Goats can be your friends if you nurture them. They are warm, loyal, smart, but curious and may be destructive if left alone. However, there are many reasons to get a goat as a pet.
You could get one for milk, cheese, breeding for meat, security, business, and to entertain you. Before you rush off to buy a goat, find out what your local law says if you live in the urban area. That said, here are things to know before you adopt a goat pet.
Why choose a goat as a pet?
Like dogs and cats, goats can be fun-loving and entertain you. Goats show traits that make them excellent companions. Some are smart, curious, and are useful in the farm or home.
A goat could be your source of milk and cheese. Getting a dairy goat, feeding, and raising it in your home is uncomplicated. Why? Well, because they are not that demanding when compared with cows.
Goat milk tastes different from cow’s milk, but it is natural and healthy. You can start making milk for you and your family to consume.
If you know people with lactose intolerance from cow milk, goat milk and cheese could be the solution they need. You can earn income by learning how to make cheese for supply to departmental stores.
Furthermore, a goat can be your watch “dog” as it will bleat anytime there is a prowler near your home. That sound could startle and scare the trespasser away.
Which breed of goat to choose?
The two goat sizes are miniature and standard. Nubian or Alpine is the standard breed and weighs about 100 to 200 lbs. Anglo Nubian produces high-fat milk and is found in the UK.
You can rear African Pygmy for delicious milk and meat. That breed and the Nigerian dwarf are mini-goats and weigh 100 lbs.
Other goat kinds include:
- Arapawa was found in New Zealand, now in America, though rare.
- Saanen is a dairy goat that produces 1–3 gallons of low-fat milk daily.
- Oberhasli is of swiss origin, small and deft jumpers with tasty milk.
- Pashmina is from India with a silky coat but is hard to capture.
- Boer is meaty, was found in South Africa but now in Australia.
If you are a craft person and know how to spin, you might consider goats whose coats produce wool fibers. For example, the Angora goat produces long curly wool called mohair.
How to raise a domestic goat well?
To keep your goats, build a small unclimbable goat house and put packed dirt on the floor. Also, cover that floor with a solid sheet of wood shaving, chaff or, dry grass. Keep the grass dry and new by changing them often.
They are curious animals, and active so give them a vast space to move around. Keep them from being destructive, climbing on walls and fences, and escaping from your farm.
Another option is to erect a sturdy fence of about 4–5 feet high around your farm or home. You could use wood combined with a plaited wire as fence materials.
Feed your goats with grass. They also eat straw, bushes, and green trees. Graze the grassland evenly and take them to new sections each time.
Goats are herd animals and need a mate to thrive on your farm or home. Consider getting two goats as pets so that they have a play companion.