The behavior of Goats 2023: The Reasons They Stomp, Bite, Headbutt, and Act Out

Goats are entertaining creatures to own and grow, but occasionally their peculiar, even undesirable behavior, can be aggravating. You could occasionally find yourself perplexed as to why goats behave in such a wild and sometimes odd manner.

All goats eventually engage in actions such as pawing, stomping, biting, headbutting, and acting out. These frequently inappropriate activities are mostly merely a means of expression, but they can also be an indication that something is off. While certain goat behaviors can be changed, others are innocent natural occurrences.

Knowing the causes of goat behavior and characteristics for recognizing any warning indications of discomfort. Knowing more about goat behavior will make it easier for you to determine which behaviors can be fixed, which ones cannot, and which ones require further research.


Multiple factors can cause goats to paw. They occasionally scratch the ground, the feeding trough, or other objects around the farm.

To create a cozy, cool location to lay, goats frequently paw the ground. To let you know they are hungry or thirsty, they will paw at the bowl of food or water pail. Because they are uncomfortable and getting close to the conclusion of their pregnancy, pregnant does will occasionally paw.

How to deal with persistent pawing?

1. Let it go

You can let your goats paw at objects as long as they are not injuring anything. They discover whether something is breakable, mobile, or capable of supporting their weight if they leap on it in this manner.

2. Eliminate unnecessary things

You can remove anything from their pen or enclosure that is being repeatedly pawed at and is either unnecessary or something you value to stop additional damage or pawing.

3. Look for wounds

Check the goat to make sure nothing is wrong if it is pawing including one leg more than the other. The goat might require medical treatment to resolve the problem.

Stomping. When they notice something odd, goats stomp. It serves as a dominance cue and tells other goats or creatures to back off.

It’s highly likely that they are being bitten by an ant or, worse yet, by lice! They stomp to relieve the itch or agony from the bites’ discomfort. Because of the discomfort, they are experiencing, bloated goats also stomp the ground.

How to handle stomping?

1. Keep animals apart

Consider transferring the dog or other creature that can be moved away from the goats if it is alarming or frightening them.

2. Examine their health

Examine them for symptoms of parasite infection or bloat if they are stomping and appear to be in pain. Keep an eye out for nausea, despair, and obvious fatigue.

3. Set aside

Do not panic if a goat starts stomping on other goats. Simply put, that is how they speak to one another. Simply advising the other goats to stay away, experts say.


While not all goat bite, some do it as a means of communication. Although they may just be having fun, they frequently express their annoyance or are merely attempting to catch the attention of another goat.

When they do bite, it usually does not injure the victim since they have front teeth just on the bottom of their mouth. Only when they can move the item they are biting to the back of their mouth, where their molars can actually cause some serious harm, does it hurt.

How to handle biting?

1. Separate the biting goat

Typically, biting, or more specifically, their nibbling does not result in a problem. You try to shift the goat to a separate pen or paddock, away from the rest of the herd or the goat they are biting, if it does become a problem.

2. Spray them with water!

When a goat tries to bite you, some goat owners suggest carrying a spray bottle full of water and splashing it. Some people advise utilizing a squirt gun. In either case, make it clear to the goat that you disapprove of its inappropriate behavior!


To assert their position in the herd, goats will headbutt one another. If there are multiple bucks in a herd, one among them will eventually take dominance. The dominant buck will eventually need to headbutt younger goats in order to keep his position as the herd’s leader. The dominating male will be whichever buck shows no signs of giving up.

How can one stop headbutting?

1. Divide the bucks into groups

The adage “there are too many roosters in the hen house” may seem familiar to you. Goat bucks are subject to the same regulations. Keeping the bucks apart in your herd is the best method to prevent headbutting. In order to gain dominance, headbutting will increase as more bucks get together.

2. Unless needed, keep other animals away from the troublesome goats

Consider removing the dog or other pet from the goat herd if a goat is headbutting them in order to stop this from happening again. When you approach the goats’ enclosure, always keep your guard dog with you in case you need to be protected.

3. Get their attention elsewhere or leave the ring

Simply ignore any headbutt attempts from goats and don’t acknowledge, applaud, or involve them in conflict. Before they even try, try to divert their focus and end the headbutting. If you can, try to stay out of the enclosure with them.

4. Use water to mist them!

Again, water is subjected to the same law. When you can, keep the goats away from you or stop them from headbutting one another by using a spray bottle, squirt gun, or hose. Maintain a safe distance whenever two goats are fighting, and squirt water from beyond the fence if necessary.

Jumping on you

Some goats develop the undesirable habit of jumping up upon people and putting their front paws on their chests. We frequently view this behavior in young pets as attractive and endearing.

Although goats often exhibit unusual habits and behaviors, this is occasionally merely a characteristic of the species. While some ostensibly harmful actions can be stopped or discouraged, there are those that cannot be changed. A new behavior should never be mistaken for a harmful habit, either. Pay great attention to your goats and their behavior, and before assuming a behavior is normal, check out any illnesses or injuries.


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