Why Friendly Goats Turn into Mean Goats?

Why friendly goats turn into mean goats? Why goats become aggressive suddenly? These are common questions some goat keepers ask. If you are also looking for information about why friendly goats turn into mean goats, then you are in the right place. Here we are trying to describe more about this.

Usually most of the goats are calm, friendly, social, lovely, energetic and playful in nature. Although there are some goat breeds too, which are rude and aggressive naturally. But their numbers are limited and most of the goats are friendly and well behaved in nature.

You may be surprised if you notice one or several goats in your flock have suddenly changed their friendly nature and turned into mean goats. They can start biting, kicking or other forms of aggression toward fellow goats and even humans.

What is Mean Goats

Before discussing more about why friendly goats turn into mean goats, let us explain what is ‘mean goats‘. Actually, a mean goat is a general goat in the flock which behave rude and become aggressive to other goats, or even towards the goat keeper.

Why Friendly Goats Turn into Mean Goats

There are many reasons of why friendly goats turn into mean goats. Sudden behavioral change can happen due to various reasons. Try to understand the source of the problem and solve it. Some reasons of why friendly goats turn into mean goats are described shortly below.

Age of your goats matters

Goats are hardy animal. They can survive for a long time. Generally in normal condition, a goat can survive for about 12 to 14 years. Their lifespan can vary depending on their raising purposes, whether you are using them for breeding and for how long.

Older goats in your flock need extra attention, affection and space. Goat’s immunity can lower with their age, and various health problems often creep in and that affect the goat’s good temperament.

Your goat may be startled or tentative when people (especially children) approach, if their sight and hearing is affected.

Never delay vaccinating your goats. Always vaccinate timely and perform regular health check. If possible, keep children away from an old goat for avoiding unnecessary confrontations.

If you notice too aggressive nature in your goats, place them in a separate pen and keep there for several days until they are suitable enough to rejoin the flock.


Never let your goats do everything whatever they wish and don’t allow them to think that ‘they are above you in the herd’s pecking order’.

The goats that head-butt, kick or bite are usually attempt to show their dominance with other animals, even with humans.

The adult goats with horns, that have learned head-butt, kicking or biting can do lots of harm and sometimes a severe injury can occur by them. For example, this type of goat can seriously injure a child.

Spent some time with your goats when they are babies and try to make them well behaved.

mean goat, aggressive goats, goats behavior, why friendly goats turn into mean goats, mean goats

If you notice a goat is continuously trying to show it’s dominance, then separate it from the flock and place it in a subservient position or use pepper spray to halt the behavior. Once again, never let your goats to do everything whatever they wish.


Illness can also causes behavioral changes in your goats. Perform regular health test on your goats for any potential illness. Sometime a goat become aggressive or rude if it becomes ill or feel bad.

It will behave rudely if anyone try to bother it when it is in physical discomfort. Usually sick goats avoid eating foods and drinking water and it stand alone, apart from the rest of the flock or other animals. Look for signs of some diseases which is causing discomfort in goats.

Some common diseases like diarrhea, bleating in pain or constipation can causes discomfort in your goats. Affected goats experience weight loss and they usually lay on a side or corner.

Any of this common diseases can harm a lot to your goats, even death. So contact with your vet as soon as possible if you notice any signs of illness in your goats.


Sudden behavioral change problems can also causes due to stress. So first of all, look for the possible stressor in your goat farming environment. Usually goats are easily stressed by a variety of factors.

Your goats can be stressed by dog, small children, a ride to the vet, other animals approaching the pen, a change in habitat and by various types of predators. Goats become fearful and apprehensive when stressed, and often retreat or hide.

The gentle goats can also begin to show health problems (for example diarrhea or dehydration) and start acting mean or aggressive with other goats or even humans, if the stressor is not removed immediately.

So it will be better, if you can remove all types of harmful animals and predators form your farm area. Thus you can ensure a good environment for your lovely goats.


One of the most common reasons why goats become mean is due to hormonal changes. Male goats, also known as bucks, can become aggressive during breeding season when their testosterone levels increase. This can result in head-butting, biting, and other aggressive behaviors.

Female goats, also known as does, may become aggressive when they are in heat or when they are protecting their young.

Fear and Anxiety

Goats can become mean when they are fearful or anxious. Loud noises, unfamiliar environments, and changes in routine can all cause a goat to feel stressed and uneasy. In such cases, they may lash out in fear and display aggressive behaviors.

Lack of Socialization

Goats are social animals and need to interact with other goats to learn how to behave properly. If they are raised in isolation or without other goats, they may not learn how to socialize and may become aggressive towards humans or other animals.

Territorial Behavior

Goats can become mean when they feel their territory is being threatened. This can happen when another animal or human enters their space. They may display aggressive behaviors such as head-butting or charging in an attempt to defend their territory.

Pain or Illness

Goats may become mean if they are in pain or are suffering from an illness. This is especially true if the pain or illness is chronic or has been ongoing for a long time. In such cases, the goat may become defensive and may lash out at anyone who attempts to touch them or handle them.

Lack of Proper Training

Goats that have not been properly trained may become mean and difficult to handle. This is especially true for goats that are used for milk or meat production. If they are not trained to be handled properly, they may become aggressive and difficult to manage.

Lack of Attention

Goats can become mean if they do not receive enough attention or interaction from their owners. They may become bored and restless, which can lead to aggressive behavior. Goats need stimulation and interaction with humans and other animals to keep them happy and well-adjusted.

Preventing and Managing Aggressive Behavior in Goats

There are several things that can be done to prevent and manage aggressive behavior in goats. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


Goats should be socialized from a young age to help them learn how to interact properly with other goats and humans. This can be done by introducing them to other goats and people in a controlled and supervised environment.


Goats should be trained to be handled properly from a young age. This can be done by using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise.


Goats need attention and interaction from their owners to keep them happy and well-adjusted. This can be done by spending time with them, playing with them, and providing them with toys and other forms of stimulation.

Medical Care

Goats should receive regular medical care to ensure they are healthy and pain-free. This can help prevent aggressive behavior that may be caused by pain or illness.

Proper Environment

Goats should be provided with a safe and comfortable environment that meets their physical and emotional needs. This includes adequate space, shelter, food, and water.


Male goats can become aggressive during breeding season due to increased testosterone levels. Castration can help reduce aggression in male goats and make them more docile and easier to handle.


If a goat is displaying aggressive behavior, it may be necessary to separate them from other goats or humans until the behavior can be corrected. This can be done by providing them with their own space or pen where they can be isolated until the aggression subsides.

Consult with a Veterinarian or Animal Behaviorist

If a goat is displaying aggressive behavior that cannot be corrected through training or environmental changes, it may be necessary to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can help determine if there are underlying medical or behavioral issues that need to be addressed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There are some questions goat keepers usually ask, especially the beginners about mean goats. Here we are trying to answer some of those questions. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

How do you deal with mean goats?

The best method to train a goat to stop being mean towards others is a squirt bottle. Goats usually hate water, especially when it is sprayed right in their face. So use the squirt bottle as soon as you see the aggression rising or about to happen.

Are all goats aggressive?

No, not at all! All the goats are not aggressive. But they tend to become more aggressive and inquisitive than sheep.

mean goat, aggressive goats, goats behavior, why friendly goats turn into mean goats, mean goats

Are goats aggressive to humans?

Yes, sometimes some goats in the flock can become aggressive to humans.

Are male or female goats more aggressive?

Intact male goats tend to be more aggressive than the females. While the castrated male goats are not aggressive.

What causes goats to be aggressive?

It can happen due to numerous reasons. We have already listed the top reasons above.

Do goats get aggressive when in heat?

When they are in heat, some goats may get very violent, butting heads with everyone.

How often goats become aggressive?

It can happen anytime. Goats tend to pretty aggressive with each other and butt heads quite a bit.

Can goats hurt each other?

Yes, sometimes they become pretty aggressive and hurt each other.

Are farm goats aggressive?

Yes, they are, but all the time.

How do you stop the mean goat?

The best method to train a goat to stop being mean towards others is a squirt bottle. Goats usually hate water, especially when it is sprayed right in their face. So use the squirt bottle as soon as you see the aggression rising or about to happen.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top