The Real Reason Goats Drink Their Own Urine (Eww)

Ever catch your goat drinking their own urine or another goat’s urine? There are a few reasons for that.

Bucks drink their own urine as part of their rutting cycle to test their pheromones. They will also drink or smell a doe’s urine to see if she is ready to mate. Other times, goats drink their urine because they are lacking in salt and minerals that tastes similar to urine.

Let’s get into the details about why your goat is being so gross.

Bucks Being Bucks

Most experienced goat owners agree on one thing: don’t own bucks. If you do, own only one or two and keep them in a separate pen so they don’t cause problems with everything and everyone around them. Does and wethers aren’t as difficult to deal with, and they don’t have as many nasty tendencies as bucks do—especially during rutting season.

Bucks can and will find a way to urinate on everything, so it makes sense why they would also drink their own urine. They want the whole world to know their pheromones are primed for the ladies, so they will mark themselves and do a little taste testing to prep themselves.

When your buck curls his lip after tasting or smelling his urine as if he really likes his pee, it’s actually a reaction. Somebody likened it to when we breathe into our hand and then smell our breath to make sure it doesn’t stink. For bucks, the lip-curling is to test if he has all the right scents to attract the ladies.

Urinating Into Own Mouths

Bucks can be master maneuverers. They will bend around to drink straight from the tap to gauge their pheromone levels. When they can’t do that, they will lap up their urine from the ground for the same reason.

Although there is no reason for alarm when this happens, there is little you can do to stop bucks from doing what they do. They cannot be reasoned with, so you will have to put up with their tendencies if they’re on your farm for a purpose.

Urinating On Themselves

Like a cologne, bucks will spray themselves up with their urine to flaunt how cool and attractive they are. But if you’ve smelled them, then you know that they will stink to high heaven when they lather up. Beards, legs, and stomachs are some of the prime areas for a dousing.

You can attempt to shower them down, but know that they’ll probably respray urine on themselves because it’s their instinct to smell as bad as possible to attract partners. You will have to let them be or decide to castrate them and stop the stink.

Urinating On Does

Bucks are rude, and they want to make sure the does know that they’ve got what it takes to be their number one guy. To do this, they will try—and sometimes succeed—to urinate on the does. The girls may be into it, they may be not. Either way, you have more stinky goats on your hand.

If you’re breeding a goat herd, then this is just a price to pay. If not, why do you have bucks again? Why are you putting yourself through so much suffering?

Urinating On Everything

Bucks are indiscriminate, and they will make sure that everything smells like them, whether those smells are atrocious to you or not. Barn sidings, fence posts, straw, feeding troughs, you…nothing is safe. Especially if a buck has to compete with others, the contest to see who is best buck can overwhelm anybody’s olfactory senses.

Although things will calm down once rutting season is over, bucks will continually go through the process of urinating on whatever and whoever they desire year after year.

Does Drinking Urine

Okay, you say, but what if my goat isn’t a buck at all? What if they’re a doe and they’ve taken to drinking their own urine?

Does that drink their own urine can be doing it for the same reason as bucks, which is to check their pheromones during rutting season. Although does do not commonly drink urine, it may be to see whether or not they are ready for a mate.

It can also be to test their hormone levels to see if they have been impregnated. But if you have a doe who seems to drink her urine outside of rutting season or cannot be pregnant, there may be another reason why she is doing this.

Resemblance To Mineral Taste

Goats need salty minerals in their diet to keep them healthy and maintain a good weight. Like horses and cattle, you should have some sort of salt supplement or salt lick available for your goats.

A sign that your goat may be lacking in minerals is if they drink their own urine. Because of urine’s salty taste, it can bear a resemblance to the minerals they crave. Buck, doe, or wether, if they’re drinking their own urine or the urine of another goat with unusual frequency, it’s likely a sign that they require more minerals in their diet.

The level of minerals they need for their health can also depend on their age and weight. A goat that is larger and has the same amount of salt supplement as other goats may still be lacking. Even different climates can affect how much or little supplements they require.

In any case, you should always have salt licks or bags readily available to your goats. This way, they can eat what their bodies crave and keep away from urine, which cannot assist their diet like actual minerals can.

Champion’s Choice Trace Mineral Salts come in bag or block form, and they’re packed with cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, salt, zinc, and more to give your goat a rounded diet with the necessary minerals.

If you’ve looked over all these explanations and still can’t find an answer for the reason why your goat drinks urine, then consult your veterinarian to see if there are any underlying health problems.

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