2001-Thu Nov 23 12:01:32 EST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
You may have heard the expression, “He really gets my goat!” But what do you get, when you get a goat? People think about getting backyard goats for lots of reasons: for milk, entertainment and companionship, or even for help in keeping some of the weeds trimmed. But before you consider getting a goat, it’s important to know how to keep them healthy and happy. Here are 10 things you should know:
Before getting a goat, make sure they are allowed where you live. Check your town’s regulations to ensure goats can be kept within your city’s limits and whether there are any restrictions regarding goat size or weight. Also, be aware many cities regulate how close animals can be housed to dwellings or neighboring properties. Goats also can be very loud so before you adopt or purchase one, make sure your neighbors will be tolerant.
There are two sizes of goats, miniature and standard-size breeds. Standard-size breeds, such as the Nubian or Alpine, weigh between 100 and 200 lbs. or more. Mini-goats, such as the pygmy and Nigerian dwarf, tend to be more popular in urban areas because of the many local restrictions on goat size and weight (these smaller breeds tend to weigh 100 lbs. or less). If your backyard barnyard is miniature as well, make sure that the tiny “kid” goat or goats you bring home won’t grow up to be bigger than you are expecting (baby goats are called kids, female goats are called does, uncastrated males are called bucks and castrated males are called wethers).
Goats are active and playful. A miniature goat requires a minimum of approximately 135 square feet of romper room space; a standard goat needs twice that, with the square footage multiplied by the number of goats you have. Goats, whether big or small, need a yard that provides part sun and part shade and is protected from strong winds. Goats also need an attached and draft-free shed or barn for cover, sleeping and protection from predators and extreme temperatures. Any windows in their enclosure should be higher than the head of the tallest goat when she is standing on her hind feet. If not, the windows should be covered with bars or screens so that a goat can’t poke her head through. Indoors, a doe and her kids need a 4’ x 9’ stall for comfort. You’ll also need somewhere to safely store their food and somewhere to dispose of their soiled bedding.
Goats like to rub on fences, especially when shedding, or try to stick their heads through any openings to eat some delectable item just out of reach. Goats are also clever about getting out of their enclosures. All of this means that goats are hard on fencing. It needs to be reinforced with strong wood posts sunk deep into the ground and needs to be escape-proof with slats close enough to prevent their heads from slipping through. It also needs to be high enough to keep them in (4’ high for mini-goats; 5’ high for standard). If you use wire, make sure it is sturdy enough that a goat can’t bend it or push it down to escape. Goats also love to chew wood, so if you have wooden fences, be prepared to replace them every few years.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.