When you are considering raising goats, you need to know what are the benefits to having goats in the first place! Goats aren’t for everyone and they certainly aren’t perfect, but they could be perfect for you!
Goats can be kept in your backyard
The best thing about goats is that they are backyard friendly. I see goats being raised in backyard shelters and fences of all sorts. Some are quite professionally done, others are more inventive, but all have small herds of goats.
Some folks have goat in a little triangle hut surrounded by electric netting to keep a few goats. (These goat lovers also had chickens kept in a similar set up right next to the goats!)
My daughter and her husband have two goats in a good size chain link dog kennel fence with a calf hutch as the goat house. Their neighbor has goats and donkeys out in a small pasture.
Others have goats kept in with cattle panels and T posts, that’s an easy to move fence, for sure.
As you can see, there are tons of options, including people who have very little land for having larger sized animals. If you are willing to be creative, you have a lot of goat raising options, especially for your backyard.
What Is The Current Selling Price For Goats? is an article I wrote to help you figure out the current market price of goats in your area.
Small goat herds need minimal equipment
One of the main reasons why folks with smaller acreages can utilize goats is the minimal equipment needed for raising a small goat herd.
Sure you’ll need a few things for your goats, like buckets, feeder, some sort of shelter and fencing. All of which can be kept in minimal space and found or purchased locally.
If you decide to increase to a sizeable herd number, then more specialist equipment, like a working chute, scale or loading ramp, would be handy. As long as you’re keeping it backyard scale, you can keep it simple.
If you are fortunate enough to have a larger amount of land available, super! Goats are versatile, they work for small and large areas, alike.
Goats can provide milk and meat from your own acreage
Not only are goats fun little characters to have around, they are also a potential source of meat, milk and fiber.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats spotlights this wonderful little milker!
Side business opportunities from goat milk
One of our neighbors runs a side hustle style business selling goat’s milk soaps. I see her booth at the Autumn Fiber Festival in Ashland, Ohio. Here’s a look at the vendor’s list, scroll down for G-Nan’s Goat Milk Soap, LLC.
The best part of this gives her a hobby in common with her grandkids, since they all are deep into the heart of raising goats!
I also see quite an interest in goat’s milk lotions and the like at local natural food type stores. These type of lotions are a huge deal for people with sensitive skin!
Certain goat breeds provide sellable fiber
You have a few choices for goats for fiber production. Mainly the Angora and the Pygora in the U.S. If you are thinking of breeding fiber goats, know that the Pygora is a cross, whereas the Angora is a purebred goat.
What is a Fiber Festival? has a section on a farm in Missouri, A Mystical Farm, that raises Angora goats for fiber. These goats provide the base fiber for some beautiful skeins of yarn! Really nice stuff!
Angora fiber (called mohair) is also popular for crafters to use, since it is long and silky with a nice curl, while also being strong. You’ll find hand crafters use mohair yarns for hats, socks, mittens, sweaters, anything really.
Backyard goats provide a home raised meat source
Your goats can also provide a home raised source of super high quality meats. Look up goat meat for sale in your area to see what other local goat raisers are doing with their small herd.
Here is an example in my state, White’s 4G Farm. While the main purpose of these goats is for showing, an additional option is local meat production.
Goats provide backyard/small farm income potential
Raising and selling goats for meat is gaining in popularity, at least around here, Ohio. Prices for goats are sky high and I don’t think this is an out of the ordinary thing, it’s just the demand is so high among goat meat eaters.
I saw a Boer wether sell for $500 last time I was at the sale (about a month or so ago). True, it was a full size goat, but a wether! The only thing he can sell for is meat!
Our local online ads have baby goats listed out at $175 each. Not bad for the gal raising them!
Additionally, showing meat goats has really increased in popularity, at least around here, in the past few years.
The meat goat show is really gaining popularity and has more goats entered every year. And for good reason, not everyone can have a steer or a horse, but all kinds of people can find a place to raise a few goats for the fair.
What’s that have to do with you? Well, someone has to be raising those goats that those 4-Her’s are planning on taking to the fair.
Goats provide companionship
Goats provide companionship, in multiple ways actually. I find that goats themselves are more of a people oriented animal, more like a dog.
Any goats that we have had are interested in us when we walk in. Sure they want a snack, if you happen to have one, but it’s more than that. They seem to just want to be noticed by you.
We had one Kiko buck that really didn’t want to be petted, he preferred to keep his distance, but any other goat we have had, male or female is curious and seems to want to spend at least some time each day with people.
The second way goats provide companionship is through activities you can do as a goat owner.
Shows, breed clubs, and conventions are a few of the big events that goat owners enjoy, of course, and there’s the instant rapport goat raisers have with other goat raisers. People that are raising goats love to talk goat.
Goats are famous for their brush removal
An attribute that is particular to goats that is coming into the spotlight is the goat herds’ ability to eat down brush and keep down unwanted vegetation. This is a big deal in areas with wildfire problems!
Farmers and ranchers are making quite a bit of money using their goats as a weed and vegetation control task force.
I looked up “goats for hire” and got multiple results, here are a few:
- Backyard Weed Warriors is a 75 head herd of grazing goats owned and grazed by Mary Powell of Longton, KS
- We Rent Goats is a goat grazing operation out of Idaho, check out their Breeding Program page, where they explain exactly what they are looking for in a good weed control goat herd.
- Haulin’ Goats is a goat weed control business operating out of Ohio, owned by James and Heather Kovach. The interesting part to me about this weed control operation is that it is on a smaller scale than the first two.
I’m sure there are plenty more goat grazing services, especially if you search “goats for hire your state”.
While you may not want to start your own weed control business, you can definitely get started on using your goats to keep down the encroaching weeds and brush on your property!
Once you see how it goes, maybe you do want to look into starting your own weed control business! Not too many folks can say they have regenerative, pro environment, organic weed control, but you could!
Owning goats helps children learn life skills
Aside from having goats around for companionship you’ll also be introducing important life skills to your kids or grandkids. Animals are so valuable for teaching you things that are hard to explain, yet very important.
Working with goats teaches patience, caring, responsibility, planning, time and money management, genetics, nutrition, reproduction, on and on. This is all big stuff that all people need to know.
One of my favorite things about goats is the genetics. You can have a rock solid plan, or so you think!, only to have interesting variation show up that is a crazy surprise.
This is easiest to see in herds of mixed breed genetics, you never know what you’ll get. But it also pops up in purebreds, this is the challenge of breeding with a purpose. If it was easy, everyone would have perfect results!
Sometimes you learn that you can do your best and still be disappointed, that part stinks, but is important. While none of us want to be disappointed, this is a big lesson that many don’t learn and it hurts them when they are older.
Learn animal husbandry by raising goats
Anyone who is interested in goats enough to look into getting a few to raise will need to learn animal husbandry skills. Animal husbandry is the hand on, daily interaction and caring part of raising livestock.
You’ll get immediate feedback from your girls if they like something or don’t like it. Animals are very straight forward this way.
If you pay attention, a person of any age can quickly figure out what the goats need, just by watching the goats react and interact with you.
The beauty of learning animal husbandry is that you’ll also be familiar enough with your goat’s normal behavior that you’ll be able to tell when something abnormal is happening. All you need to do is pay attention.
It may take some searching around in reference books or calling your vet or goat mentor, but it’s the observation skills that you are learning that will clue you in as to when to take action.
Additionally, many of the animal husbandry skills you’ll learn will transfer to other animals, as well. For instance, once you know what a newborn goat kid needs, you’ll have a really good idea of what a newborn lamb would need.