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Why Is My Goat Not Drinking Water? (And How to Help)

Why Is My Goat Not Drinking Water? (And How to Help)

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you’re taking care of goats on your property, then it’s going to be important to take care of them the best that you can. The goats rely on you for everything that they need and you’re going to have to pay attention to them to ensure that things are going fine.

Goats aren’t that hard to take care of overall, but it’s still important to be proactive as the owner. Whether you’re keeping goats as pets or you’re raising them in a farm setting, you’re going to want to get the best results.

If you’ve noticed that one of your goats isn’t drinking water normally, then that’s certainly a reason to worry. The goat needs water to be able to survive and there has to be a reason why it isn’t drinking.

What would cause a goat to stop drinking water? Read on to learn more about this so that you can figure out how to help the goat stay in good health if at all possible.

Goats Require a Lot of Water Each Day

Two Young White Goats Drinking From a Water Trough

All living things need water in order to live and goats are no exception. In fact, goats need to have a fairly large amount of water each day to thrive.

A healthy goat should be drinking between one and three gallons of water daily. When you compare this to humans who only need around half a gallon of water daily, it’s easy to see why paying attention to water intake matters.

Goats are going to require more water depending on what they’re doing. For example, a pregnant goat is going to need a lot more water than usual to be able to keep going.

A pregnant goat might need around four gallons of water in a day. You always have to ensure that your goats are getting the water that they need no matter what.

Goats can be finicky about drinking water sometimes, though. This is especially true if you’re not providing them with fresh water often enough.

Goats Need Fresh, Untainted Water

You probably already know this, but it’s important to give your goats fresh water each day. It can be a bit of a hassle to get the water to your goats sometimes, but it’s important that you do so.

Some people get a bit lazy about giving their goats water and they think that goats will drink the water that’s in their buckets or troughs so long as some water is in there. This is not always going to be the case.

Goats are very smart and they aren’t going to drink tainted water. They are able to tell when water isn’t safe to drink any longer for the most part.

Sometimes water can get dirty due to being exposed to certain things. For example, when water sources are exposed to urine or feces, the water won’t be safe to drink.

There are people who have their goats drink from natural bodies of water such as ponds. This is fine, but you’d need to actively keep an eye on the pond to ensure that the water is safe to drink.

It’s easy for ponds and other natural bodies of water to become toxic due to exposure to certain things. That being said, most people choose to give water that comes from their taps to their goats.

You’re just going to need to remember to change the water out every so often. Each day, you should be providing the goats with fresh water.

It’s also going to be prudent to clean out the buckets or other containers that you’re using to hold the water. You want the goats to have the freshest and most pleasant water possible so that they will want to drink it.

Using a Hose Makes it Easy to Get Fresh Water to the Goats Each Day

Using a hose is going to make it easy to get fresh water to your goats each day. Often, goats won’t drink water simply because they don’t like the water that you’re giving them.

Making more of an effort to provide the goats with fresh and clean water might do the trick. Each morning, you should go to the barn or wherever you’re keeping your goats to give them fresh water from the hose.

Ensure that the goats have more than they need. Some people change out the water multiple times per day to keep it as fresh as possible.

Add Apple Cider Vinegar to the Water

Pouring Apple Cider Vinegar Over a Spoon

What if the goat is just being picky or if it’s not drinking the water for some other reason? Well, it’s possible to make the water more enticing to the goat so that it will drink more of it.

Adding a bit of apple cider vinegar to the water will make the goats want it that much more. You can add approximately one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to each gallon of water.

This is a good way to coax goats that aren’t drinking enough water into drinking water more often. Your goats will really like this and it’s safe to do.

Sweetening the Water with Molasses Is Also Possible

Another idea that isn’t too far off from the one above involves sweetening the water with molasses. Adding some molasses to the water should make it sweeter and more appealing to your goats.

This isn’t something you’ll likely want to do all the time, but it can help when you have a sick goat that doesn’t want to drink water. Sweetening the water a bit should make a goat want to drink even more water than normal.

You can use this to your advantage when you notice that one or more of your goats are having water intake issues. If you don’t want to sweeten the water for all of the goats, then you could take just the goat that is having issues off by itself to give it some sweetened water.

Ensure That the Water Is Cool

Did you know that goats vastly prefer cool water? A goat is less likely to drink warm water than cool water.

It might be necessary to go around and give the goats water more often if it’s very hot outside. The water in the buckets might get hot too fast and the goats won’t want to drink it.

Yes, this has the potential to be annoying, but you probably don’t like drinking hot water either. You might be able to get the goats to drink the amount of water that they should just by stopping by more often to ensure that they have cool water.

Have Multiple Buckets for Your Goats

Three White Goats Fighting Over a Bucket of Water in the Farmyard

You might not have thought of this, but some goats might stop drinking water because they’re tired of competing for it. If you have multiple goats, then they might all be fighting over only a couple of buckets of water.

Sometimes goat owners don’t realize that they should have more buckets so that the goats don’t have to compete for the water. If water is easy to access and there are multiple buckets with water to choose from, then it won’t be a problem.

It’s also going to be best to have buckets of water that are sized differently. Kids are going to be more likely to need smaller buckets of water that they can easily access.

If you take things such as this into account, then you’re going to have a much better experience. It should help your goats to drink more water and you won’t have to worry quite so much.

Have Veterinarians Help Sick Goats

There are situations where sick goats won’t drink water as much as they should. If you suspect that one of your goats is sick, then it’s best to call a veterinarian.

You can certainly look out for signs that a goat might be sick or hurt. A goat might appear sluggish or could have other symptoms that will show you that something is off.

It isn’t wise to wait too long to contact a veterinarian because you want to ensure that the goat is taken care of. If something is amiss, then a veterinarian will be able to figure that out for you.

Addressing the health problems that the goat is having might help the goat to get back to normal. It could start drinking water normally again if it’s able to receive treatment for whatever is wrong.

Just know that it’s up to you as the goat owner to pay attention to things like this. If your goat seems sick, then it’s always best to err on the side of caution and contact a veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

You now know that there are ways to make goats drink more water. If your goats haven’t been drinking as much water as they should, then you should be able to use the advice above to turn things around.

If your goat appears to be sick, then you need to contact a veterinarian to figure things out. Otherwise, it should be possible to help the goats by making the water more appealing.

Sometimes all you need to do is change the water out more often to ensure that it’s fresh and cool. Make the necessary changes and your goats will be able to stay happy and healthy.

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