In 2014 we adopted our first pet goat from a local feed store. It was a Saanen pet goat we named Rockabilly. I've learned a few things since then!
Owning a pet goat for the first time, there was a lot we didn't know especially with handling and caring for pet goats. After the first few days of adopting Rockabilly, he sent our little family Hyundai to a body shop that cost about $600 to fix! Ahh, tap-dancing hood goats are THE BEST.
Here is a complete guide of things you must know before getting a pet goat.
Check Your City's Regulations on Owning Animals
Before you make a decision to own a pet goat, make sure to check in with your local laws or your city regulations to ensure that you are allowed to adopt or own one.
You do not want to get one only to find out that you are going against your local laws.
Check Your Neighbors
Goats can get very noisy and pretty destructive too. You will need to be sure that your neighbors are very tolerant with regard to the occasional rough housing.
It's A Long Term Commitment
Goats are very long-lived compared to most animals. A goat can live up to 10 to 12 years and even more, so it's important to know what you are getting into before adopting one.
Goats have been recorded to have lived up to 19 years in some very rare cases. If you decide to find another home for your goat, rehoming isn't always the easiest thing. Keep in mind that you are entering a long term commitment.
They Are Pack Animals.
You can not buy a single goat. People will tell you otherwise – in attempts to sell you on – but they're wrong. Take it from me. Goats are extra destructive when they're alone, and they truly do need constant companionship. Tou will need to buy at least two. Buying one goat means that your goat will be lonely and more likely to cause trouble.
Goats are herd animals, so having them with other animals doesn't count. Even if you also have sheep, like animals will naturally gather with their kind. Don't have a lone goat.
An average goat requires about 200 square feet of space to roam. Obviously, square footage is multiplied by how many goats you own. So make sure you have a yard that can provide sun and also shade!
The space you needed for your pet goats to thrive is super important, as it needs to have a shade for when they sleep and when temperatures swing. It also needs strong fences to ensure safety from predators.
Purchase Only From Trusted Breeders
This is important for understanding the characteristics and needs of your goat. A trusted breeder will help you with everything you need to know about the specific breed you are buying, housing and general goat care.
You do not want to buy unhealthy or dying animals, so avoid buying goats from public sale barns because many people take their sick animals to offload them to the next person at sale barns.
Depending on the breed and sex of pet goats you buy, feeding needs will vary. Most people struggle with their female goats maintaining a healthy weight, especially when they are not bred. We've personally found male goats to be much easier. We don't have the benefit of fresh goats' milk, but honestly…that's a lot of work and potential medical complications that we simply don't want to take on at this point. We lova having our male goats to keep the brush cleared and serve as cute companions.
Provide clean water and pet food that has enough goat minerals and copper, avoiding buying foods labeled “for sheep and goats” as these may not have enough copper that your goat needs.
Opt for pet food made specifically for goats. When in doubt, get to know the folks at your local feed shop. They're usually very knowledgeable!
What other tips have you found really helpful while deciding to buy a pet goat?