Can Goats and Chickens Live Together?

When it comes to rearing livestock in the backyard, goats and chickens are the two most popular choices. They don’t take up too much space and are easy to care for while making for a useful and nutritious meal. But with limited space overall, you might be wondering if it’s okay to keep your chickens and goats together, or if it could cause some problems.

Goats and chickens would be fine, and putting them together would not result in attack or death; they can even become friends. But there are many other problems that can arise from keeping these two species together, which is why you need to give them separate spaces for sleeping and feeding, even if you allow them to graze together.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the specifications of raising goats and chickens together. If you do it right, everything can be harmonious. However, if done wrong, you may be wasting money and risking the health of your animal.

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Benefits of Raising Chickens and Goats Together

Before we go into specifics about how to keep goats and chickens in the same place, it’s important to understand why you would want to do such a thing in the first place. In fact, there are several reasons why you might want to try herding these species together.

  • Chickens eat parasites and insects that will be attracted to the goat’s coop, ensuring they don’t infect or irritate your goat.

  • Public! Sometimes, chickens and goats form close interspecies friendships.

  • Goats drop a lot of grain while eating. The food will go to waste, but the chickens will eat it off the ground, ensuring that there is less food residue overall.

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Concerns About Raising Goats With Chickens


Spreading disease between species is one of the most worrying factors to consider when planning to let your goats and chickens graze together. Some diseases can be shared between them, and some of them will even pass to humans.

Cryptosporidiosis, for example, is a parasite that can infect chickens, goats, and even you. Worst of all, it is often deadly to children, making this a real fear for families with goats and chickens.

Chickens are also carriers of salmonella. These bacteria live in the intestines of chickens and are found in chicken manure. If a goat lays eggs in chicken droppings, it can infect the goat’s udder with salmonella, which is potentially lethal to the young that feeds it.

If you plan to keep chickens and goats together, you must ensure that you are vigilant about keeping the area clean. If an animal appears sick, quarantine it quickly and seek immediate veterinary assistance.


There is a significant difference in size between chickens and goats. Goats also have tough hooves, and if your chickens don’t move their legs fast enough, they may be stepped on. Goats just don’t pay attention to where they’re going, so accidents like this happen a lot, although they’re not very serious. Luckily for your goats, chickens do not pose much of a threat to them.

Managing Food

Your chickens will probably do just fine if they get into your goat’s feed. Granted, goat feed will not be a suitable long-term feed for chickens because it does not contain the nutrients they need, but they will not get sick from eating a small amount of goat feed. The same is not true the other way around. Goats can become seriously ill from eating goat feed, which is why you should keep chicken feed out of your goat’s reach. In fact, when goats enter chicken feed, it is quite often fatal.

When it comes to food, your chickens can easily spoil your goat’s hay. Chickens aren’t very specific about where they poop, so don’t be surprised if your chickens poop on your goat’s hay. The goats won’t eat the hay anymore, so it’s just a waste. Be sure to lift the hay over to where your goat can eat it, but your chickens can’t damage it with their droppings.

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How to Keep Goats and Chickens on the Same Yard

There’s definitely a lot you need to be aware of when trying to raise goats and chickens, but that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged. Many people find great success allowing them to pasture together. You just want to make sure that you take some precautions.

Tell Them To Sleep Separately

Your chickens and goats should have separate sleeping areas. This way, your chickens can feel safe and protected. Your goats will also benefit as their sleeping space will remain free of chicken droppings, which is important for their health and well-being.

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Be Careful With Their Food!

You have to be careful when it comes to your pet’s food. If your goats get into chicken feed, it could mean disaster. Prevent this by making sure the entrance to the chicken coop where they are fed is too small for the goats to pass through. Similarly, feed the goat grain while the chickens are still in the coop in the morning or evening and lift the hay off the ground so the birds don’t damage it with their droppings.

Cleanliness Is Key

Many problems can arise if your animal’s condition is not kept clean and healthy. You don’t want to be dealing with a disease outbreak, as it can cause sick animals, people, and even death. Make sure you devote plenty of time to clearing the meadow and keeping it free of litter and clutter.

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Goats and chickens can be kept together, but you should take some extra precautions to ensure they are safe for everyone involved. Illness, injury, and problems with food are all possibilities that need to be taken into account. But if you take some reasonable steps to prevent this possibility, then your goats and chickens will get along well and may even benefit from each other in the long run.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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