What Smell Do Goats Hate? (11 Scents To Keep Them Away)

What Smell Do Goats Hate

Goats are notorious for their lof eating everything and anything. They’ll eat garbage. They’ll eat your plants. They’ll even eat pants right off a person if they have reason to be that hungry. It’s hard to imagine anything getting their goats if you get my drift.

It may be hard to keep goats away from a garden, even with a fence installed. However, it’s not impossible. You just need to dissuade them with the help of the right odors. This guide will tell you how to prevent goats from coming close with the right smells.

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What should you know about preventing goats from entering your home?

What should you know about preventing goats from entering your home?1

This is one of those things that people tend to ask when they move next to a farm with meat goats or dairy goats. While having access to fresh goat milk or being able to pet cute baby goats is fun, finding them in your garden isn’t.

Honestly, most adult goats will be able to be kept well with goat fencing. A fence as tall as four feet will be enough to prevent most goats from hopping over to your yard. Even so, it’s best to prevent them from wandering too far in your yard…just in case.

PRO TIP – If you don’t want to use scent, don’t panic. You can also use loud noises, natural predators, or even motion sensors connected to motion-activated scarecrows to dissuade them from coming into your home.

What scents do goats dislike?

Let’s take a closer look at everything that goats hate…and how you can add it to your personal garden. Before you use any of these, talk to a vet to see if this could harm goats. If you keep goats as pets, having them eat the wrong thing can lead to a devastating loss.

PRO TIP – If you want to avoid new plants or dung, just go for some professional-grade goat repellent. They sell it online.

1. Lavender

At this point, it should be clear that lavender plants are a must for anyone who wants to drive away most wildlife. Lavender drives away fleas, cockroaches, rabbits, cats, and yes, goats as well. It also tends to grow well in most climates.

This herb is a great pick for people who want a fresh-smelling home and yard, but don’t want to keep goats nearby. Oh, and since it wards off most other pests, it also is great for keeping your home bug-free.

2. Cayenne Pepper

For humans, cayenne pepper is one of the easiest ways to kick a stew up a notch. (Seriously, who hasn’t broken out of a flavor rut by adding a little cayenne?!) For goats, cayenne is a major nose irritant.

Like many other animals, goats cannot stand the smell of cayenne pepper. They will avoid pepper plants like the plague. Making a barrier using cayenne plants is a good way to fence out goats without actually getting a fence made.

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3. Sage

Also known for being a great herb for warding off bad vibes, sage is a multi-use herb that should be in almost every home. This strong-smelling family of herbs is ideal for cooking smoky-sweet food.

Its powerful scent also makes it ideal for keeping both goats and insects away from your home. Most domestic animals will avoid this herb because of the smell, too.

Animal Dung1

4. Animal Dung

Goats might be animals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be clean by their own standards. Animal dung is one of those things that goats are naturally averse to, and it doesn’t even have to be diarrhea for them to avoid it.

The smell of any type of dung, including cow dung or sheep excrement, will keep them at bay. It’s their way of preventing illness or infection from the bacteria that make that stinky odor. Obviously, this won’t smell good. It will get the job done, though.

PRO TIP – Urine from other animals will drive goats away too, especially if it’s from predators like foxes. Do not try to use goat urine to keep goats away. This may actually have the opposite effect if you’re in the middle of the breeding season.

5. Mullein

The plant mullein has become a cornerstone of herbal cures and naturopathy. If you practice natural medicine, there’s a good chance that you have some of this herb in your home. It’s great for people. Goats, on the other hand, hate it.

When a goat steps on mullein, the plant releases a foul odor that it can’t stand. To make matters worse, goats do not even like the taste of it. It tastes extremely bitter to them. If you need to ward them away from sunny areas, this is the best plant to do it.

6. Hydrangeas

Did you know that there are no “one” hydrangea species? Nope. This ornamental flower has over 75 different species under its umbrella, and all of them are a natural enemy of the goat. We love this flower family for their looks and fragrances.

What smells sweet to humans does not smell that good to a goat. In fact, they smell rather foul to most four-legged friends. If you want to trick a goat into staying away from a garden, planting some flowers from this family will work like a charm.

7. Peppermint Oil

Mint is one of those scent families that tends to smell great to people, but terrible to most animals. Goats are fairly put off by the smell of any mint plant, including spearmint, catmint, and peppermint.

Of course, this can lead to a quick fix for deterring goats. The easiest way to make goats stay away from your home is to mix peppermint essential oil with water, then spray the mixture around the perimeter of your home.

Much like lavender, peppermint oil comes with the added perk of driving away most insects.

Onions And Garlic1

8. Onions And Garlic

A good rule of thumb is that you can use almost any strong-smelling plant to drive away goats and other livestock. Onions and garlic are good examples of a plant that can quickly make most goats turn away from your area.

If you want a goat-free environment, planting these two plants is a smart way to make it happen. You can also try leeks and ramps if they are more your style. Either way, the entire family tends to work the same in terms of goat deterrent.

However, there is a major caveat that comes with this particular choice. Onions and onion-like plants are extremely poisonous to goats. If they eat them, they can die and a vet may not be able to do much of anything to fix that.

If you are worried about the health of your goats, don’t get this plant.


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9. Oregon Grape Holly

There are several common ornamental plants that goats tend to steer clear of, and Oregon Grape Holly is a good example of this. This flowering plant is great for people who want a sot fragrance around their home.

The smell is great for people, but goats will not even go near it. In fact, they will avoid eating this type of holly at all costs.

10. Anise Hyssop

In the Midwest, hyssop is a plant that can grow naturally in the wild. It also has a fairly potent smell that is hard to mistake anywhere. This is doubly true of anise hyssop, which has a strong licorice-like odor.

Much like with many people out there, anise tends to drive away goats. The smell of licorice (or anything similar to it) can be pretty foul to them. Adding hyssop to your garden will definitely keep goats away.

11. Thyme

It’s about thyme we talked about this plant. Thyme has a strong enough aroma to ward off goats and many other pesty animals. If you have an herb garden near a goat farm, adding this to the edge of the garden is a simple way to maximize your garden’s protection.

If you want to double up on organic protection, place the thyme near other pungent plants like onion or hyssop.


In conclusion…

Getting a garden that goats won’t eat isn’t easy. They are opportunistic when it comes to what they are willing to chow down on. Choosing the right plants and odors can help keep them away from your garden, your home, and really…anywhere else you don’t want goats.

When in doubt about which solution you want to try, talk to a vet. More often than not, they can point you to a safe and effective way to drive away the Billies in your life.

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