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Do Goats Sleep Standing Up At Night?

Do Goats Sleep Standing Up?

Have you ever walked into a goat sleeping in the middle of the night? Are you wondering how they sleep at night?

Goats are interesting animals and they have one of the most private sleep you can think of.

Do Goats Sleep Standing Up? 

Unlike horses, goats sleep lying down, not standing up, like humans, they sleep mostly at night at an average of 5 hours, and short naps during the day.

Due to their nature as prey, goats are incredibly light sleepers, so you can hardly catch them sleeping as they can wake up even at the slightest noise like a footstep.

Just like humans, sleep is an important component of a goat’s health. If your goat does not sleep, it signifies whether they are stressed, depressed, or even sick.

In this article, we will be exploring more about goats sleeping habits.

Why Is It So Hard to Catch A Goat Sleeping?

Due to their nature as prey, goats are incredibly light sleepers they wake up at any slightest noise to run for safety.

To them, every noise can be a threat, so they are always on the move to escape from the predators. Goats are subconsciously on the lookout for danger even when they sleep.

This is one reason goats hardly sleep in the open, they always find a private spot that is hidden to sleep.They will find a hidden spot to sleep, where they feel protected.

So, the fact that you haven’t caught your goats sleeping does not mean they don’t sleep.

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How Much Sleep Do Goats Need?

Domestic goats need as much as 5 hours of sleep, including short naps during the day.

During the day the goat can have up to 5 to 6 brief naps. However wild goats do not sleep as much as domestic goats.

Research has shown that wild goats hardly sleep in the wild due to the jungle nature of the wild.

How Do Goats Sleep?

Let’s quickly observe the sleeping pattern of a goat.

Why Goats don’t Sleep Standing Up?

Unlike horses, goats do not have legs that lock. As a result, they sleep lying down, not standing up.

Goats mostly sleep on their sides. This however helps them to quickly stand up at the slightest noise to escape from any form of threat.

Oftentimes, goats like sleeping in groups, this gives them an added assurance of security.

Where Do Goats Sleep?

Where goats sleep is greatly dependent on their environmental condition.

If the surrounding is filled with predators, you can choose to lock your goats behind barn stalls at night for them to get enough sleep. Or you can use an electric fence to keep them safe in the house.

Also, because goats are herd animals, they feel more secure sleeping in groups. You can hardly find them sleeping separately.

And the interesting part about this is that goats do cuddle themselves while they sleep.

As a herd, they don’t all sleep at once, you can see half of them dozing off, and the second half keeping watch, and after which they change turn- all this is done for security due to their nature as prey.

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Does Weather Affect Where Goats Sleep?

Yes, the weather is a determining factor that affects the choice of a place where a goat can sleep.

During hot seasons, you can see herds of goats sleeping under trees, or on the top of a chicken scoop.

While during the winter, spring or fall, goats need 3-sided shelter or an enclosed barn to protect them from the atmospheric conditions.

Do Goats Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

No, goats sleep with their eyes well closed. Even though they are prey animals, you can hardly catch them sleeping with their eyes open, either both eyes or one of the eyes.

Just like humans, goats sleep with both eyes closed.

Also, goats do not undergo unihemispheric sleep (which is sleeping with one part of the brain alert) However, reptiles, birds, and marine mammals are known for unihemispheric sleep due to the hostility of their environment.

However, for safety purposes, goats rely more on their light sleep, than the unihemispheric sleep. You can never catch a goat sleep with either both or one of the eyes open.

Goats Are Private About Their Sleeping Habits

Goats are extremely private about their sleep. They don’t sleep anywhere as some animals do. They mostly look for hidden spots to sleep in.

Coupled to their light sleeping, you can hardly catch them sleeping.  If you ever catch your goats dozing, consider yourself lucky.

How To Make Bedding For Goats

While making beddings for your goats, one important aspect that shouldn’t be left out is the safety of the place.  

It is advised that you make a barn or pen house for them to sleep in, and ensure that their bedding which is the ground is dry and clean.

However, during winter when the ground freeze, you will have to cover the ground with a couple of pallets inside an enclosed stall or 3-sided shelter for maximum protection against the cold.

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Apart from pallets, you can use straw, wood shavings, or even leaves as bedding for the goats during winter.

Also, ensure you change them regularly to avoid them getting soiled which may lead to the growth of harmful bacterial and worms at a very soiled state. This is because goats can defecate waste where they sleep, so the bedding needs to be changed regularly for optimum health.

Apart from the warm shelter these beddings provide, they also create a nutrient-filled environment, which means the goats can feed and lie on them.

Also, one more important aspect to look out for when making bedding for goats is ventilation. Ensure the place is not all covered up to prevent ventilation, as these will make them uncomfortable as they sleep.


Goats are one animal you can hardly catch sleeping. Just like humans they sleep lying on their sides, to enable them to quickly get up to escape from danger.

Ensure you provide a comfortable, clean and secure place to help your goats catch enough sleep.

Mark Lockett

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