Have you seen our goats on my YouTube channel? Miss Kae and Bolt will definitely make you laugh. Goats are so fun to own if you have a little bit of land. A few good reasons to have goats include: making soap or lotion from their milk, being entertained, and some people use them as a meat source….. we don’t, but some do!
Goats are great animals to have on a small farm. They don’t take up a huge amount of space like other farm animals, and you only need a small area for them to be happy and healthy.
Most Popular Goats
There are several breeds of goats. Here’s a list of the most common baby goats goat owners get and what people use them for:
- Dairy Goats: People with allergies from dairy cows have used goat’s milk as a staple in their diet for years. My twin boys drank goat’s milk when they were babies and toddlers all of the time. In the past few years there has been a demand for dairy production of goats to be used in soaps, goat cheese, lotions and even goat milk yogurt. Breeds of dairy goats that product dairy products include Alpine goats, Guernsey goats, LaMancha goats, Nigerian Dwarf goats, Nubean goats, Pygmy goats and Oberhasli goats.
- Meat Goats: Some people love goat meat because it is leaner than poultry and other red meats, low in fat and low in cholesterol. According to the American Goat Federation, goat meat is classified as either cabrito or chevon. Cabrito is from kids harvested within the first week of birth. Chevron is from older kids. Meat breed goats include Spanish goats, Boer goats, Kiko goats, Myotonic goats and Savannah goats. Goat meat production has increased over the past years and could be a money generator for your farm.
- Fiber Goats: Some goats are also grown for their fiber that is so luxurious. It is used for coats, sweaters, just to name a few items. Fiber producing breeds include Angora goats and Cashmere goats.
It’s a good idea to figure out your goal for having your own goats and decide the right breed for you. You will want to get a herd of goats that fits your needs. I talk about that below.
Care of Your Goats
There are a few needs goat’s have when you are researching information about raising goats. Here are some basic needs when you raise goats:
- They need grain to eat. You can purchase bags of premixed goat grain at most farm supply stores and even Amazon. We love feeding our goats a sweet feed, a grain feed and alfalfa feed. You will also want some feeding troughs and water holders. Goats like to step in their own feed, so we like to use troughs that are off of the ground.
- Goats need copper supplements, which contain the mineral selenium. It’s crucial for their health. Selenium deficiency in goats can lead to seizures and weakness. It can hinder healthy reproduction, lactation, muscle control and weaken their immune system. Always work with your local veterinarian on what your particular goats need for supplements.
- Your goat will need plenty of clean, fresh water. Goats are rather dirty creatures, but they need fresh water at all times. Here is a great water holder that we love to use on Amazon.
- Goats need shelter. Many people do a 3 sided shelter with a roof. If you live in an area where the winter months are cold, a small four-sided shed is the best option for them. Goats will huddle together and share body heat in the winter time. They also do not care for rain, at all. I live in a rather rainy region and they use their shelter often, so they can get out of the rain.
- Goats need places to run and play. Good fencing is fine, but goats like to explore and browse. Not all goats will graze on grass like beef cattle or sheep, although some do. Instead they will nibble on brush, tree branches and your favorite rose bush if it’s available to them. Although they are not traditionally picky eaters, they know what they like and when they like it. One of our goats loves oak tree leaves while another loves other types of leaves and on ocassion will not be in the mood to even eat their favorite leaves and brush.
- They also need their hooves groomed at least twice yearly. You can try to do this yourself or hire a Farrier who will come out and do it for you. We also provide a rock in their pen, so they can stand on it to groom their own hooves.
All of the items above will make sure your goats stay in good health. If you need any further information, the American Dairy Goat Association has some great resources.
You Need More Than 1 Goat
Goats are herd animals, so they will become depressed if they are the only one in the herd. The worst thing you can do is purchase only one goat. You definitely need a goat herd which is usually 3 or more goats. We have several at our farm, and they love being together….. with the exception of Miss Kae that sometimes will bully Ethel. No harm is done, but Miss Kae definitely thinks she is the boss! You can watch their shenanigans on my IG Stories almost daily.
Be prepared to fall in love with your small goat herd. The goats will make you laugh and will give you kisses when you are feeling down. Always plan on spending a few extra minutes a day when you feed them because they love attention and showing you love.
We would love to introduce you to our goats. Some days it feels like we own a petting zoo, but really we have the best goats who make us laugh daily. Here’s a video of our crew. I hope you enjoy watching them. Hopefully, you will see a good reason to get your own breed of goats for your own farm or maybe even your front yard.