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The Truth About Keeping Backyard Goats

Truth about Backyard Goat Keeping

As a city homesteader for the last 23 years, I couldn’t be happier about the current trends aimed at a healthier lifestyle for ourselves and our families. Growing vegetables and fruits in our backyards, canning to preserve fresh food for later, cooking from scratch and raising small flocks of backyard chickens are coming back into vogue in a big way. I’m so happy to see others jumping on the bandwagon. But the homesteading trends aren’t stopping there — they have moved on to creatures such as bees, rabbits…and goats.

Adorable, fuzzy, playful, impossibly small goats! Even I have been moved to consider owning backyard goats (and I am normally a very sensible person).

Yet, even after swooning over multiple mini-livestock photos and goat articles, I’m left with a (very) miniscule amount of good sense. But I wanted to know – exactly how do people decide if backyard goats are right for them? To get to the truth, I went straight to several of my goat keeping friends and also tapped into my hobby farming connections around the country. I wanted the real scoop from people who live with them every day.

To my great surprise, everything I had heard about goats being adorable was true. But wait… there’s so much more to consider besides the cute factor

Thanks to some goat-savvy friends, I can offer you the whole truth about keeping goats in your backyard.

Before You Go Buy A Backyard Goat:

Keeping Backyard Goats1) Make sure that your city is goat friendly.

The first thing you need to do is check your city ordinances for two things: that they’re allowed within the city limits and the size limitations. If they do allow goats, more than likely they will have a size and/or weight limit. This is why the smallest goat breeds are the most popular in urban and suburban areas. Goats such as the pygmy (smallest meat breed), Nigerian Dwarf (smallest dairy breed), and the pygora (smallest fiber breed) are going to be your best bets.

2) Goats can be loud.

To say the least. If you happen to have a doe (a girl goat) and she’s in heat (like almost every month), “loud” won’t be the word that you use to describe it. At this point I promise that I’ll get several comments or emails telling me all about their quiet-as-a-church-mouse goat. This will not be the case with your goat. If you have an unfriendly neighbor that has zero pet tolerance, you will have a problem.

Check out this video so you know what I am talking about…

Sure, it is all funny, until you have one in your backyard. Which leads me to the next consideration…

3) Goats are herd animals.

What this means is that in order for them to be truly “happy”, they need a goat friend. In fact, they feel completely insecure as a singleton, so you don’t get “a goat”; you get “goats” — as in two or more. (What are the chances of them both being shy, unvocal wall-flowers? Hmm?)

4) Goats are hard on fences. Plus they’re escape artists.

Especially the shorter guys. For instance say your goaties have grown a lush winter coat and spring rolls around. All of that extra fur needs to come off and the best way they can think of to do that is to press their sides as hard as they can against the fencing as they walk by. Over and over and over.

You’ll need strong fencing material and even stronger supports for that material — like sunken wood posts and wood framing if possible. Many goat owners add a strand of hot wire (electric wire or fence) along the bottom. I’ve been assured that young goats can slip through field fencing square that are no bigger than 4″ X 4″. The general rule of thumb is said to be “if the goat can get his head through it — he can get the rest of the way through it.”

5) They’re picky eaters.

Proper Care of Goats

Most goat owners told me that they’ve never seen a goat that would eat their hay, oats, etc once they’ve stepped on it or God forbid, peed near it. One has to be prepared to obtain a manger that keep the hay up off the ground as long as possible or the feed bill is going to be a bit higher than you first projected.

6) They eat every growing thing in sight.

Except your lawn; they won’t do you any truly helpful thing like trim the turf. Goats are browsers like deer, not grazers like sheep. They’ll eat every tree, vegetable, herb, and cutting flower in your yard…your street…your town. Nothing is sacred. The good news is that this includes weeds! Goats love to eat weeds and will nail them down to the ground…right along with your roses. The take away from this? Goats need their own yard to live in so that you can have a yard, too.

The Good News:

Lest you and I feel completely let down with what may seem like disappointing news; I will also reminded that goats are:

Baby Goat1) Personable and Affectionate.

Goats are naturally curious beasties and become very attached to their people, making them wonderful companions. They’re perpetual children and continue to play, run, and jump if given the opportunity (and toys!). Little goats are perfect “petting zoo” critters, especially if they are hand-raise (bottle fed) by humans,

2) Excellent Weed and Brush Eaters.

Put them in a side yard that’s grown weeds six feet tall and watch these little guys go to town. Your weeds will be history in no time. (Poison oak and ivy won’t faze them a bit)

3) Produce Terrific Manure for the Garden.

Gardeners swear by tossing their goat manure into the compost pile. It offers nutrition, breaks down easily, and creates good tilth.

4) Milk.

Backyard goats can, indeed, become a source of milk for you and your family. I also learned that if you want to keep goats for milk, your doe will have to be bred every year. So be prepared to either grow your herd (most cities have a cap on that number, as well) or eventually find homes for the kid(s). You absolutely must be responsible about this. It is becoming a growing problem among city homesteaders who didn’t think about this before diving in.

Milking Goats

Of course, I took my goat-loving friends’ information to heart and I know full well that I can never have goats in my current backyard. Perhaps they’ll become a part of my homestead future (if I ever move to a large place), but my chicken-ladies are enough for this homestead now. And I’m okay with that.

If you are thinking about getting a few goats of your own, you might want to read:

Do you keep backyard goats?

What “goat truths” would you add to the list? 

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.

82 Comments:

  • Karen. says:

    I had a series of goat pets in the back yard when I was a child. My father built a great, sturdy pen, and we would stake the goats out in areas we wanted eaten down (we lived in the city on about 1 acre). The first goat was a full size nanny. She foundered (my father fed her too much!) so we gave her to a blacksmith who could take care of her hooves. The other two were pygmy billies. One died 🙁 of a congenital disease; the other was kind of destructive, so we found another home for him. But they were a lot of fun. And yes, loud, especially the nanny. After the goats, we put chickens in the pen. Mmmm, fresh eggs.

  • Ian says:

    Hi,
    I’ve read several articles about keeping goats, including yours. I’m thinking of buying about 4acres of land that’s just come up for sale and have had this notion about keeping a goat (now at least 2) for some time. However, my time is fairly limited during the week.
    Can goats be left for periods of time untended & will they be ok.

    • theresa says:

      Ian,

      I guess that depends upon how long you mean. I would think of them as you would a dog. You can feed your dog in the morning and leave it all day unattended. But you can’t leave a dog for days at a time unattended. It is the same with a goat. It must be tended to every day. Also, if you have a goat that needs to be milked, then you are talking about a daily chore that must be done rain or shine.

  • Paul says:

    I was thinking that I’d raise a single female meat goat in the back yard along with the chickens I’m planning to get but now that I’ve seen the video I have other ideas.

    • Paul says:

      Do they make noise at night?

      • theresa says:

        Not that I know of.

      • caloglori@yahoo.com says:

        Yes!! They’re driving me crazy!!!!!

      • Carla Elfrink says:

        Only if they are hungry, thirsty, cold, hot, wet, dry, bored, lonely or otherwise ornery. 😉

      • Angie says:

        No, they are quiet night, which has always been a pleasant surprise to me. We feed them at around 6:30 pm and put them in a good sized chain linked fenced pen ( it was a dog run that our house previous own has put in) with about 7ft high walls – we have bear and cougars in the area. Even if they are awake, I’ve never heard them make a peep until the next morning around 6:30am. During the day, they are usually pretty quiet. But when we come home from work and they want you to come play with them, or it is nearing breakfast or dinner time, they can be very vocal!

      • Crystal Kubiak says:

        Our nigerian goats only make noise at night if there are predators around otherwise they sleep most of the night

    • Cindy says:

      I wish people wouldn’t share their comments about keeping an animal for meat. The animal lovers don’t want to read that.

      • Leslie says:

        I love animals but do raise many for meat.

        • Cathleen says:

          I also love animals, and have some as pets, and some are raised for meat. Although in a way it is sad to harvest/butcher them, at least I know they had good lives and were raised humanely. I would absolutely consider myself an animal lover.

      • H says:

        You can’t sensor and protect the world. Farm animals were for farms/meat first. If the animal lovers don’t want to read it they can scroll on by.

  • Harold Dean Linville says:

    Can anyone leave goats on 9.7 acres of wooded property without fence for 6 months at a time

    • theresa says:

      I’m not sure about that Harold. They would need to be protected from predators and the type of protection would depend upon the predators in your area. On our Northern CA farmstead, this would never work (even with a hearding dog) because we have mountain lions.

    • Carla Elfrink says:

      No. They will leave the property, get eaten by predators or turn feral.

    • Crystal Kubiak says:

      It doesnt matter where you are, if you leave your goats unattended with no fences, guarding dogs or shelters of any kind, packs of wolves, coyotes, bears and even other peoples dogs will chase and kill them, NEVER LEAVE THEM UNPROTECTED, there are more predators to goats then you realize, i live in northern wisconsin and we have even had a VERY LARGE bobcat come and try getting into the goat shed, i have 2-180lb dogs and even then there not always safe

  • David says:

    You’re right goats love their weeds and brush and given the chance you wouldn’t have anything to preserve or can. Good article!

  • Chris says:

    We adopted a single goat that had been abandoned, took awhile but she ended up bonding with our german shep/chow/golden mix & chihuahua. They got very protective of the goat and she of them. Neighbor got a small herd and we had to give her away when we moved back inside the city. Dogs still visit on occasion & she
    does seem to remember them if they go in the pen. Still comes up and nuzzles them.

  • Linda says:

    I have friends with sheep, and they use a llama for protection. I was told it ran off a bear from the acreage! Others have had a donkey for the same purpose. I’m still in the planning stages…

    • Karyne says:

      Hi Linda,

      I have heard of the Donkey because they hate canines in general and will chase away any wild dogs etc….

      My little Harley Davidson is still with her huge structure on her broken leg….but in one week her doc will come and take it off…. I really hope that it will all be ok…..!!!!!

      Kindest regards to all of you….
      Karyne

  • Lacy PA says:

    i really like your sharing, althought in my living, not accept goat

  • Karyne says:

    Hello everybody,

    I wanted a goat since the age of 10….and 33 years later I finally got my baby goat. Her name is Harley Davidson and she is as cute as anything.
    I also have a Rottweiler (Magnum), a Tibetan Pekingese (Pow Wow), about 16 cats (depends of the days), 1 chicken (Kentucky), and 2 Quarter Horse Mares (Cookie & Leo)….. all living very happy together.
    Harley took into her new home extremely well…. She has the same colour as Magnum and follows him everywhere….

    However it became quite obvious that Harley needed to be in her own pen (by the pen of my mares and by the side of my yard so that she always has contact with all other pets), simply because as wrote Theresa, she had more fun eating the roses and cactus than the grass…..
    When she arrived at home she was 4 weeks old but she wouldn’t take the biberon….so she went straight onto hay & alfalfa and little goat biscuits. I have had her for 4 weeks now, so it is still a new experience for me…
    Unfortunately from her tiny size of 30cm tall she jumped her fence (about 80cm tall) and caught her back leg on the wood of the fence, resulting in a fracture of the metacarpal bone. My vet took her to the hospital half an hour drives from my place and brought her back next day with a huge plaster and structure on her leg to keep it rigid….She’s in recovery for now but she seams very happy with her cute funny little face.

    All I could say to people who would like to adopt a goat is that of course and first of all it is not a fashion or a toy.
    They can hurt themselves easily because they are so curious and they do need the company of other animals, as well as a daily visit at least. They really do like the human contact and petting, but they are also just as fine with other animals than goats if they are used to it from young age…and if other animals are gentle and patient….
    Harley was very noisy during the first 2 days when she was put into her pen, but she got use to it and she hardly sings nowadays (for now…she is still very young of course). She greets me when she sees me or she calls when she is bored or hungry….

    I think that bringing them some toys as a ball etc. is a very good idea.
    As they love to jump up, a big tree inside the pen is great too (Harley was often up on a branch of her old olive tree in her pen….lol)

    And yes, fencing is probably the most expensive part of having goats…..they just find a way to get out any what way….!!!

    I think that it is a beautiful experience and although my lil girl is hurt for now I don’t regret it the slightest bit.
    However I do regret not having read this article before getting Harley, as I would have prepared her pen in advance and make sure that the fence would not have been dangerous for her.

    Many thanks Theresa for sharing your knowledge.
    Kindest regards.
    Karyne – Southern Spain

    • theresa says:

      Thanks so much for writing Karyne! I’m so glad your little goat is on the mend. You bring up excellent points and it helps to hear from someone going through the process in real time.

      • Karyne says:

        My pleasure Theresa, I am glad that you could find my comment interesting.
        I shall try to find time to comment here or help others as my experience goes on with Harley…
        I think that goats are a bit like tattoos….once you get one you want another one….lol….well that what tattooed people say…… 😉

        • theresa says:

          Ha ha ha
          🙂

          • Michelle says:

            Great article and comment!! I googled gaots in city limits because I’ve been very curious about it lately. This was the first one that popped up and I’m so glad I read it! I remember being told about them not being interested in grass a long time ago but had forgotten all about that until reading this. I now know that they could never be an option for me where I currently live.

  • Hannah says:

    I have been having my little Nigerian dwarf goat since August 9, 2014(my birthday) It has been living at my house for quite some time, and we have never seen it try to get out. It spends a lot of time inside with my pups(he was raised with them and has fun with all my animals) and I taught him how to use a litter box. One thing I will say is you need a lot of space, not just a backyard because they smell. Not the goat themselves, but their urine smells. The oder is very strong, especially during heat. During the summer we will be moving my little goat to our barn(10 mins away) because he is very fond of our new foal,and they jump and play all the time. They do shed a lot, so you have to either brush them, or have hair everywhere. They are very fun but a lot of responsibility. I am only 13, and have been wanting a goat since I was 10 since I took care of a goat(bottle fed and nursed back to health due to leg problems) and got my goat at 8 weeks old. He is very fond of humans, and love to come to rodeos with us when I compete. Amazing little creatures they are!

    • theresa says:

      Hi Hannah,
      I’m impressed! At 13 you know more about goats than most of the grown ups I know. And you certainly know more than I do. I did not know about the urine smell. (Good to know)

      And how did you teach it to use the litter box? Did you use rewards – like the training of a dog? Do you think the little goat thinks it is a pup or a human? It sounds adorable.

    • Jamie says:

      Just in case anyone comes across this post like I did, as a goat person I just want to clarify… NEVER leave a male goat intact as a pet. Always wether them. A buck (unneutered goat) will smell horrible, pee on himself, drink his own urine, and tend to get unmanageable while in rut. A wether or a doe will not smell like a buck, at all. For pets, bucks are not realistic.

  • Mikayla says:

    This is a question not a comment but, what size yard should you have if you wanted to raise a Pygmy Goat in your back yard in the city?

    Also are they aloud inside and can they sleep inside?

    (I want to raise a goat and enter him/her into the fair.)

    If anyone has any info about how big your yard should be, if they’re aloud inside and anything that would be helpful for a first time goat owner.

    And my backyard is pretty big, but I also have 3 dogs, would it be too much or should I think about another type of animal to enter.

    I’m thinking about buying one around January and if anyone knows of a place that sells Pygmy goats in the Antelope Vally area can you leave info please? (I want to adopt him/her as a little baby so he/she can get used to me and my family.

    Also any information about training techniques or what judges are expecting when looking at your goat in the fair would be absolutely amazing!

    But again any information would be greatly appreciated.

  • river says:

    I want a goat so bad

    • Marie Heath says:

      I just fit two baby goats – 9 weeks now 11 weeks old – they are adorable funny sweet creatures – glad I did – still learning all the inn and out of keeping goats !!

  • cw says:

    I had 3 small goats and they were a delight. More entertainment than you can imagine. 2 of them had babies, same time in same stall and of course in the middle of the night.

    only one problem. They could climb most Anything and did.

    they did get on my car, then on top of my carport and then to the roof Of the house.

    Eventually I had to sell the little guys and did so with one phone call due to moving into the city.

    I recommend them, my kids loved them and aside of the few problems will do it again if ever have the chance.

  • Sabrina says:

    Hi Theresa, we are about to purchase a house with a huge piece of land. The property comes with a goat, and I have no clue if it is a male or a female. After reading all the comments here, I am not sure if I really want that responsibility. I also have to big dogs and am wondering if they could get used to each other, or if it would be better to not keep the goat in the first place. The previous owner already “inherited” the goat and just lets it eat all the grass and that’s it. The poor thing is all by itself and when I saw him I actually felt sorry. If it is a huge commitment, I’d rather not have a goat, because I won’t even be there for three month in the summer.
    One more thing, could a goat get “territorial and become aggressive towards new people?? thanks

    • theresa says:

      Hi Sabrina,
      It does sound like you may be getting an unhappy goat here. He/she is probably lonely.

      I have never owned goats myself but according to my goat friends, it is the males that are usually the aggressive ones. They can be territorial. As for the dog that really depends upon the personality of the dog and goat. But as a general rule, you will want to be very careful when introducing two new animals to each other.

      And I agree with you, if you are not going to be on the property for long periods of time, you can’t keep a goat (or any farm animal) there. A goat is a huge commitment and like any pet, needs care, love and someone to watch out for it.

      It sounds like you already realize all of this. The hard part will be in finding him/her a good home. 🙁

  • x says:

    Thinks if in city 1 goat per 1/2 acre is sufficient. Proper housing water and food. The only issue having them in the city is their loud screaming. People would assume a female human is in serious trouble. Yes their poo is great for composting but for a city dweller they might not grasp how much poo goats produce, way much more to compost; over run with poo pellets, lol.
    Goats are awesome though.

  • Shelby says:

    I consider myself to be a country girl but have never had any goats. We were wanting to get some. My question is most of the websites say that the bucks have to be penned separate from the girlies. Why can they not be one ‘herd’. I know cattle and the Bulls with the cows is fine- why is this different?

  • Tom says:

    I do really like your post although I don’t like a goat, LOL!!!!!

  • Lisa and Amber says:

    best EVER informative story on goats. Whilst I laughed my socks off at the ‘noisy’ goat video it was SOOOOO essential to see that. I have land but not very tolerant neighbours and I actually never thought about noise. You did rather ‘skirt’ over the “aising for dairy” ssue so I feel I must say something about this. For a goat ( just like a cow) to produce MILK she must be pregnant. Its as simple as that. A pregnancy results in a baby. Again, its that simple. So what are you going to do with the baby that was born in order for you to milk the mother? Think about this carefully. If its a girl you most likely keep her to carry n producing milk. But what if the baby is a boy??? What will you do with him?????? Please…I think this is probably more important than all the advice of care giving and home making. Some of us KNOW what happens to the boy babies 🙁 Could you do that?:??

    • Lisa says:

      Any baby goats born to goats you are using for milk, must be taken away from the mothers and bottle fed expensive formula, (or killed so you don’t have to deal with the unwanted babies,) This is exactly the same thing as what happens to the babies of dairy cows, dairy sheep, even baby buffalo. Ever had goat cheese, sheep cheese, buffalo cheese or goat milk? Think about what happened to all of those babies that were produced and unwanted just so you could have cheese or milk. Raising those babies on expensive baby formula is more expensive than buying commercial milk or cheese for you to eat. Most of those babies are just killed. That’s the cold, hard truth of the situation.

  • Kaytie Chapman says:

    Hello, I am very excited to be getting two pygmy goats for pets. I just have a few questions. First: I live in Northern Arkansas so the temperature here is pretty moderate. Mild summers but unpredictable and sudden storms in the winter. Can the goats come inside on bad (rainy, cold, coyotes too close etc) nights? I wound be scared to death that one would chew on an electric cord or climb somewhere dangerous…. Second, will a goat sleep with blankets when its chilly? I have wanted goats for years now and I am planning everything I can ahead of time. I live within 5 minutes of a vet office that specializes in farm animals- should anything happen to my little babies. I’m prepared to wake up in the dead of night to console a bored/lonely goat crying out so noise wouldn’t bother me too terribly. Thank you for this webpage, I hope to hear back soon!

  • Andrea Nieto says:

    Hello! I am a city person with farmer personality. We live outside Mexico City and have some space in the garden. I have had chickens for a few years and I have a small plot for vegetables. I have been dreaming for a long time about having two goats for milk. I am vegetarian and since my daughter ( now three) drinks milk and probably will for more years to come, I think ow is the best time to have them.. Now, I have read pretty much all about goats except, how do people that didnt grow in a farm are able to make the decision of having to slaughter the offspring they wont raise. ( the farmstead movement isnt very strong in Mexico, so, here it would be absolutly impossible to find them a home). I totally understand that in order to have milk, the goats have to have kids bit then, I am only planning for two of them. My question is to those who maybe had this dilema… Where you able to manage it? Did it stop you from having goats? Did it got to a point where you got used to it? Any comments help..

  • Sherry Wilson says:

    I have a sweet little Nigerian Dwarf doe. My sister has goats and one momma didn’t seem to care for her smallest of newborn triplets, so I took her home and bottle-fed her and she just stole my heart. She is smaller than most goats 8 months old, like a “Mini Dwarf”, but she has a big personality, is very loving and good natured. An intolerant neighbor told on me for having her at my home in city limits, so Animal Control said I had to give her up–I am thankful she could go back to my sister’s, but it still broke my heart though she has adapted to the other goats, miniature pony, and shepherd guard dog. I get to see her at least once a week and she recognizes me and comes to see me (always with a treat in mind I’m sure). I let her out of the pen and she follows me around and eats as much grass as she possibly can on the way, and at the end of our visit she falls asleep in my lap. I didn’t know how personable and cute goats could be, and what good little friends. Someone said to me “they’re JUST goats!” No, they are much more than “JUST goats”.

  • Joey F says:

    I have two black labs. Will the goats get along with them if I buy a baby that will grow up around my dogs??

    • theresa says:

      Hi Joey,
      That really depends upon the temperament of the dogs and the temperament of the goat. So is hard to answer that one.

      My chocolate lab has no problem with my chickens. But I would never leave her alone with them or she might decide to chase them…for fun. And that would scare them literally to death. And because she likes to chase things, I would probably not leave her alone with a goat. So you have to know your dogs. I have many friends who have dogs and goats together with no problem. Their dogs don’t chase things.

  • Mckenzie says:

    I’m looking to get a goats but how do I pick does or bucks

    • Lisa says:

      Get does or castrated males (whethers). Uncastrated males (bucks) are very smelly and pee on themselves to attract female does. Do your research first!!!

  • wow, fanstatic DIY project. Looks great.

  • Mr.George says:

    I love your article!!! it gives me useful information!!! Thank you so much!!!

  • Pam says:

    I know nothing about goats, but here is a link on “sexing goats”
    https://fiascofarm.com/goats/gender.htm

  • Elaine says:

    I have 3 goats, 8 ducks, and 12 rabbits in my back yard. As for the goats poop there is much less of that than the ducks and rabbits. It is just fertilizer for the pen. I have the best grass in their pen. They are the joy of my day, they are all wired up and frisky in the mornings. Jumping running and kicking there heels up. As for the noise, mine only holler real loud if I catch them and hold them on a lead. You would think I was killing them then. Normally even when Elsa is in heat she is not loud. Annebelle is a full size mixed breed and hasn’t come in yet. Holly is no more than a foot tall and just the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen. I got my first one six months ago and have never regretted it for one moment. I’m not in the city proper, I’m in the county by maybe a quarter of a mile and in a subdivision. I keep after all the droppings on a daily basis so as not to have any fly or smell problems. Doesn’t take as much work as it sounds if you keep up with it.

  • John Park says:

    if you want more milk, just feed the goat….they are look cute, aren’t they????

  • james Dornan says:

    I would like to get a pet goat, but I am afraid it will turn out to be Satan incarnate or one of the lesser demons from hell. Any thoughts?

    • Lisa says:

      Why would it be satan incarnate if it is raised properly? Do your research and get a female or castrated male and treat it with love and kindness. Also remember that goats are herd animals and you need to get at least two. Also remember that most goats live for 15-18 years. It is a long-term commitment.

  • Aline says:

    Thank you for this article!
    I am thinking about getting a dairy goat (or two) because i can’t eat industrial dairy products for ethical reasons (knowing that it inevitably cause boy calves killed for veal and most likely suffering and ilnesses for the cow, as well as early death of the dairy cow when she produce less milk). I am a vegan now but its hard to live without dairy products.

    But i also don.t want to have the same what they has at dairy farms – impregnate the dairy goat every year just for milk and kill (or sell for slaughter) unwanted kids.

    How do you think, is it possible to make a goat lactate by giving her an orphaned kid? Or letting her have kids one time and then maintain the lactation by orphaned sucking kids? I understand that kid would drink a most part of milk but i don.t need too much, one-two cups a day would be enough.

    Those kids i.d buy from goat farms (usually they don.t need boy kids and sell them at the low price) and then travel them to a sanctuary or sell as pets (not for slaughter).

    Is it possible or goat would not adopt kids that she didn.t bear?

    • Lisa says:

      Try vegan cheese. Sheesh! How many goats do you think sanctuaries can take? Who do you think you could sell the unwanted goat babies to besides somebody looking for cheap goats for slaughter? Not that many people are in the market for baby goats as pets. Why not just let the baby goat that the mother gives birth to just keep nursing? How much milk do you think a goat produces per day anyway? A goat is not the size of a cow and won’t produce nearly as much milk.

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  • Deb says:

    If you don’t want goats for meat or milk (just pets) would u choose male/female, 2 females or 2 males? Not sure about the vocal nanny & the stinking pee. lol

    • Lisa says:

      Try two castrated males. They won’t pee on themselves or produce the strong musk of an intact male. All goats will be loud when they think they should be fed (or get treats) or when they want your attention.

  • Amelie crouzet says:

    do we absolutely have to have another goat

    • Lisa says:

      Goats are herd animals, it is not kind for it’s mental health for it to be alone. It needs at least one other goat to feel safe and happy.

  • Dannie OBrien goat farmer. says:

    Took my wife to a goat auction, came home with 17.We have 2 Dexter cows 2 mini donkeys and 1 Tom Turkey who has survived 2 Thanksgivings due to spousal pardons 4 chihuahuas and one blue healer. They all get along well so far.

  • LeRoy says:

    Couldn’t you just use some of your goats each year from breeding as livestock and butcher them?

    • Lisa says:

      Pretty sure this is about keeping goats as pets, LeRoy 🙁

    • Julia says:

      Really depends on the breed. Some goat breeds were first founded for meat, while others might not taste good and are best for milk. Maybe only butcher a buck, as does sell for a good amount more than the males. Good luck!!!

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you, thank you, for being my voice of reason!! I live in the country, where it is allowed and common to have goats and such, on a sizable property. I’ve had goat fever for some time now, and presented currently with the opportunity to acquire 2 male babies. I want to … so badly, but after reading this, I’m not at all prepared. Maybe in the future. Thanks again, for such an informative post containing both the cons and the pros!

  • NICK says:

    I lock up my two Wethers in their 10×10 shed at night. All four sides are closed. If one day I’m somewhat feeling kind of poorly, and can’t get to them until late morning. Will they be ok?

    • Lisa says:

      Make sure they have food and a water bucket that can’t be kicked over and they should be fine for a couple of extra hours but it sounds like your health is on a steady decline and eventually you wouldn’t be able to care for the goats at all. If this is the case, it would be irresponsible of you to buy animals that you know you won’t be able to care for in the future. Goats live about 15-18 years. Can you make that kind of long-term commitment?

  • Julia says:

    Hey! I own goats and if you are thinking of getting some, keep in mind that they need attention, whether feeding or letting out and in 0r just giving love, and that they will smell without cleaning. When the warmer months come around, their pee can get to smelling really bad. Don’t get a couple goats and a couple months later sell them because you didn’t want the responsibility anymore. I own two adult female goats and I am 13 and love them a lot. I sell the babies unless one of the female babies is a keeper. Goood luck if you are getting goats, and please remember that they will be a lifelong responsibility!!! Thanks!!!!!

  • Lisa says:

    Great article. I hope people find it informative and really think and do their research before buying a goat (or preferably two.) I hope you add the useful and informative comments that I have made to the website as well. Anyone buying goats needs to remember that they live 15-18 years and it will be a long-term commitment. And please don’t breed your goats irresponsibly. Think about what will most likely happen to the unwanted baby goats.

    • theresa says:

      Thanks Lisa. I appreciate all of your comments. It is SO important for people to do their research before diving into goats!
      ~theresa

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