problem you are also experiencing.
    They were always kept outside, in the pasture with access to a lean too shelter, so the sheep could have room to be out of the way. I would not recommend keeping them together, confined in a barn or a stall.
    I dealt with the feeding by locking the sheep out when we fed our old mare grain, not only for the sake of the sheep not eating the feed, but also to try and keep the fleeces cleaner since the sheep like to clean up crumbs that were dropped while the horse was still eating.
    Our rams would also seem to find a way to climb up and reach the bucket, no matter how high it was tied.
    We feed the sheep mineral in a sheep and goat block which was fine for the horses along with a salt block which was used by the horses.