Although goats are usually considered farm animals and not pets, their friendly nature and natural curiosity make them good pets. The most common breeds kept as pets are the dwarf or pygmy varieties.
Choosing a goat
Some things to consider when choosing a goat:
- Goats are herd animals and should not be kept alone. Adopt at least a pair of goats.
- Don’t get a goat with horns. Goats with horns can be dangerous, as they can accidentally, or on purpose, seriously injure other goats, animals and humans.
- Choose a goat which is tame and friendly. Don’t attempt to tame a wild animal yourself.
- Buy from a reputable breeder and not from an auction.
Goats need a lot of space to move around in outdoors. A goat is a hazard to furniture if brought inside, since they can’t be trained not to chew on it. The goats area should be fenced in. The most reliable (and expensive) fence is the chain link fence. The area should have a shelter which will protect the goats from rain and wind.
Goats are susceptible to some infectious and chronic diseases. They need regular preventative treatments, such as vaccinations.
Goats can be led around on a leash but they can’t be tied up and left. They will either tangle themselves up or complain very loudly.
The best approach to use on goats is a very gentle one. They don’t respond well to sudden moves or loud voices.
Be prepared to provide a lot of food and water for your goats. Goats only stop eating to digest their previous meal. Goats require clean drinking water and it should be changed daily. Kids drink milk and eat hay. Older goats will also eat grain. They enjoy grazing on brush and trees. They will eat grass but only as a last resort.
Fias Co. Farm – This site provides a multitude of information on the care and keeping of dairy goats, with an emphasis on a natural and humane approach. These pages contain information on all aspects of goat raising and goat care including: health & husbandry, feeding, medications, wormers & worming, natural, herbal & holistic health care, breeding, kidding, milking, behavior, how-to instructions, free downloads, and much more.