Raising goats as pets is very interesting and pleasuring. Goats are absolutely awesome as pets. They offer good companionship to you and as well as some of your four legged farm animals. Usually most of the people raise goats for meat and milk production. But they can be excellent pets too. Along with producing meat and milk, as a best livestock, some people found goats as great pets and some people raise goats at home as an interesting hobby. But raising goats as pets come with some challenges. Especially for the people who don’t have any experience about goats and not raised them before.
Raising them as pets is not so easy like raising chickens, dogs, cats or something else. It’s a challenging job and need commitment on the part of the owner. They require roaming in a free area, good housing, standard veterinary care and plenty of fresh and nutritious food. So, it will be better if you try to learn everything related to raising goats including care, housing, feeding, watering, medication, management, vaccination etc. Before raising a or a few goats as pet, ensure that you are ready for all those challenges. Here I am describing about the different points that you have to keep in mind while planning for raising goats as pets.
Raising Goats As Pets
It’s very important to ask yourself, why do you want to raise goats as pets. Determine this clearly before starting to read a lot about ‘how to raise goats as pets’. Having a clear answer of this question will help you to choose a perfect type of goat as pets. Do you want to raise goats for cleaning your lawn or just as pet?
Goats generally prefer trees and bush than the grasses. They will chew up all the trees and flowering plants from your property. So, raising some goats for the purpose of cleaning up your lawn is not a good idea. In this case you can raise some sheep to chew the grass specifically from the lawn. Although sheep are not much affectionate like goats.
It’s very important to know the behavior of your goats that you are going to raise as pets. Before taking the goats home, ensure that it is touchable and well behaved. Wild goats are not suitable for raising as pets. And it’s almost an impossible task to tame the wild goats. So look for friendly behaved goats. Goats look very adorable when they are kids. But horns grow out over their head after a certain period of time. Goats with rough nature may use their horns in unpleasant ways. That can be quite dangerous for you, your family members and other animals on your property. So, choosing well behaved goats is very important for raising goats as pets. You can visit some websites or consult with your neighbors to learn more about the behavior of a specific goat breed.
You can raise any type of goats as pets, whether it is a buck, doe or a castrated buck. Among them, does are much loving and respond fast when their herd call them by their name. They make good companions along with producing milk regularly. But their is a problem with raising does as pet. Generally they are much expensive compared to bucks and castrated bucks. If you are planning to raise goats as pets for first time, don’t buy a buck. Generally bucks are aggressive in nature than does and castrated bucks. And they can harm your family members or other animals. As bucks are breeding animals, they always search for doe’s companionship and if there are no does available, then they can become very aggressive and rude. Bucks also have an unpleasant smell that can be very disgusting for you. On the other hand, castrated bucks are perfect choice as pets. As they are castrated, so they don’t think about sex all the time. They always act like a kid. They are well behaved, affectionate and very loving. They also respond their herd quickly, by calling them with their name, like does. If you make good friendship with them, probably they will come closer to you, lay their head in your lap, you keep hand on their body, wrap your hand around their muzzle, gently message it and they will roll their eyes back with pleasure :). It’s amazing! You will feel a priceless pleasure and peace. However, my suggestion is to choose castrated bucks and I am sure, they will make you happy.
Number Of Goats as Pets
Goats are social animal. They feel alone without the companionship of their own species. Without the companionship of their own kind, they might act rude or don’t grow and live happily. They can sometimes bond to other animals, if there are no other goats. So, for raising goats as pets, it’s always a good decision to buy at least two goats. The best combination of two goats as pet is, two doe, one doe + one castrated buck and two castrated buck. Never keep one doe and one buck, for avoiding breeding issues. You can also raise numerous goats as pet if you have adequate facilities.
Always try to feed your goats nutritious feed. Never feed them much grain. Instead try to provide them sufficient amount of greens. And ensure availability of all necessary vitamins and minerals. Goats have a high requirements for copper in their regular diet. You have to serve them salt and mineral licks. They also need iodized salt, cobalt and some other trace minerals. You can also provide your goats molasses and it’s a great source of vitamin A. And provide them sufficient amount of clean and fresh water according to their demand.
Make a suitable house for your pet goats with proper ventilation system. A small sized house can easily accommodate two goats. Make it comfortable and keep all necessary materials inside the house, such as feeder, watering pot etc. Keep the house free from dampness and clean the house on a regular basis.
Goats are foraging animals. They move here and there in search of new and tasty food. They are not going to stay inside your property without making a fence. They like to eat and always search for leaves, plants, even go far without realizing they are no longer on your land. So, you have to make a fence to stay them contained to your property. You can make a secure fence for your goats by using wooden fence lined with chicken wire. Goats have tend to escape by digging, jumping or ripping their way through fence. Make the fenced area large enough so that your pet goats can run and play.
Tips For Raising Goats As Pets
Goats do well as a pet if you take proper care of them. Although some people find it very difficult to raise goats as pets. Because they don’t have proper experience or not willing to care for goats. Goats are simply wonderful as pets when you will take proper care of them, feed nutritious feed, provide adequate and good housing and ensure availability of other essentials. However, try to follow the tips for raising goats as pets.
- Don’t buy too young kids. Naturally does wean their babies for about 4 to 5 months. Buy after this age.
- In case of raising castrated bucks, don’t castrate them when they are too young. You should castrate the bucks which you are going to raise as pets after their 6 months of age.
- Try to feed the castrated bucks less amount of grain. Because feeding grain can result urinary calculi in goats.
- Don’t play rough with your goats, especially with very young babies. Most of the people put their hand on kids head and push and think that, it’s simply adorable to play with the babies. But too much push games can make your baby goats rude and aggressive. They will absolutely butt and push back. And sometimes they may possess this habit for rest of their life. And it can be very dangerous for your family members. So play gently with the baby goats and try to make them well behaved.
- Try to teach your baby goats that, they should not chew almost everything they find edible in front of them.
- Don’t let your baby goats to jump and run on you frequently. Allowing this will result running and jumping on you when they are adults. That can be quiet dangerous for you.
- Spend some good time with your goats. Wrap your hand around their muzzle and message it gently. Keep their head on your lap, it’s very calming for them. Keep your hand on different parts of their body and they will roll back their eyes with pleasure. Thus you can make good friendship with them.
- Trim their hooves on a regular basis.
- You can go for a walk with your goats occasionally. It will be very pleasuring for you as well as for your goats. But ensure that, there are no aggressive animals around the goats. For example, a bad dog can harm your goats.
- Use a pet carrier if you take your goats in the car and drive carefully. While taking your goats in the car, don’t drive the car too fast and don’t hit your brakes hard. Get the goat out of the car after arriving at your destination.
- Feed your goats fresh and nutritious feed. Keep as much greens as possible in their diet. They have a high requirements for copper in their diet. You can add mineral licks to their regular diet for fulfilling copper needs. Be very careful about feeding your baby goats. Usually they like fresh, clean, bright and good smelling hay. Alfalfa is best for them. But you can feed them good greens whatever you have in your area. And always provide your goats fresh and clean water regularly.
- Ensure good bedding for your goats. You can use wood shavings for bedding purposes. Although they may eat some wood shavings, but that’s not a problem. Straw is also very good for bedding purpose.
- Ensure that your pet goat’s house is suitable enough for preventing them from various types of predators and adverse weather condition. Their house must have to be well ventilated and with fresh air and light facility. Clean the house on a regular basis.
- Consult with a vet about your goat’s health and call them as soon as possible if you notice any health issues with your pets. And vaccinate them timely.
- And finally, must and most important, always take good care of your goats.
There are numerous goat breeds available throughout the world. But all of those breeds are not suitable for raising as pets. Each of those breeds have some special advantages, disadvantages and characteristics. It’s depend on you, what type of goat breeds you want to raise as pet and which suit best for you. Just ensure that it’s gentle, friendly and well behaved. You can try world famous Nubians, Pygmy, LaMancha, Oberhasli and Nigerian dwarf as your pet goats. Pygmy goats are small, docile and faithful companions. LaManchas are of wonderful temperament. However, you can choose any, even your local breeds. It depends on how you care them. By proper care and management, any of those breeds and some other local breeds can be your best pets. Have fun!