Have you ever wondered how well a goat would fare in water? Considering how disenchanted goats are with water and getting wet, would a submerged goat drown? Are goats excellent swimmers?
Goats can swim, although they would prefer not to. Goats will make a determined effort to avoid water, but a goat will swim when it becomes a matter of necessity. Goats have been known to swim long distances in search of vegetation for grazing. However, domesticated goats may not excel at swimming as wild goats, given the latter are better survivors and are more exposed to water bodies in their natural habitats.
To more authoritatively answer the question “are goats good swimmers”, we will examine how fond goats are of water. Do they like to swim? How do goat breeds like the Nigerian dwarf, mountain, and fainting goat fare in water? Can you teach a goat how to swim?
Do Goats Know How to Swim?
We can’t say goats have that inbuilt mastery of swimming like dolphins, but goats can propel themselves through water. Leveraging their hooves, goats can mimic a paddling experience, pushing them through water.
Swimming is an intrinsic survivor capacity the goat retains despite being domesticated. A goat thrown into water will not drown immediately.
Goats in the wild have been recorded to swim extended distances through islands, searching for grass to graze. When aquatic migration (movement through water) becomes necessary for survival – either searching for forage or escaping from a predator – a goat will swim through water.
Do Goats Like to Swim?
As we have established, goats can swim, but it is not something they would do for entertainment. There is no love lost between goat and water. There are few things goats hate more intensely than getting wet.
Goats dramatically become uncomfortable once you sprinkle water on them. Particularly, the dairy goat would resist – violently, if mandatory – water touching its feet.
A part of this disenchantment with water can be traced to goats being easily prone to hypothermia upon prolonged submersion in water.
Some researchers have pointed to the goat’s inherent strive for self-preservation as behind its disinterest in swimming. Such preservation is seen in goats doing their best to prevent wet spots. These wet spots in the goat’s hooves can foot rot.
Can Dwarf, Fainting, and Mountain Goats Swim?
Essentially, all goats breed can swim – be it the Nigerian Dwarf, fainting, or mountain goat. However, their swimming expertise may vary across the board, especially as determined by their habitat and upbringing.
The chances of a goat that has spent all its life in captivity having to swim through water bodies are slim. Accordingly, it may not be adept at swimming as a wild goat that for long had to navigate water either in the search for improved forage, breeding, or favorable geographical conditions.
Also, considering that swimming – especially through long distances – can be physically exerting, domesticated goats may not have the physical resilience as wild goats.
It is no secret that wild goats are often physically fitter than domesticated goats, making the former more athletically equal to the physical demands of swimming.
Regardless, just any goat breed will be able to muster its way through water briefly, provided they wouldn’t have to swim long distances.
Can Baby Goats Swim?
Physically, a baby goat (kid) can swim. Biologically, baby goats are least suited to swimming. This is given their proneness to hypothermia when they interact with water for long. This is typical of when the baby goat is submerged.
The thing is, being baby goats, these little caprine’s immunity is yet fledgling and still need some pampering. Let us assume by accident your kid falls into water, immediately pull them out and dry the moisture off them.
To reduce the chances of suffering hypothermia, it would help dishing your goat hot fluid; even hot water would do if enhanced with blackstrap molasses.
This therapy would supply the kid much-needed minerals and calories while raising their temperatures which could have dropped from being in water.
How Fast Can Goats Swim?
On land, a goat’s speed can go as high as 10mph. However, that rate massively drops when they have to swim. Goats wade through water, propelling themselves with their hoofs at much lower speeds.
Can You Teach a Goat to Swim?
Fundamentally, you can’t “teach” goats how to swim since they have that capacity inbuilt. However, you can enhance a goat’s swimming capacity by helping the goat beat its characteristic discomfort with water (as goats are known to be fanatic about keeping dry).
You can’t get a goat to feel comfortable in water if it doesn’t trust you in the first place. Goats know they are more vulnerable in water and would only willingly place themselves in such a handicapped situation if they have your full confidence.
While some goats will readily acquaint with water, some goats will resist water for longer. The latter category will require more perseverance as you can never force a goat to like water.
Admittedly, it is easier to get a goat more comfortable swimming if you have exposed it to water at a younger age. This is leveraging in the heightened curiosity younger goats have compared to older ones less interested in learning new tricks (or trying new expeditions).
However, you can strategically deploy treats to get older goats to fancy swimming. This reward mechanism will give them stronger motivation to step into the water and get wet.
Nonetheless, safety is of the essence during the goat’s early swimming days. It is advisable to tie a rope around the goat as you introduce them to swimming.
As we all know, swimming is not an entirely risk-free voyage. Drowning, suffocation, extreme cold are possibilities when in water, aren’t they?
Therefore, it makes sense to be able to readily pull your goat out of water when unforeseen emergencies emerge. The rope you tie around them may end up being a lifesaver.
Also, be watchful of the hygienic conditions of the water bodies your goat swims in. Swimming in dirty ponds and rivers will increase your goat’s susceptibility to fungal diseases, especially on its skin. Also, the significant parasite content of such water bodies may eventually harm your goat.
Can Goats Swim in a Pool?
Yes, goats can swim in pools. But only if you have gotten them comfortable with water and being wet. Take note that your domesticated goat cannot swim in your pool as long as you would.
Domesticated goats are not the fittest. Such reduced agility means lesser stamina and consequently lesser available energy for propelling sustainably in water.
Even if your goat appears to have grown a penchant for swimming, it is not advisable to leave your goat in the pool all by itself.
Are Wild Goats Able to Swim in the Ocean?
Wild goats are rugged and can swim through large water bodies if the need so appears inevitable. There have been several reported cases where goats swam across seas to secure more conducive living conditions and populate more nourishing islands.