Goats have become increasingly popular pets and hobbie farm additions, and for good reason. They can be so adorable, funny, affectionate, provide amazing milk and beautiful fiber. So many posts of goat babies (kids) are on social media, it seems like everyone should have a pet goat. These cute kids soon grow to become adult goats, some weighing in at over 200 pounds. Please consider the needs of a goat long before you fall in love and decide to bring them home. In the meantime, come by and visit us here at Magick Moon Farm, interact with our herd and we will share our experience and knowledge with anyone interested in learning.
Here are a few things to consider right from the start:
- Goats are herd animals. They feel very insecure when they are alone and can become stressed and even depressed. This can lead to an unhealthy goat or possibly even death.
- Goats do not make good house pets. Sometimes a situation necessitates that a baby goat needs to live in the house and be bottle fed, but this should only be considered a temporary fix. They need to be transitioned outdoors as soon as it is safe to do so. They are browsers and will want to taste everything in the house. They pee and poo randomly and are difficult if not impossible to house break. They jump. On everything.
- Goats require sturdy fencing, shelter that is dry and protected from harsh weather, and a healthy diet. Contrary to popular belief - they cannot, or rather should not, eat anything and everything.
- Goats are ruminants. They "chew their cud". This means that in order to acquire proper nutrients from plant-based food, it must first be fermented in a specialized stomach through microbial action. They eat almost constantly. Please consider the expense of proper food and hay before you bring home a goat. The rumen can easily be disrupted by things like toxic plants, over-eating, or insufficient nutrients. This can quickly turn deadly - so please be aware and prepared for such emergencies.
- Have a good mentor and a veterinarian that treats goats. Not all do, and will likely tell you this up front. You will have questions and situations that arise and having someone with experience is a great help. There is lots of information on the internet, some good, some not. Any one Facebook group will provide you with numerous, sometimes contradictory information on any one situation. Every goat home is unique, and what works for someone in California, may be vastly different from what works for someone in Georgia.
Once you have the necessary housing and food in place. Armed with a lot of love and a little bit of knowledge, you too can become an amazing goat parent. What a wonderful adventure having goats has been for us!