Thursday, March 5, 2009

So You're Thinking of Buying a Goat??

I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some of the questions we get about raising goats.

First of all it is important to remember that goats are social animals and do not thrive if they are alone. So, if you want a goat...you want at least 2 goats. Goats do not require a large amount of space. You should provide a minimum of 30 square feet per goat. We house our goats in several fenced in areas. Fencing must be non-climb wire fence as these feisty little guys can be quite good escape artists. Each of our goats has his own large size dog house lined with clean straw for shelter. However, quite often two goats will share a house just for the company. Our fainters do not climb well, so they stay off the roofs. Our dwarf Nigerians spend a lot of time on top of their houses. So it is essential to place houses in the center of their yard....that way they cannot escape by way of the roof.

Goats require twice daily feeding with a nutritionally complete chow as well as additional grazing or hay supplementation. These animals are ruminents and spend a good portion of the day chewing their cud. Goats only have teeth on the bottom....and a palate (gums) on the top....so they cannot bite. At least if they nibble, they do not hurt.

Goats also require occasional maintenance such as hoof trimming, worming, and health check-ups and innoculations to assure their health and longevity.

If you are interested in having goat's milk, you must first breed your goat. Once the babies are weaned you can continue to milk your goat daily to keep her supply coming. Some breeds of goats are better milkers than others. So if this is your area of interest, do some research.

For us, goats provide comic relief hours of fun. They are always happy to see us, much like dogs. They love to follow us around the farm during chore time....always hoping to get yummy treats. They truly are a wonderful, loving addition to any farm.

2 comments:

  1. I am learning so much from you! I was born and raised on a dairy farm, and we had milk goats also many years also but am learning so much from your blog. Any your pics say more than a thousand words. Thanks Bev.

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