Best Pet Goats?


9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
N/E of Richmond, VA
We intend to raise chickens for eggs and rabbits for meat, but I would really like some pet goats. I have no interest at this point in goat milk or goat meat. I would like to know, in your experience, what goat breeds are most friendly, most hardy, and make overall great pets? They may be in a field with a donkey. I think just about all goat breeds are cute in one way or another, so I'm not really concerned with which are cutest. Size isn't really important to me either; I can go with full sized goats or pygmy goats. The field will be at least an acre with a barn that stays cool in the summer and has two large access points (which would make it difficult for a guarding queen to keep the rest of the heard out), but I only want a small animal herd with two to six goats.

The field is mostly just grass, but we have a lot of underbrush and prickles in the woods that I know many goat breeds love to munch on and I am considering expanding the fence into the woods some so they have regular access to some of that stuff they love and I intend to add either large rock piles or some sort of crate and bridge system for them to climb on. I would like them to be friendly with my four kiddos currently ranging in age from five to nine, as well (perhaps a non-horned breed, maybe, or one not as prone to butting?).

So, what breeds do you think would be happiest and hardiest for us?
Kinder Goats! I absolutely love mine. Great pets.

Second choice. Pygmy.

Mine are pygmy crosses, and I had a beautiful Pygmy Buck and I loved his personality for the short time I had him.
Mini, or standard lamanchas! Very personable and they have the added bonus of their ears being an interesting talking point
If you really just want pets, then I would go for wethers (neutered males) no matter what the breed. You may even want to consider seeing if a local rescue group has goats for adoption. If you get from a rescue, then they are usually vet checked and everything. You can find barnyard animals on Petfinder. I know in Ohio there is Happy Trails Farm Sanctuary and I do believe they have goats right now. They even test for CAE along with a regular vet check.

If that isn't an option, then I would look for local breeders in your area and visit them. Hang out with the goats and see which ones you like best. It is always good to buy from a knowledgeable local breeder if you have any questions or need help. They are usually willing to help you out or answer any of your questions.
I have used Petfinder for rescues before, but it had not occurred to me to check there for goats. Thanks for that advice.

Thanks everybody. I will research these breeds, area breeders, and the possibility of rescues in our area.

Chickenzoo, those fainters are adorable! I once knew a farm down in TN that raised fainters and they were definitely nifty little critters.
I forgot to ask about this. My thought was to get all females since I don't want to breed them and was worried that males would fight more as they do in some other types of animals. What is the advantage of all males instead?
If they are already neutered, then there are no hormones to worry about and any aggression associated with raging hormones. Having all females is fine too. Depending on how much you want to spend, wethers are usually the cheapest and easiest to find. I would not get intact males. They will get to be a pain.
I second this!! I adore my fainters! They are very friendly, very hardy, and not too big, but not little either. Also fun to watch, especially when they are proving their name is correct Here are a few pics of a couple of my guys... first is Oreo, then it's Sprint (1/2 fainting goat & 1/2 boer - *not my combination*) and Mars


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