Goat Care: 14 Things to Know

If you’ve ever seen a goat, chances are you have questions about them. We have the answers to 14 of those burning questions in this blog post. There is so much to know about goats!

How Hard Are Goats to Take Care Of?

Compared to many other types of animals, goats are relatively easy to take care of. You simply need to watch them carefully to ensure that they don’t start to get into places where they don’t belong.

Most goats are fast, so it’s also vital that you have a cordoned-off area to prevent them from leaving your farm or homestead.

Do Goats Need Daily Care?

You’ll want to clean out their stall and provide fresh water and food daily. Goats will usually want attention regularly, but they’re generally more independent than many other animals that you might take care of.

Domesticated goats do need plenty of attention, though, since they are comparatively social animals.

How Do You Take Care of Goats?

Start by laying out the area that you plan to have your goats in and then try these steps to care for them:

  • Provide ample pasture land for your goats to enjoy
  • Ensure access to water at all times
  • Offer them a salt block if nutritional demands aren’t met by food
  • Supplement their diet with grain feed or pellets
  • Remove any hemlocks or wild cherry plants from their area, as these are toxic to goats
  • Give your goats shelter in the form of a barn or other structure
  • Clean your goats’ stall regularly
  • Lay down fresh shavings or chips for your goats, especially if they do their business inside
  • Wash out their water and food bowls on a regular basis
  • Brush your goats to ensure the proper development of a coat
  • Monitor their weight and provide plenty of exercise so that your goats don’t engorge themselves

What Smell Do Goats Hate?

Fresh cow manure smells really nasty to goats, and it smells bad to most humans for that matter! Some farmers will actually use it to keep goats away from certain things since they don’t like it and will avoid it.

Ironically, goat dung is also really objectionable to goats and they’ll avoid that too.

What Are the Disadvantages of Goat Farming?

Due in no small part to their high intelligence, goats can find a way into anything. They’re far less passive than, say, cattle so they tend to need a fair amount of land to keep them occupied.

Their smaller size, however, gives you the option of stocking far more animals per acre than you might normally have been able to.

How Many Acres Do You Need Per Goat?

Farmers in areas with lush vegetation and a long growing season can normally stock around 10 goats for every acre of land that they have. Those who live and work in leaner conditions might want to reduce this to maybe 2-3 goats per acre.

It largely depends on how rich the grass is in the area you have on your farm.

Are Goats Expensive to Keep?

Keeping a goat can actually be less expensive than taking care of most other types of animals, including those that are popular as domesticated pets.

Grooming and water costs should essentially be nil if you take care of the animal yourself, and you’ll probably only be spending around $350 a year per goat on food and minerals if you buy them in bulk.

That translates into less than $7 a week per head on these essentials. It might cost around $1,000 to put in sufficient fencing for goats, but this is a one-time cost.

On top of this, annual medical bills for goats seldom exceed $100 unless you have to provide regular vaccinations.

Should Goats Be Locked up at Night?

Assuming that you keep your animals in an area where predators of some sort are common, it’s important to provide your goats a safe place to stay at night. Some farmers lock them in a large stall in a freestanding barn.

Do Goats Need a Salt Block?

Salt blocks can help to supplement their nutrition, so you’ll probably want to provide one for them. One full-sized salt block should satisfy the needs of around 3-5 goats for a period of time.

Can I Take My Goat for a Walk?

Some people take their goats out for a walk on a leash, but if you have a fenced-in area this usually isn’t necessary. Goats will normally walk alongside their owners and they might even run from side to side looking for anything that interests them.

What Is the Easiest Goat to Take Care Of?

Nubian goats are probably the easiest to take care of. These floppy-eared goats are relatively gentle and they’re not finicky, so they should be comfortable in a variety of different circumstances.

Can Goats Learn Their Names?

Not only can goats learn their names, but they can also learn several commands much like dogs. Some farmers will teach their goats to come whenever they’re called.

What is a Good Treat for Goats?

Roughage, in several forms, is a perpetually popular treat for goats. Most goats are going to eat around 2-4 lbs. of hay anyway, so you might want to treat them with an orchard or alfalfa hay.

Treats like sunflowers and dandelions should only ever be given in small doses. If you have these plants near your goats, then you can expect them to be uprooted quickly!

Is There Money in Goat Farming?

Yes, especially if you’re looking to farm goats for their milk or other products related to it. During a 300 day lactation period, one female Nubian goat can produce more than 2,640 lbs. of milk if cared for properly.

Assuming that you have several productive females, this kind of operation can be quite profitable. You mustn’t crowd too many in while looking to increase your bottom line, however.