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Do Goats Sleep Standing Up

It’s well known that goats have unique sleeping patterns, and many people think goats can fall asleep standing up, unlike most animals in the animal kingdom. It is only half the truth. So, you may ask, when do goats sleep, as they are always foraging or doing something? Add to this how do goats sleep has to be asked.

In short, when you ask how many hours do goats sleep, it is about five hours and this couples with goats dozing during the day. Even in an enclosed barn, you can find both goats who sleep standing up while others sleep lying down.

In our guide, you can learn more about how do goats sleep, as the standing part may show a problem with your goat’s health. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of these interesting animals sleeping habits. (Read When To Harvest Poblano Peppers)

Do Goats Sleep Standing Up

Why Is It Hard to Spot A Sleeping Goat?

Goats sleep very little since they are prey animals by nature. At the slightest noise, they wake and bolt for cover. They constantly move to avoid predators, and even when sleeping, goats unconsciously search for danger.

Goats rarely sleep outside because of this, among other reasons. They always find a private place to sleep. Therefore, just because you haven’t seen your goats sleeping does not imply that they don’t require sleep.

It’s also difficult to catch a goat sleeping because many goats prefer to sleep in groups, which means that even if half your goats are asleep, the other half are on guard. Because of this, goats evolved uncommon sleeping habits, making it more challenging to observe them when they doze off. These habits include sleeping in peculiar positions or with their legs curled.

Additionally, kids frequently take short naps while standing up, making it challenging to know when they are genuinely asleep. Together, these factors make it challenging to see a goat sleeping. You can add to the confusion as when in REM sleep, a goats eyes are a little open, and half its brain is awake.

How Much Sleep Do Goats Need?

Domestic goats require up to five hours of sleep each night, including short naps. The goat can take up to five or six quick naps throughout the day. But unlike domestic goats, wild goats do not sleep as much.

Why do Goats not Sleep Standing Up?

Goats do not have locked legs, unlike horses, and because of this, goats tend to lie down to sleep rather than stand. Goats sleep primarily on their sides. However, this enables them to quickly stand up to run away from any danger at the first noise. Goats frequently prefer to sleep in groups because it increases their sense of security.

Goats lack a mechanism to lock or stay apparatus in their legs, and to prevent the animal from falling, a specific system of tendons and ligaments secure the major joints in its legs.

Goats have changed over time to develop new features similar to other prey animals to avoid predators. One such characteristic that enables them to react quickly and get up at the first hint or sound of danger is their sleeping posture.

Since it is uncommon to witness a goat sleeping, many people now think that goats don’t sleep. Although it is untrue, little is known about the sleeping posture and habits of goats.

Do goats have the same standing-up sleep habits as other livestock animals? Goats do not experience deep sleep, although they do sleep tightly. But many would-be or aspiring livestock owners are still unsure how goats sleep. (Read Can Rabbits Eat Red Peppers)

goats sleeping position

What Position Do Goats Sleep?

Goats only require five hours of sleep, which is why you rarely see them sleeping. They decide to nap periodically during the day. They have developed excellent senses that keep them alert even while sleeping because of their status as prey animals.

Goats rarely live alone since they are such incredibly social animals. They frequently use each other as cushions while sleeping beside their friends. While some tuck their heads against their chests, other goats sleep with their necks extended out and their heads lying flat.

They occasionally sleep in odd positions with their heads erect or throw their heads back to rest against their spines. Their instinctive curl is maintained when they typically sleep with their legs tucked underneath but maintaining an upright position.

You can see pregnant goats lie down to keep the pressure off the baby goat yet to be born.

What Affects the Goat’s Sleep?


Depending on the predators in your area and how safe the goats are in their run, you’ll need to decide where to put your goats to sleep.

If your goats have free range of the property, you should lock them in an enclosure or barn to keep predators out.

You can offer your goats a little more freedom in where they sleep if they are contained in a run, and you have electric fencing or other impenetrable fencing to keep predators away.


A goat can only sleep in certain places depending on the weather. Goat herds can be seen napping under trees or on top of chicken coops during the hotter months.

Goats require a 3-sided shelter or an enclosed barn to protect them from winter, spring, or fall weather.

Goats also feel more secure sleeping in groups because they are herd animals. Rarely do you see them sleeping apart?


Diet affects animal sleep. The carnivore’s protein-rich meat eater diet will have more calories than the herbivore’s plant-based diet.

To meet their nutritional needs, herbivores spend more time eating. The herbivore’s biology requires less sleep than the carnivore’s since the plant-eater spends more time in the day eating and searching.

Reasons Goats May Doze Off While Standing

You may find goats sleeping, standing, and refusing to lie in their regular positions.

Although standing up while sleeping isn’t normal, there may be reasons for this.


Sick or injured goats refuse to sleep. Goats don’t like lying on their stomachs because of bloating. If the goat’s stomach is bloated, see a vet immediately. Isolate the goat from the herd and call the doctor if it’s shivering, making painful sounds, or standing with its back hunched.

Expectant Goats:

Pregnancy makes goats uncomfortable and makes it hard to sleep in their usual position after a while because of abdominal discomfort.

They sleep standing, but without a stay apparatus, they may fall, and it takes them longer to get up when sleeping on their sides. (Read Should You Feed Raccoons)

Unusual Sleeping Pattern:

Like people, not all goats are the same and can develop weird habits and unusual sleeping patterns. Some elderly, slothful goats don’t give a damn how they should sleep. They take short naps while standing and sleep upright.

Baby goats may try sleeping standing because they are still developing new habits and interacting with the outside world.

goat sleeping

Do Goats Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Goats sleep with their eyes shut. Additionally, goats don’t experience unihemispheric sleep (sleeping with one part of the brain alert).

Goats are light sleepers and hard-to-catch sleeping. As prey animals, they must be able to flee at the slightest sign of danger. A goat will wake at the slightest noise. Even if your goats snooze, they may wake as you approach.

However, due to the hostile nature of their habitat, reptiles, birds, and marine animals are notorious for having a unihemispheric sleep.

Goats rely on being incredibly light sleepers than unihemispheric sleep for safety, even if you find goats sleep lying on their sides.

They do not sleep with their eyes open like some animals. Marine mammals come up for air, some birds are in a long flight, and some reptiles sleep with half of the brain alert.

Goats do not sleep like this and rely on light sleep to protect them.

It is common to see goats sleeping in an upright position than goats lying on their sides, especially if they are wild goats, who are exceptionally light sleepers and need to know when danger is lurking.

animal sleeping standing

What Animals Sleep Standing?

Few animals, like horses, have demonstrated the ability to lock their primary joints and maintain their balance while dozing off. Horses can still lie for proper, restorative sleep. Although it is much more common in captivity than in the wild, elephants also frequently sleep upright.

The main reason for this is the fact that moving an elephant takes a very long time because of its size. Like horses, flamingos have a locking mechanism. However, they must only stand on one leg to avoid wearing out their muscles.

Since they can stand in water without getting their feathers wet, this provides them more mobility while they sleep. (Read Can You Eat Shrimp Tails)


Goats prefer to lay as they sleep, even if they have strange sleeping habits. Goats do not sleep standing out of choice or for very long. Goats find a cozy position, lie down, take a quick nap, and then get moving.

They take short naps totaling roughly 5 hours per day. Some unique sleeping habits among goats may lead them to try to fall asleep while still in their normal position and without lying down.

So, to make them comfy, pack the barn with wood shavings, and then they may decide it is more comfortable than trying to sleep standing.

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