Whether you are intrigued by the unique personality of goats or you are a hobby farmer looking to add a new animal to your farm, knowing a few basic goat facts will help you avoid common mistakes that can be costly and make your experience less than desirable.
Most goats hate being alone
You may want to consider buying more than one goat. While some goats do fine alone, many seem to prefer being with a few others or in a herd. As a general rule, goats are social creatures.
Goats hate getting wet
You must have adequate shelter for your goats to take cover in. Besides the fact that goats hate being wet, goats who don't have shelter may be more likely to develop diseases of the hoof such as hoof rot.
Goats don't live well with all animals
Goats, geese, and chickens may appear to get along fine, but some chicken feed can be toxic to goats and may cause bloating and even death. Chickens will also perch on water pails and troughs. Goats need fresh water that is not contaminated by chicken droppings.
Not all goats are created equal
You should only purchase goats from a reputable breeder. Goats are susceptible to certain diseases. Your seller should have documentation that their goats are free from caprine arthritis and encephalitis. You should also be concerned about caseous lymphadenitis. These conditions are extremely painful. They are also highly contagious and often fatal.
If you don't already have a veterinarian, you should locate one in your area. A veterinarian who provides mobile service is best. Consider having the veterinarian perform a health check on the goat before you purchase it. A professional can detect signs of potential problems that you may not be aware of. Consider looking into Mobile Veterinary Hospital medical care for your goats.
Goats are escape artists
Goats are notorious for breaking out. They will climb up on most any surface. You will need sturdy fencing to keep your goats and your possessions safe. Goats who roam free are more likely to encounter harm due to their intense curiosity.
Substantial fencing also keeps predators such as foxes, dogs, bears, and coyotes away from your goats.
Do your research
Never stop learning. Different breeds of goats have various needs. Ask other goat owners for advice. No matter how experienced you become at raising goats, it will always be a learning process. Being a diligent researcher will benefit you and your goat.
Doing a little research, consulting with a veterinarian, and preparing for your new arrival ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches later on. Saying yes to the goat will be easier when you are well prepared for your new adventure.