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Owning Goats: The Definitive Guide

Owning Goats The Definitive Guide

Are you planning to embark on the journey of owning goats on your farm or homesteading?

These goats are one of the staple animals in homesteading, and they’re among the most profitable livestock. But owning goats also requires time, money, and commitment.

They’re not gardeners, so buying goats because you have an overgrown garden is not enough reason to get some goats.

So, before you purchase your a ruminal friend, take a sneak peek of the goat’s world and discover:

  • the advantages of owning a goat and the responsibilities that come with it
  • the purchase price of goats and how to choose the right one
  • some tips on how to raise this unique animal

This guide will help you assess if you have the time, facilities, and resources to raise goats and ensure that you’re ready to be a goat parent.

What To Know Before Owning Goats

Know Before Owning Goats

    Introduction

You can indeed picture what a goat is in your mind. They come in various colors and sizes, but they’re distinct from other livestock. These animals belong to the Bovidae family, and they’re close relatives of sheep.

But did you know that more than 300 breeds of goats exist today across every continent?

The most famous goat breeds include:

  • Alpine
  • La Mancha
  • Nubians
  • Saanen
  • Boer
  • Nigerian Dwarf
  • and Angora

Do you ever wonder where this kind of livestock came from? Here’s a little throwback on where goats originated.

    History of Goats

Goat’s origin can be traced back to the wild bezoar ibex or Capra aegagrus in western Asia. These animals are native to the southern slopes of the Zagros and Taurus mountains located in Oran, Iraq, and Turkey.

Neolithic farmers in these areas started keeping them for milk and meat, hair, and bone between 10,000 to 11,000 Before Present (B.P.). They also use the dung for fuel and the skin and sinew for clothing.

These animals thrive in different environments, from human settlements to tropical rainforests, hot deserts, and cold areas.

Today, most domestic goats are milk producers in China, Great Britain, and other parts of Europe and North America. And a large portion of their milk is used in making cheese.

    Benefits of Having A Goat

Goats are famous among homesteaders and industrial farm owners for a reason. They’re prized additions to all farms because of the benefits they bring to people, including the following:

  • Dairy goats produce copious amounts of milk that your family can use in making cheese and yogurt. You can also make a soft and mild soap for sensitive skin.
  • They help clear lands by grazing on grass and weeds.
  • Goats provide meat that is high in protein but low in fat.
  • Their manure is a good fertilizer because it contains nutritious potassium, nitrogen, and phosphate. Some people also use it to fuel fires.
  • Goats like Angora can produce mohair, a lustrous fiber used to make sweaters, hats, scarves, and other accessories.
  • They make great companions as some goat breeds are sweet, cuddly, and friendly.
  • Goat’s skin is ideal for making goatskin gloves, and its hide is perfect for making traditional African drum heads.

    How Hard Is It To Raise Goats?

Compared to other farm animals, goats are easier to handle, and they’re less needy than cats and dogs.

However, goats also need adequate land for grazing and foraging and additional hay and supplements to meet their nutritional requirements. You’ll also need to put up heavy-duty fencing and shelter.

Lactating goats need to be milked twice a day, so they need time and extra care. Not to mention the uncastrated male goat’s aggressive tendency and pungent odor that you’ll have to deal with.

    Local Laws On Goats

Each state regulates local farming differently, so you need to consult the local authorities to know if you can legally keep goats in your area. It could depend if your property is considered a “residential” or “agricultural zone.”

But goats can be noisy and produce an unpleasant smell that can annoy your neighbors too. So, that’s something worth considering.

         Can I Raise A Goat In My Backyard?

Goats are versatile animals, and you can raise a goat in your backyard. That’s why it’s popular among homesteaders. However, you need to have a ten ft. indoor space for them.

Also, you need to provide at least 200 square feet of space per goat if you’ll keep it in a dry lot where there is no pasture, and you’ll bring in the hay.

    Where Can You Buy Goats

You can buy goats at auctions. However, although there are many reputable sellers and quality goats, there are also unreliable ones. And you would only have limited time to check the goats and their lineage or health records.

So, it’d be better to purchase from a private, professional breeder or amateur breeder with a good reputation and quality goat with registry papers.

There may be cheap goats in a sale barn, but you won’t know their background and why the owner is selling it.

Even a goat with registered papers is not guaranteed free from diseases. So, goats from a sale barn are more likely to be problematic.

Caring For Your Goats Year Round

Caring For Your Goats Year Round

 

    The Best Time to Get a Goat

You can buy a goat any time of the year as long as their shelter, food, water sources, fences, pasture, and space are ready. This means that you need to prepare before owning goats, but it would surely be worth it.

    Do Goats Need Heat in the Winter?

Goats with thick hair coats can survive winter with minimal housing and without heat as long as you block the harsh, cold wind and dry them.

However, goats kidding during winter need more shelter because their kids can’t maintain their body temperature outside.

So, they’ll need a heat lamp to keep them warm. However, there’s a high risk of a barn fire and animals chewing the electric cords, so you must be careful and watch the hazards and risks.

    Goats  Health

Keeping a goat healthy is essential to keep them productive and help them and their kids fight against diseases.

One of the ways you can protect them is by ensuring they’re vaccinated against common diseases in goats. Let’s talk about what vaccines does your pet need and their benefits.

        Vaccines

Most vets recommend vaccinating your goat for clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus or CDT. It protects your goats from enterotoxemia and tetanus.

             When to give CDT to Goats

This vaccine is given to bucks once a year and to does at their fourth month of pregnancy. However, some owners prefer to vaccinate their goat with CBD 4 to 6 weeks before kidding so that the immunity will be passed on to their babies through the colostrum.

On the other hand, some kids receive their CDT shot when they turn one month old, while others are two months old and their second dose a month or specifically, 21 to 28 after. They can also get booster shots annually.

             How to give CDT to Goats

Vets administer Clostridium perfringens Types C D /Tetanus vaccine through subcutaneous or intramuscular injections. However, the latter causes more significant tissue damage at the injection site.

That’s why most of them prefer sub-cutaneous injections.

When giving subcutaneous injections, you need to pinch your goat’s loose skin on its neck or as close to its head as possible with your thumb and index finger. You can also administer it behind its front leg or armpit or between its chest and one of its front legs.

Then, insert the needle, making sure that it goes under the skin and does not get into the other side of the pinched skin.

You can save a considerable amount if you’d vaccinate your goat by yourself. Vaccination for enterotoxemia may not always prevent the disease, but infected goats will have shorter and less severe symptoms and are more likely to survive.

        Supplements

The other way to keep your goat’s health at an optimal state is by giving supplements.

They need supplements to meet their needs for these types of minerals that are essential for their growth:

  • selenium
  • zinc
  • copper
  • calcium
  • phosphorus
  • iron
  • iodine
  • manganese
  • sodium

They can get it from sodium bicarbonate or baking soda, Probios (a probiotic supplement), Selenium/VitaminE supplement, copper bolus, and Nutri-dench that provide various vitamins and minerals.

        Diseases

Since goats usually feed on pasture, they’re prone to many bacterial infections and various illnesses that can be fatal.

Here’s a list of the diseases you need to look out for when owning and raising goats.

  • Coccidiosis
  • Helminthiasis
  • Clostridium perfringens type D
  • Contagious ecthyma
  • Chronic wasting
  • Paratuberculosis
  • Caprine arthritis and encephalitis

        Deworming

Parasitism is common among goats, and to control their parasite levels; you need to deworm them, especially the high at-risk groups like:

  • Young or old goats
  • Those suffering from so much stress
  • The most effective goat dewormers are:
  • Safeguard (fenbendazole)
  • Ivomec Sheep Drench (ivermectin)
  • Prohibit (levamisole)
  • Cydectin Sheep Drench (moxidectin)
  • Rumatel (morantel) Feed Pre-mix

        Veterinarian

Improper use or using an ineffective dewormer can only intensify the resistance and production losses because of internal parasite infection.

So, you may need the help of veterinarians to ensure you’re deworming and vaccinating your goat the right way.

    Do Goats Need Coats

Goats need a coat if they’re sick or their coats have been shredded prematurely and struggling to maintain their average body temperature.

However, you should not use a coat in the long term because it can be detrimental to your four-legged pet’s health. It can rub off your goat’s fur and hinder its growth.

Furthermore, using it too often can make the goat too dependent on it, making it challenging for them to maintain their body temperature without a body covering.

That’s why it’s best to avoid using a coat if your goat is healthy and in shape.

    Do Goats Need Shelters

Goats do need shelters, and they don’t have to be expensive. A three-sided home is enough to protect them from wind and precipitation.

They can even live in greenhouse barns, large dog boxes, and calf hutches if it’s clean and provides protection from drafts and enough bedding.

However, the shelter needs to have at least 15 square feet of bedded area to make them feel comfortable.

The most challenging part is making sure young goats are protected from drafts because cold, damp air can cause pneumonia and scours.

So, you need to consider those when building a shelter for goats.

    Goats in the Rain

According to the USDA National Agricultural Library, goats are hardy animals, but they will “run to the nearest possible shelter” when a storm is approaching.

But the truth is, even if they hate getting wet, goats can withstand rain and cold weather if they have access to quality forage and have developed fat under their skin.

That can help keep them warm and endure adverse weather conditions.

However, it’s still best to provide shelter and keep your goats away from the rain to keep them safe.

    Bedding In The Winter v Summer

Bedding is necessary for goats, especially during winter, because it doesn’t just make their bed space comfortable to lie down. It also keeps them warm and absorbs their urine and feces.

Goat Bedding Options

Here are some of the bedding options you can choose from:

Straw

It’s the leftover stalk of processed grains like wheat, but it doesn’t usually absorb, and it gets matted when wet. So it’s challenging to clean. But wheat straws are easy to muck out and less dusty, so others prefer it.

Wood shavings

This cost-effective goat bedding material can either be pine or cedar. It’s absorbent and easy to manage. That’s why it’s a popular primary goat bedding, but you will have to clean it more often than hay or straw.

Wood pellet

It absorbs moisture, urine, and odor but is expensive, too hard, and uncomfortable bedding. So, it’s best to put it under your primary bedding.

Goats don’t need extra warmth during summer. The beddings can get too hot or wet. So others prefer using the dirt floor and removing the bedding because goats are pretty hardy, and they’ll do just fine on the floor.

However, your goat may need beddings again if the floor is too compact to absorb urine and when it rains to stay away from the mud.

How Often Should You Clean Out a Goat Pen or Barn?

Water, urine, and feces can saturate your goat’s bedding over time and be a perfect breeding ground for flies and parasites. That’s why you need to clean their pen and replace the old beddings with new ones to prevent the spread of parasites.

But the frequency of cleaning a pen will vary depending on your goat’s bedding material.

If you’re using a deep litter method, usually hay or straw, you’ll need to clean it twice a year- once in spring and late fall.

On the other hand, pines are more absorbent than hay or straw, so you have to clean them out every 10 to 14 days.

But wood pellets are more absorbent than pine, so you need to clean them out every week if you’re using these two.

Absorbent goat bedding materials need to be mucked or cleaned out often because if it becomes saturated with urine, they can give off ammonia that can damage your goat’s lungs.

Gender: Should You Get a Male or Female Goat?

Male or Female Goat

When choosing what gender to buy, you need to consider male and female goats’ characteristics, cost needs, and uses. So, let’s dive deeper into their world and see what’s best for you.

    Male Goats

       What is a male goat called?

An intact male goat is called a “buck” or “billy,” but when castrated, he’ll be called a “wether.” But males aged 12 months old are also known as “bucklings.”

Adult mate goats weigh around 100 to 350 pounds, depending on their breed, health, and nutritional status.

       Do goats smell bad?

Bill goats or bucks often have a strange odor that is unpleasant to those not used to being around goats. This smell comes from their scent glands near their horns and urine that they spray on their face, beards, chest, and front legs to attract does during mating season.

So, expect them to be extra smelly during the rut or mating season, around late summer to late fall.

The excellent news is females and wethers or castrated males don’t emit such stinky odor.

       Can males mate with their kids?

Inbreeding or mating males with their close relatives or own kids are possible, but it’s not ideal, especially if the parents have bad qualities.

For example, if the male goat has aggressive tendencies or the female doesn’t produce much milk, inbreeding can accentuate those qualities.

So, before breeding them, you need to consider their traits and if it outweighs the bad.

Some goat breeders prefer to breed grandfather to granddaughter or uncles to niece but not the full brother and full sister.

       How much is a goat stud fee?

The stud fee can vary from $100 to $200 depending on the breed and the farm.

       Can two male goats be put together?

Male goats, specifically a castrated buck or wether and an intact buck, can make a great companion and live together.

It’s better to have company because they’re social animals who may get lonely when alone.

       Do they drink their urine?

Sometimes goats drink their urine. They also drink a does’ and human urine.

This practice though uncommon isn’t harmful to their health.

If you see your goat peeing and licking his urine, that’s a sign of a lack of salt and minerals in their body.

So, you may have to check what you’re feeding to your four-legged companion and ensure that they’re getting the proper nutrients and minerals they need to be healthy.

However, sometimes goats do it unintentionally. It could be that they were just peeing on their face when you caught them off guard, or they simply like to do it.

Some goats have developed an irresistible appetite for human pee, and they keep craving it.

    Female Goats

       What is a female goat called?

Female goats are known as “does” or “nannies,” while the immature ones are referred to as “kids.” But when they mature to twelve months old, they’ll be called “doelings.”

       How long are females pregnant?

Goat’s gestation period lasts approximately 145 to 155 days with an average of 150 days. The difference is influenced by their breed, litter weight, environment, and parity.

       How long can they breed, and how many times a year?

Does go in heat approximately every 21 days, and they can breed in estrus(in heat) for 12 to 36 hours.

Their mating season usually falls from September to February.

Goats can live around 10 to 12 years, and these animals can breed and reproduce as long as they’re alive.

Most goat owners breed their goats once a year to keep their milk supply because these animals can still produce milk while being pregnant.

However, it’s best to let her rest and dry up for about two months before birth. This way, she can build up nutritional reserves for her babies.

       How many kids does a goat have at one time?

Does were pregnant for the first time usually only have one kid, increasing to two or more kids at subsequent pregnancies.

But the average number of kids they can have is 2. They can have as many as five kids at a time, but that can put their kids’ health conditions at risk.

They only have two teats to accommodate two kids, and others may suffer from malnutrition.

       How many kids do they have in a lifetime?

Since a goat can give birth all her life, which spans around 10 to 12 years, and they usually breed at least once a year, each doe can have 12 to 36 kids.

Those who give birth to 4 to 6 kids at a time may seem productive, but it’s detrimental to their kids’ health.

       Can females have twins?

It’s prevalent for goats to give birth to twins. It is the best number of kids they can accommodate and feed well.

But you as an owner must ensure that they meet their nutritional needs to help your does produce twins.

       Can a female mate without being in heat?

A goat must be in heat to get pregnant. So even if you try to breed a female, that would be pointless if she’s not experiencing estrus.

That’s why you need to take note of her cycles and the heat signs if you want to breed your doe.

       What is a baby goat called?

A baby goat is called a “kid.” This term is also used for young goats.

       The breeding process: how goats mate & what you should do

Bucks will know if a doe is in heat if she wags her tail. Her urine also contains pheromones which signify that she’s receptive to breeding.

So, when a buck urinates on his beard, beard, and front legs and approaches the doe, she will urinate, and he will detect the pheromones.

They’ll then walk or run beside each other and cry or scream as they experience ascending, cresting, and descending levels of heat.

Then, the buck will toss his head back when he ejaculates his semen after successful copulation. This mating activity can also make others does in heat and receptive to conception.

So, what should you do during the breeding season? You need to provide your bucks quality rations before the breeding to help them conceive healthy kids but don’t make them fat. They’ll also lose about 50 pounds during mating season, so you need to keep them in good shape with a balanced feed.

Remove the buck after two estrous cycles, or 42-45 days, with the does or artificial insemination (A.I.). Then, put a “clean-up” buck in with does at least ten days after the previous A.I. to breed does that did not get pregnant via A.I.

And finally, record the date of the breeding, the breeding weight, the FAMACHA scores, and the BCS.

Goat Breeds

Goat Breeds

Are you planning to purchase your first goat? If you’re interested in owning a goat, join us as we tour you around the goat breed’s world and give you a glimpse of the best choices for homesteading and farming.

    Dairy Goats

These are the goats that produce milk – lots of milk.

Let’s start with the Queen of Milk, the Saanen goat breed that can produce 1.5 to 3 gallons of milk every day. It’s a popular dairy breed, usually white or light cream, but they’re large, needing more space.

Other famous dairy goats are the Alpine and Toggenburg breeds, which produce 1 to 2 gallons of milk per day.

These breeds are calm, friendly and gentle, and excellent milk producers. However, their milk only contains approximately 2 to 3.5% butterfat, which is less creamy.

If you want creamier milk, you might want to check out Pygmy goats with 4.5 to 11% butterfat content. They’re tiny and need less space, so they’re perfect as pets.

Aside from Pygmy, Nubian goats(large breed) and Nigerian dwarf are also excellent producers of 1/2 to 1 gallon of creamy milk per day.

       Benefits of Goats Milk

One of the best perks of owning goats is that they can produce milk. And it’s not just tasty! Here are some of the benefits we can get from their dairy milk:

  • It’s rich in calcium, so it helps build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
  • Goat milk has unique enzymatic makeup because it has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s good for the stomach.
  • It contains high amounts of zinc, essential for healthy skin and wound healing.
  • This milk has twice more beneficial fatty acids as cow’s milk. So it helps keep the cholesterol balance; thus, it prevents atherosclerosis, heart attack, and other complications.
  • The protein in goat’s milk, the building block of cells and bones, can improve growth, development, and metabolic processes.
  • Most importantly, goat milk is rich in selenium which can boost your immunity, and phosphorus, which aids in reducing blood pressure.

       Goat Milk v Cow Milk

Both are dairy milk, but there are some differences between their content. Let us compare goat milk with cow’s milk to help you see which suits you better.

  • Goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk because it has smaller fat particles.
  • According to a study, 40% or more of people allergic to cow milk can tolerate goat milk well because it contains less Alpha S1 casein.
  • Goat milk has more short and medium-chain fatty acids than cow milk.
  • Goat milk is less processed than cow milk because homogenization is not necessary.
  • Lastly, goat’s milk has 134% more potassium than regular cow’s milk.

       Goat Milk v Sheep Milk

Goat milk is superior to cow milk in many ways but let’s compare it to sheep milk to know which one is better.

  • Like goat’s milk, sheep milk is naturally homogenized, so both have small fat globules and more medium-chain fatty acids.
  • Sheep milk contains more fat and protein than goat’s milk, so less milk is needed when making sheep cheese.
  • Young goat’s milk tends to be soft, spreadable, and tangy, while old goat’s cheese can be chalky crumbly, and earthy. On the other hand, sheep milk cheese is buttery.

       What is Goats Milk Used For

Goat milk from Nubian goats, Pygmy, and Nigerian Dwarf are high in butterfat content, making them perfect for creating daily products like:

          Goat Cheese

Its milk is used in making various types of cheese, such as Gouda, Cheddar, and Brie. These cheese are often softer and tangier than those made with cow’s milk.

          Goat milk (lactose intolerance)

Like other dairy products, goat milk still contains lactose. But as said earlier, it is deficient in Alpha S1 casein, the natural protein commonly found in cow’s milk that lactose-intolerant people are allergic to.

It has more Alpha S2 casein, so it’s often safer for them.

          Goat butter

Butter made from goat’s milk generally has lower lactose content and fewer fats, making it easy to digest.

Aside from these products, goat milk is also used to make ice cream, yogurt, and cajeta, a delicacy of thickened caramel made from sweetened goat’s milk.

    Meat Goats

If you’re looking own goats to produce goat meat for your family or a startup business, the best choices for you are Boer goats, Kiko, Tennessee, Spanish, and Rangeland goats.

These goats are excellent meat producers, with the Mature Boer averaging around 190 to 230 pounds and bucks around 200 to 340 pounds.

The smallest among them is the Rangeland which is popular in Australia. Its maximum weight is around 52 to 72 pounds. They’re typically hardy and produce desirable carcasses.

       What does goat meat taste like?

Goat meat usually tastes sweet, soft, tender, and gamey. It has a strong flavor that makes it ideal for soups and broths.

However, the taste can vary depending on preparing and cooking it and the goat’s age.

Often, young goat’s meat aged about three months old tastes better than old ones. But you have to be careful not to overcook it. Otherwise, it would be chewy.

       Goat meat v lamp meat

Some people claim that goat meat tastes similar to lamb meat, but there are differences between the two.

  • Goat meat is a bit sweeter and milder than lamb meat.
  • It also has a higher protein level per ounce than lamb or mutton meat.
  • Lamb meat has more fat content and cholesterol than goat meat, but that also means the gamey flavor on its fat is stronger.
  • Goat meat is a more challenging red meat cut than lamb because it has less fat.
  • Furthermore, goat meat contains more minerals while lamb meat is richer in vitamins.

       Is goat meat good for you?

Goat meat provides high protein, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, and potassium levels. In addition to that, it has lower total fat and saturated fat than other red meats. So, it’s healthier and good for your health.

       Is goat meat cheaper than other meat?

Goat meats are typically more expensive than red meat, such as lamb, beef, and pork.

This is due to its high nutritional and space needs, making it challenging to raise. Furthermore, the meat yield per goat is lower than other meat animals.

    Miniature or Dwarf Goats

If you don’t have much space for large goats, owning a miniature goat that stays small may be better.

The most popular miniature goats are the Pygmy, Nigerian dwarf, and the Pygora breed.

Female pygmy goats weigh around 35 to 50 pounds, while males are approximately 40 to 60 pounds.

Nigerian dwarf goats weigh more than 75 pounds, while Pygora is somewhere between 75 to 95 pounds.

These three breeds are all docile and dual-purpose. Pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goats are excellent meat and milk producers, while Pygora provides fiber and about 3 quarts of milk per day.

       The cost of miniature goats

Tiny breeds may be small in height and weight, but they can be more expensive than large breeds due to their productivity and purpose.

Believe it or not, some miniature goats produce higher quality milk and longer fibers than large ones.

Another factor that affects the price is the certifications from different government entities that prove the goat’s quality.

Pygmy Goat

A pygmy goat may average from $75 to $300 depending on the quality and papers. However, some farms sell it for $60 to $160 if it doesn’t have documents, registrations, or certifications.

On the other hand, those with complete papers can range from $300 to $400.

Nigerian Dwarf

A Nigerian dwarf goat with comprehensive documents and shots or vaccines and ready for breeding costs around $300 to $40. You may buy youngsters or kids at a lower price, but they have no credentials and haven’t received vaccines yet.

Pygora Goats

Pygmy goats, on the other end, cost around $150 to $500. You may find unregistered ones sold at $100 or less.

    Goats as Pets

Although goats used to be farm animals usually associated with the agricultural lifestyle, more and more people keep goats as pets.

These ruminal animals are generally friendly, intelligent, affectionate, and easy to train. That’s why they’re great companions and entertaining.

Are you planning to keep goat pets? Get to know more of the best breed choices below to ensure you make the right decision.

        Best Pet Goat

Pygmy goats stand out as pet goats because of their calm, docile, intelligent, and gregarious nature. It’s popular among goat fanciers, and with all the good features of this multi-purpose breed that we stated above, it’s easy to see why.

Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Alpine goats will also make good family pets, although the former produce creamier milk than the latter.

If you want an adorable pet goat with floor-length coats, the Miniature silky fainting goat is perfect. But if you want a dairy breed with unique gopher ears, the Mini La Manchas might be what you’re looking for.

        Friendliest Goat Breeds

Pygmy goats are winning most goat enthusiasts’ hearts because they’re also one of the most friendly goat breeds to their owners and young children.

Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf, Saanen, Alpine, Pygora, and Angora goats are also friendly towards their owners and typically have a docile temperament.

So, you won’t have a hard time dealing with and training them. They make a great addition to small farms and are famous among homesteaders.

       Can You Put a Goat on a Leash

Yes, you can tether your goat, and it’s essential if you don’t have a fence to secure them in one place.

However, it’s not advisable to tether them when exposed to extreme heat or cold, driving rain and predators.

Your goat can’t run away from predators and might get strangled when they’re on a leash, which can often lead to death.

Putting up a goat fence is the best way to control your ruminal animals.

Tips when tethering a goat

If you need to tether them, you must monitor them closely and train them not to step on the rope to prevent entanglement.

We recommend using a chain rope with a strong leather collar measuring less than 3 ½ meters long and two swivels. It provides better security and doesn’t fray, break, or tangle.

You also need to move their leash at least twice daily and make sure they have a supply of clean water and shelter.

   Goat Breeds That Have Horns

All goat breeds have horns. Even female goats have this feature. However, you may be able to find a hornless kid in a herd called a “polled” goat. It usually happens when both parents carry the gene.

However, it rarely happens and is not recorded in some breeds like Nubians and Angora.

   Best Beginners Goats

As said earlier, Nubian and Pygmy goats are both friendly, and easy to handle and get along with, so they’re regarded as one of the best goat breeds for beginners.

Like the Pygmy, Nigerian Dwarf goats are also tiny, but they yield quality milk and calm. That’s why they’re also fit for newbies.

But before purchasing your first set of goats, it’d be best to consider their purpose, the size you prefer, and the space you can offer.

Whether you choose a dairy goat breed, meat, or fiber producer, you won’t get lost with all the choices if you’ll set your priorities and define the purpose of owning a goat.

   The life expectancy of a Goat

A goat’s lifespan can range from 7 to 14 years, depending on its breed, diet, lifespan, and many other factors. Some species can live longer if they live in good home conditions.

McGinty’s longest-living goat has lived 22 years and five months in Hayling Island, Hampshire, UK.

       What is a herd of goats called?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a herd or group of goats is called a tribe or trip.

 

The Real Cost of Owning Goats

Now let’s get down to one of the most crucial factors in owning goats; the price.

    How Much Does It Cost To Purchase a Goat?

A goat’s cost ranges between $100 to $800 depending on the breed, age, quality, appearance, and location. The goat registry papers and certifications can also influence the price.

If the market is saturated with the goat you’ve chosen, that can also be a factor in pricing.

        How Long do Goats Live?

Goats’ average lifespan is 7 to 14 years, but they can live up to 15 to 18 years when healthy and cared for properly.

        Cost of a Male v Female Goats

Female goats are usually more expensive the males because they can produce offspring and dairy milk. Most farmers also keep the best does in their farms, so quality is harder to find.

Due to the high market demand with limited supply, the farmers mark them at higher prices.

On the other hand, most farms only need one or two billy goats in a herd because of their potential of fighting.

Also, other farms sell or castrate their male goats if they don’t intend to use them for breeding, making an excess of males in the market.

That’s why the demand and their monetary value are low.

        Cost of a Meat Goat v Dairy goat

If you want a show goat breed like a Nubian that comes from champion bloodlines and a complete registry, you can expect to pay $250 for week-old kids and $500-1000 for breeding-age does.

On the other hand, meat goats like Boer and Savanna’s kids may cost more than $100. But registered does with reliable quality and good breeding lines can cost around $600 to $1200.

        Best Age a Goat Should Be to Purchase

This would vary depending on why you’re buying a goat. Young kids under a year of age are ideal for those looking for pets or raising a goat from its early days.

If you want a pregnant goat at least 7 to 10 months old that offers two in one deals, it’d be perfect for you. But you have to know that they’re more expensive, just like the goats currently in milk production.

        How Many Goats Should You Start With?

Goats are social, so it would be best to start with at least two. This way, your goat can have a companion to huddle and cuddle with and won’t get bored quickly.

Whether it’s a doe and a wether(neutered male) or a buck and a doe, it’s all up to you.

We also recommend buying goats from the same herd because they’ll be comfortable with each other. After all, introducing goats from different places is challenging when you’re just starting.

              How Much Space Does A Goat Need?

The rule of thumb is to provide at least 10 square feet of indoor space and about 200 square feet of outdoor space per adult-sized goat.

              How many acres do you need per goat?

An acre of land is enough for six to eight goats, but large goat farming businesses usually require ten acres of land to raise 500 goats.

    Fencing For Your Goats

Putting up a fence is essential if you own and raise a goat because it deters predators from coming in and attacking your goat. It can also prevent your ruminal animals from escaping your property and intruding on others.

        So, how tall should your fence be?

A goat fence should be four feet tall to deter goats from jumping and escaping. Large goats like Saanen and Spanish breeds are good escape artists, so it’d be best to put a higher fence.

But it’s not just the height that you should focus on. You also need to get the space between posts to ensure that the fence is vital.

        How far apart should be the T post when fencing?

Goats spacing for goat fences should be about 8 to 12 feet to ensure that the structure is solid and sturdy enough. These ruminal animals are keen at spotting and leveraging small holes to escape.

So you need to ensure that there’s no way for them to get out.

        How do you keep a goat without a fence?

If you don’t have a fence yet, you may tether your goat using a leash, but as said earlier, it has a lot of drawbacks you need to deal with.

            Do Goats Dig under fences?

Goats may jump over the fence or get through holes, but they rarely dig under the wall.

There’s no known reported case, although it’s possible, especially for clever goats.

            Can a goat jump a 4-foot fence?

Some goats can jump over a 4-feet tall fence like the Mountain goat breeds. These goats weighing around 300 pounds are highly skillful in jumping, and some can even jump over 12 feet tall.

Gots may also enjoy standing, leaning, and chewing on fencing. If your goats are high jumpers, you need to put up a taller fence to keep them from escaping.

            How long does it take a goat to clear an acre of brush?

Most goat owners found that ten goats can clear an acre in about one month. Some of the best goats for brush clearing are the homestead favorite Alpine goats, Boer goats, and Pygmies.

    Housing For Goats

         Do goats need an insulated or heated shelter?

During winter, goats may need insulation in their pen or barn since goats with a healthy winter coat can only survive a 32-F day. However, note that over insulation can lead to ammonia accumulations and excess moisture, leading to pneumonia.

         Do goats need a barn?

You don’t necessarily have to build a barn for your goats since dog houses and igloos, pole barns, or a three-sided structure is enough for them, although traditional barns are the most ideal if your goats are kidding.

But you need to consider the number of goats in your herd when creating their home since small shelters like dog houses can’t accommodate many animals.

         Building a goat pen or goat shelter

If you want to build a pen or shelter for your goats by yourself, here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure it’s safe for your ruminal animals.

  • Choose a dry and high area to keep your goats safe from floods.
  • Ensure the floor is always dry and enough light and ventilation in the house.
  • Provide enough space for your goats to make them comfortable in sleeping.
  • Save space for the kidding pen where goats can give birth in semi-privacy.
  • It’d be best to have a milking parlor where you can milk your goats during winter.
               Should goats come in at night?

It’s best to keep your goats indoors at night to protect them from harsh weather, predators, and thieves.

Your goats are more vulnerable at night, so you may need to lock them up at night for their safety.

               Goats in the rain

Rain may cause little to no discomfort to goats during warm weather, but they’ll naturally run to their shelters when it’s available.

They should not remain cold or wet for a long time; otherwise, they’ll get sick. And if your goat has a low immune system and the weather is severe, it can lead to hypothermia and respiratory infection that may lead to death.

               How often should the pen/barn be cleaned?

As we mentioned earlier, it’s okay to clean it twice a year if you’re using a deep litter method with hay or straw. But if you’re utilizing pines as beddings, you’ll have to clean their pen or barn every 10 to 14 days and disinfect it.

                     Do Goats Poop A Lot

Adult goats poop at least once a day, but it’s normal for them to poop more, especially if they’re ill or have a sudden change in their diet.

Baby kids can poop a lot in their first few days after a meal so expect more mess. If your baby goats are not pooping or in pain, it could be due to hunger or hydration.

          Bedding

Replacing the bedding as needed is the best way to clean your goat’s pen, but the frequency depends on the bedding you use.

          Goat Feed

It’s best to store your goat’s feed like hay in a loft or an area with a goat-proof latch that your animals can’t reach.

Instead of keeping it on the ground, place it on pallets to protect it from becoming moldy. You can store other feeds in galvanized metal garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.

          Water

Goats need constant access to water, especially when they’re lactating because they can consume as much as 4 gallons per day. You won’t have a problem if you have a pond or creek around your barn.

But if you don’t, you may need to transport the water daily or bring the water from the source to the barn with a hose and some containers.

Feeding Goats

 Feeding Goats

Feeding the right foods can improve nutrition, and avoiding the toxic ones can save your goat’s life. So, this time, let’s look at your goat’s diet and its digestive system.

      Goats Digestive System

Goat’s digestive tracts are similar to sheep, cattle, deer, elk, bison, and giraffes. They’re all ruminants with four-chambered stomachs and two-toed feet.

To understand how their digestive tracts work, let’s dig deeper into the goat’s anatomy.

          Goats Are Ruminants

The four chambers of the goat’s stomach are called Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum, and Abomasum.

Rumer

The largest compartment is Rumen, about 3 to 6 gallons depending on the feed.

It contains bacteria, protozoa, and other microorganisms that provide enzymes to break down the fiber feed into fatty acids, propionic and butyric acids.

Reticulum

The Reticulum, aka honeycomb or hardware stomach located below the esophagus’ entrance into the stomach, can carry around 1/4 to 1/2 gallon.

It’s the hardware stomach for a reason. This is where the wires, nails, screws, and other objects that can injure a goat go when swallowed by the goat.

Omasum

This chamber consists of various folds or layers of tissue that digest feed ingesta and squeeze some water from the feed. Other people refer to it as manyplies, and it has the capacity of 1/4 gallon.

Abomasum

This final chamber is what others refer to as the actual stomach as it works like those with humans’.

It can carry around 1 gallon, and this is where the breaking down of protein happens before entering the small intestine.

The rest of the digestion occurs in the small and large intestines.

          Goats Are Herbivores

Goats which are members of the Bovidae family are long known herbivores. Therefore, they mainly feed on plants.

These animals don’t eat meat and dairy products.

Thanks to their ruminant digestive system, they thrive on plant matter with a specialized stomach that ferments plants through microbial actions.

     Will Goats Eat Anything?

Goats gained the reputation of eating anything because they like browsing and grazing on different foods.

They have a voracious appetite, but they don’t eat everything.

         Grass

These ruminant animals are so into grass, weeds, and shrubs like Crabgrass, Bermudagrass, Sorghum-Sudan Grass, Ragweed, and Pigweed.

But they can’t leave with just grasses. They need hay and supplements to keep their healthy body weight and produce a large amount of milk.

         Brambles

Brambles could be any flowering plant in the rose family, composed of prickly shrubs such as blackberries, dewberries, boysenberries, and loganberries. And yes, goats can eat these plants and twigs.

         Christmas trees

The Christmas tree is edible to goats, and they enjoy nibbling and playing with its branches and needles.

Some petting zoo uses it to feed goats, and pine needles are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and other nutrients, while the sap can be a natural dewormer.

         Meat

As we stated earlier, goats can’t eat meat and dairy products. They can’t digest meat the way they digest plants, and it might cause bad experiences and indigestion.

         Nettles

Goats can eat stinging nettles with pointed leaves and white to yellowish flowers. However, they try to cut and wilt them first for a day before eating.

        Japanese knotweed

This plant is harmless for humans and goats, so your animals can eat these plants characterized by bamboo-like stems and tiny white flowers.

        Pumpkin

This vegetable is safe as a treat for your animals, and it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, so your goats can benefit from it.

You can even add it to your deworming program as it can be a natural dewormer for goats.

        Apples

Your four-legged companion will enjoy munching on some fruits like apples, watermelons, pears, and grapes. It’s abundant in fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients.
However, you need to slice the carrots into smaller pieces to prevent choking.

        Carrots

Carrots contain vitamin A to boost your goat’s immune system, development, and growth. They’re great as treats but must be fed in moderation.

        Bananas

Tasty bananas offer fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6, and they’re a perfect treat for goats. Most goats prefer eating a peeled banana, but others might like the unpeeled ones.

        Parsnips

Goats are primarily grazing animals, but they may enjoy some parsnips. It’s safe when fed in moderation and high in protein too.

       Cardboard

Goats are curious, so they’ll try to eat it once they spot cardboard. Since goats are ruminal animals and cardboard is made out of paper, they may be able to digest it with no ill effects. Other farmers even feed their livestock with cardboard because it’s a source of fiber.

    What Goats Can’t Eat

These are the things your goats can’t eat due to their contents harming your goat.

Finely ground grains

Whole grains like barley, wheat, and oats are good for goats but in moderation. Finely ground ones are unsuitable for them and may cause indigestion because their digestive system is just not made for grains.

Meat

As we stated earlier, goats can’t eat meat and dairy products. They can’t digest meat the way they digest plants, and they don’t have incisors or canine teeth that can tear flesh. Furthermore, it might cause indigestion and discomfort.

Avocado

You must not let your goat ingest avocados’ fruit, seeds, leaves, and even peels because this fruit contains persin that is safe for humans but highly toxic for goats.

Cherry pits

Eating cherry pits and leaves can be harmful to goats and even humans because of their cyanogenic compounds.

Potatoes

If you love potatoes, make sure your goat can’t reach or consume them because it contains solanine, a toxin also found in nightshade plants.

Your goat’s digestive system is more sensitive to it than ours, so it’s best to avoid potatoes, peel, and leaves.

Chocolate

Goats should never eat chocolates because they have theobromine, a poisonous compound.

        What is poisonous for goats to eat

Aside from avocados, cherry pits, potatoes, and chocolates, here’s a comprehensive list of plants that can be toxic to goats:

  • Black Locust
  • Buckwheat
  • Cherry Trees
  • Crotalaria, Rattlepod
  • Desert Baileya
  • Flax Plant
  • Horse and Bull Nettle
  • Houndstongue
  • Japanese Pieris
  • Jimsonweed
  • Johnson Grass
  • Kochia
  • Laurel
  • Lambs Quarter
  • Leafy Spurge
  • Lupine
  • Milk Thistle
  • Milkweed
  • Nightshade
  • Monkshood, Aconite
  • Onions
  • Oleander
  • Pigweed
  • Orange Sneezeweed
  • Poison Hemlock
  • Ponderosa Pine
  • White Snakeroot
  • Tall Buttercup
  • Tansy Ragwort
  • Water Hemlock
  • White Snakeroot

These groups of plants are also dangerous for goats.

  • Carolina and Yellow Jessamine, Evening Trumpet Vine
  • Goats Rue, Professor Weed, and French Lilac
  • Jimmy and Burrow Weed, Rayless Goldenrod
  • Leucana, Whiteland Tree, Guaje, Huaxin and Koa Haole
  • Nolina, Bear, and Brunch Grass
  • Serviceberry, Saskatoon Berry, June Berry
  • Snakeweed, Broomweed and Turpentine Weed
  • Sophora, Texas Mountain Laurel, Coral Bean, Mescal Bean, and Frijolito
  • Spiny Plants such as Burs, Thistles, and Needle Grass

    Goat Feed

There are many food options for goats when they graze, but when it’s not possible to go outside, you’ll need to provide your ruminal animal with the feed it needs to stay healthy and survive.

        So, what do you feed goats?

The most popular for feeding goats who can’t browse for twigs, leaves, and brambles is hay. Grass hay composes 50% of a goat’s diet during winter when they cannot scan and graze in a pasture, while grain feed must only be 20% of their diet. There are different varieties of hay you can choose from, such as:

1. Legume hay

Legumes like alfalfa contain more protein, vitamins, and minerals like calcium than grass hays, so they are excellent for milking goats. It has 15 to 22% crude protein and 34% crude fiber.

2. Cereal Grain Hay

This type of hay is softer and sweeter, high in fiber, and contains a 9% crude protein ratio, but less than legume hay. But the good news is it has minerals like phosphorous, calcium, and manganese.

3. Orchard Grass Hay

This hay offers about 30% ratio of crude fiber but less protein which is only around 7%.

4. Timothy Hay

Livestock like hay provides a 32% ratio of crude fiber and a 7% crude protein ratio.

Timothy hay, orchard grass, and cereal grains hay don’t contain all your goat’s nutrients. So they’re best mixed with legume hay to ensure that your goat meets its dietary needs.

Commercial Goat Feed

If you don’t have enough quality feed that meets your goat’s needs, you may add commercial feeds to their diet.

One of the best goat feed for goats is Purina Goat Feed Grower-Finisher. This feed provides a high amount of essential vitamins and minerals.

It also minimizes the risk of urinary calculi because it contains ammonium chloride.

So, you’re not just providing the best nutrition with this feed that is critical in a goat’s fertility and immune system. You are also saving your goat from pain, hematuria, and vomiting caused by urinary calculi.

        How much do they eat/how many times a day?

Each goat usually eats around 2 to 4 pounds of hay per day, but they generally consume about 3 to 4% of their body weight. You can feed them twice a day or provide free choice, so they access it any time.

They’ll eat as much as they need, so you don’t have to worry about overeating.

        What do goats drink

Goats need access to clean water because they usually drink 4 to 5 liters of water per day and up to 10 liters per day when they’re lactating.

If you’re bottle-feeding a tiny kid, you’ll have to provide goat’s milk for it, and if it’s not available, whole cow’s milk will do good.

Raising Goats And Other Farm Animals
Raising Goats And Other Farm Animals

Owning only one goat as livestock is not that worth it. But, can you raise goats together with other farm animals? It sometimes depends on what animal is with them.

However, if you want to raise them with other animals, give them company or a buddy. One or more goats can help them thrive well, even in difficult situations or conditions. But you can also raise them with other animals.

Now, let’s see if goats can coexist with other livestock animals.

    Goats and Rams

Rams refer to the adult male sheep with hard horns and are close relatives of goats. As a male, it has higher strength than any other female animal, like goats.

So, is it possible to keep goats with rams? The answer is yes. However, it needs supervision and safety measures to keep them from danger and fighting.

    Goats and Cows

Both cows and goats are cloven-hoofed, herbivores, and ruminant animals. The only difference is their size.

So, can they get along together? Yes, they can. Cows are said to be bovine best friends of goats as domesticated animals. And, in some instances, they can be beneficial to each other.

However, it also requires care and less competition in food to prevent casualties.

    Goats and Lambs

Yes, goats and lambs (which refer to young sheep) can live together under close monitoring and with the tip below.

    Goats and Sheep

Goats and sheep, in general, have lots of similarities in terms of physiology since both are members of the Bovidae family. So, you can raise them together.

However, you have to disbud the goats and poll the sheep to prevent them from hurting each other with their horns.

Other farmers separate them, though, due to their different needs.

    Goats and Pigs

Ruminal animals like goats may get along with pigs, but they’re not meant to coexist because they have different living habits and dietary needs.

You can still keep them together, though, but you may need to separate them during feeding time and remove their feed once done.

    Goats and Chickens

Keeping both goats and chickens is challenging because chickens are messy, and they poop everywhere they want to if they’re free-ranging. And since goats are picky eaters, they won’t eat their hay anymore if the chickens poop on it.

There are also risks, including diseases and the tendency of goats to break the chicken’s eggs. But it’s possible to raise them together if they have separate houses and allow them to free-range during the day.

         Do goats protect chickens from predators?

Unfortunately, goats are not known to protect chickens because they fall prey to chicken predators. But even if they won’t fight against predators, their size is enough to scare off birds like hawks that want to hunt your chickens.

         Will goats keep foxes away?

Young goats and injured or weak ones are vulnerable to fox attacks during the kidding season. Sometimes, they even go for adult goats, especially the new moms who are weak and in a vulnerable state after kidding.

Foxes usually prey on more miniature goats than larger breeds. So, they’re at higher risk.

    What Is The Easiest Farm Animal to Raise?

One of the best animals to start your journey with are the chickens because they’re the easiest to raise. Americans can consume 220 pounds of meat and poultry per person this year. That means they’re in demand in today’s market.

If you’re looking for more meat with less maintenance, cattle and goats may be the better choice for you. They’re hardy and produce meat, milk, butter, and cheese.

    How to Introduce Your Dog to Your Goat

Your dog’s predatory instinct can threaten your livestock’s life. So, when introducing a canine to your goats, you need to ensure their safety.

You have to keep your goats in a fenced enclosure that your dog can’t get into.

Let your canines see your ruminal animals and observe their behaviors. You need to reprimand your dogs if he growls or chase the goats or display any aggressive behavior.

Then, bring your dog’s kennel inside the goat enclosure and let the two animals sniff and get used to each other.

If it seems that both animals accept each other, you may walk your dog on a leash with a muzzle on its snout inside the goat enclosure.

    Most Profitable Farm Animal

Beef cattle is one of the most profitable farm animals and the easiest to raise for profit. It has a massive and lucrative market in USA and Canada. However, they require more space.

That’s where the chickens get an edge. They’re not needy of so much space, and they’re profitable even for new homesteaders. Of course, we won’t forget goats since they’re the most lucrative animals to breed.

Bees, turkeys, rabbits, sheep, and quails are among the most profitable animals that are perfect even for homesteaders.

Goats Are Unique

Why Goats Are Unique

Goats are unique in different ways, and there is so much more to them than what meets the eye. Do you want to know what makes them so distinct?

Observing their characteristics, behavior, and relationship with humans is the key to answering that question. So let’s dig deeper into these animals.

   Characteristics of a Goat

        Rectangular pupils (eyesight)

This unique eye shape enables goats to see the danger from their peripheral vision. It helps them see the predators on the horizon and run away or protect themselves.

How is that possible? The horizontal pupil maximizes the input from the front and behind, which allows the goat to see better in front and back.

        Different coats for winter & summer

Most goats have thick and luxurious coats in winter, but they shed into a thinner yet soft coat when summer comes.

For example, mountain goats have thick and two-layered coats that can grow over 4 inches long during winter. However, keeping a mountain goat is challenging to groom if you’re holding a mountain goat.

Good thing they molt their coats during summer, making things easier for their owners.

        How goats see the world

Goats have eyes on each side of their head, and their horizontally-elongated pupils can rotate to remain horizontal when they tilt their heads to et some grass.

This unique eye structure allows goats to have about 320-degree vision and helps them see what happens to almost everything around them.

        Goat intelligence

These ruminal animals are brilliant and curious animals proved by their inquisitive nature and constant desire to explore and investigate new things.

Researchers found evidence demonstrating that goats are as clever as dogs and can build emotional relationships with humans, just like other domesticated animals and pets.

        Aggressiveness (can they hurt you)

Most goat breeds are friendly and docile, but others can show aggressive behavior towards their humans when they reach their teenage years.

Other factors that affect the goat’s temperament and make a friendly goat mean are age, pecking order, illness, and stress.

Although incidents of goats attacking humans are few and far between, it’s best to separate them from the pen until they’re ready to rejoin the flock.

   Goat Behavior

        Faint or fall over ( from fear)

If it’s your first time owning goats that faint, you might be surprised by this phenomenon. But don’t worry, it’s common among Myotonic goats or Tennessee fainting goats.

These goats are born with myotonia congenita or Thomsen’s disease which causes their muscles to seize up when startled.

That’s why they usually fall over. The good news is this rarely hurts or injures these animals, although it’s still worrying if they fall from a high platform.

        Escape Artist

Goats are famous escape artists. They’ll try to escape even through the tiny holes in your fence, and if your fencing is not solid and tall enough, they’ll likely do it repeatedly.

Their desire to explore and venture out into new environments and look for food urges them to try to escape.

But the good news is they usually don’t venture far because they’re wary of danger, and staying too far away from the barn can put their lives at risk.

        Climb trees

Goats have an innate desire to be high up, but they climb trees to find food. In southwestern Morocco, goats climb argan trees to eat their fruits and leaves.

It’s bizarre but, at the same time, a striking sight to behold!

        Climb mountains

Aside from climbing trees, goats can also climb mountains, especially those living in them. They don’t fear walking on high-up cliffs, ledges, and trees because their hooves are designed.

Their feet have two toes that can spread out and help secure their grip on rock surfaces and trees.

They also have dewclaws that make it easier for them to slow down when descending, and their rubbery hooves also provide natural traction.

        Head butt

It’s a natural behavior in goats, and they often use it when they play, compete for food, or as a way to show dominance.

However, when a goat headbutts a stranger forcefully, that could signify that the goat feels threatened or suspicious.

        Play dead

Fainting goats may seem to play dead as a response to fear or shock, but they’re conscious the entire time, even if their muscles become stiff.

       Scream/Communication/Crying

Goats scream when they’re hungry, bored, in heat, or having issues with social hierarchies in the herd. They also cry to express pain, fear, and excitement or yell to inform other goats that something is happening.

These are these ways of communication. Some can be loud, while others can be a little quieter.

So, it’s something you need to consider about owning a goat because their noise can sometimes be awful and frustrating not just to you but also to your neighbors.

       Can goats swim?

Goats can swim if they have to, but only a few enjoy it. They would prefer to stay in a dry land, but when the water is strong enough to carry them off their feet, they will swim since they’re capable of doing so.

Even fainting goats can swim, but it’s not capable since they might get submerged when they faint and drown. Nigerian goats can even cross rivers to look for food, and Boer goats also like to play in the water and swim.

       What does it mean when they show their teeth?

Sometimes, goats curl back their upper lips, expose their front teeth, inhale a big whiff of air, and hold it for a few seconds.

That’s called Flehmen response, and goats do that to smell the air and process what they’re smelling.

It also helps goats track and identify their kids and relatives in a herd, and bucks also use that sense of smell to determine which doe is in heat.

   Goats and Humans

       Can you make them friendly?

You can tame goats by being involved with them. It may take time before they trust you, but as you spend time with them, provide food for them and approach them in a friendly way, they’ll soon build up that trust.

It would also help to touch and pet them and talk to them with a calming voice.

       Can you punish a goat?

You should never punish or physically discipline your goats by pushing, striking, or hitting them because if you’d use violent methods, they will react the same way.

Since goats hate water, one of the best ways to train and discipline them is using the squirt bottle technique.

If goats act aggressively or do something that displeases you, use an associative command or phrase like “stop” to reprimand them. If they don’t listen to you, it’s time to squirt them some water from the bottle, and they’ll get startled and scatter.

They’ll soon start to associate the command with water.

       Do they know their name?

Like dogs, goats can learn their name and will when called. But it takes time to train them.

       Training a Goat

These clever ruminal animals can learn tricks and commands like sitting, shaking hands, walking upright on hind legs or a balance beam, and jumping.

They can learn much more advanced training if you’d start teaching them when they’re young.

            Pet Goats

If you’re planning to purchase pet goats, it’d be best to train them to make your journey and time with them even more fun and exciting.

You also need to goat-proof parts of your home if you have a pet goat and potty train him if possible.

       Do goats love their owners (social)

Goats are social and primarily docile, so they quickly bond and are attached to their humans.

Goats usually show affection by staring into their human eyes, licking, or calling and following their owners around.

       Can goats cuddle or be petted?

Yes, they would love to be petted, and you’ll know if they’re asking for a cuddle or petting if they’re rubbing against you.

If they’re not afraid to approach you, sit on your lap, or want to play with you, that’s a sign that your goat is into you.

Owning Goats and Our Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, owning goats need a lot of preparation because even if they’re hardy and easy to raise, they still need shelter, quality food, bedding, and vaccinations to thrive. Not to mention the money and time you need to build fences to keep them safe.

However, the advantages of owning goats can outweigh everything because they won’t just provide your family with meat and milk. It also offers many opportunities to run your own goat farming business.

These affectionate animals can steal your heart too and provide you with the companionship you probably won’t ever expect.

But here’s our last tip, make sure you choose the right goat breed, whether for farming or homesteading. By analyzing the strengths and downsides of each species, you’ll be able to save yourself from lots of frustration.

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Owning Goats the Definitive Guide

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