Goats can be terrific pets. In petting zoos, their cute appearance and charming personalities, along with their intelligence, are why goats are frequent stars. Today, not only are they groomed as companion animals, but they are also in high demand for “Goat Yoga” classes that are highly lucrative.
Holding goats as pets not only brings the pleasure generally associated with having any traditional form of pet, but also provides young farmers or homesteaders with a superb training area. As part of their everyday tasks, these usually easy-to-handle animals will teach children as young as two how to care for and be around livestock and pave the way for a good 4-H experience.
While it is possible to keep almost any goat breed as a pet, it is generally the miniature breeds that are used for this purpose and as children in goat yoga classes.
Holding Goats Like Pets
What are the right goats to keep as domestic animals?
Maybe the goat breed most widely kept as pets and used as both service animals and in goat yoga is the Nigerian dwarf. Usually, these so-called miniature goats stand about 22 inches tall.
One of the most popular types of pet goats, petting zoo attractions and companion animals are also pygmy goats. Typically, pygmy goats are just 21 inches tall.
Nubian goats are among the breeds that warrant the most social and human contact.
For some people, Nubians may be too big to keep as a pet, but for small homesteads, the emerging Nubian-Nigerian cross-breed may be a great combination. Nubians are strikingly noisy goats and are not ideal for either small towns or suburban backyards.
From Nigerian dwarf and Pygmy goat parents, children are crossbred. They are fast keepers as well and are docile enough to avoid sharing a home with young kids. These goats weigh between 70 and 100 pounds, on average, along with the original breeds from which they derive.
Are goats expensive to keep?
Regardless of the goat breed that you chose to keep as a pet, for their feed and water, standard husbandry costs can range from $10 to $20 per week. Two pounds of food a day is consumed by mature goats. The cost of raising a goat would be less costly if the goats have room to search for their own food-grass, twigs, leaves, etc. and you bale your own hay.
Goats, including cattle and sheep, are animals that ruminate. This means they have a high metabolism and four stomach chambers. Even a miniature goat can eat abundant quantities of hay during the winter months if they can not forage for the roughage they need on their own. Do not let their small size fool you.
Do not make the mistake during the winter that some newbie keepers do and skimp on the hay and have just grain. When a goat’s ruminant gets out of whack it Can become bloated and sick-if not properly handled, both conditions can become deadly in a matter of just a single week.
If you can’t free range on different terrain for pet goats or don’t have a large pen of natural and/or man-made toys to climb on porous and hard surfaces, you’ll have to file your hooves around every six weeks.
Learning how to properly trim goat hooves is no more difficult than trimming the nails of a dog, and in most agricultural supply stores, the manual equipment to do so can be bought for less than $100. If the hoof trimming is performed by a vet, plan to pay a minimum of $15 per goat.
Before determining how many goats your homestead can afford, do a bit of math. In a single month, a herd of 10 goats will clear an acre of field of all edible food.
Holding Goats Like Pets
Holding Goats As FAQs for Livestock
A lot of goats go potty-a whole lot, even as kids. If you are going to have goat children inside for even a short period, potty training or cleaning out a litter box you make for them must be done Everyday to avoid exposure of the animal to harmful bacteria that can lead to serious infection or death.
Goats aren’t necessarily biters, at least not like dogs or cats. But goats can teach and bite if they’re sufficiently challenged. A goat uses its teeth in almost the same way as our fingers do. If a goat and its flat edged teeth are bitten by you, it will feel like a pinch and probably not split the skin.
The traditional self-defense response of a goat is to use its horns to head butt someone on two or four legs, which poses a perceived danger to them. Goats who have never been around dogs, even though the dog is just curious about them, sometimes head ass. Even the most docile of dogs will easily cause this form of action to give in to their own natural response and attack the goat.
Horns on a goat are the only true measure of self-defense for the animal. To avoid possible harm to other goats, farm animals, and individuals, many people suggest disbudding (removing horns when the buds appear on baby goats). As a newbie keeper, I almost went this path and am now incredibly happy I didn’t. In the most natural way possible, I choose to raise all of our animals.
She definitely would have been dead if I hadn’t allowed Pearl to hold her horns until I was able to run and reach her during the dog attack. The knocking of horns is part of goat play, and although with their horns, two Billy goats will battle and injure each other, few people hold more than one mature Billy, and even if their horns are removed, they will find a way to fight. I encourage our toddler and pre-school grandchildren to tend to goats and a goat or human that was caused by horns never had a single injury.
Goats are best kept with other goats, but there are healthy farm animals that can also be happily shared with your pet goats. Within minutes, miniature donkeys and goats will become besties. They love to kick the stuffing out of coyotes, a prime goat predator, and the little donkeys also provide defence from predators. Sheep, horses, and occasionally even cattle may also usually cohabit with goats.
Security in Safety
There should be a protected place for the goats to go at night. For miniature goats, a shelter as basic as a dog house would work perfectly, but predators lurking around such a set-up will not shield them. Our goats follow me into an evening snack stall at night (timed treats are a great tool for training) and they are locked up for the night. To shield the goats from mountain lions, bobcats, and the children from smaller predators including hawks and mink, a double layer of hardware cloth (rabbit pen wire) covers the top and sides of the horse stall.
When free-ranging goats, the fencing around any goat pen you build or a property boundary should stand 32 inches tall if miniature breeds are kept or 47 inches tall when standard size goats are kept as pets. Goats are notorious practitioners of escape. In order to keep your goats from escaping, use hog panels or cattle panels secured with locust posts and electric fencing. Goats Can scale a fence with a chain link.