considering...a goat


11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
My 10 year old daughter is obsessed with goats. We live on one acre in a small city, and while I haven't officially checked yet I bet we can have them. I don't know if I'm looking for ammo for or against them. We have the assorted dogs, cats, rabbits, and of course chickens, but I have thus far held her off by saying 1) goats make too much noise and 2) we don't have time for them. IF we were to get goats, I would want friendly adults, and I would really prefer something small, considering the small size of our property. What books/websites would you all recommend to research this more thoroughly? I would let her become involved in 4H if we got them as well, thoughts on that? BTW, I have NO interest in breeding/milking etc. Just pets, and probably only two goats. So far all of our pets have been my idea (except the rabbits, who I took as a favor for a friend who was moving) and I'm VERY particular about them all care-wise (everything must be very clean, animals, pens, etc.) but the goat thing is all my daughter. She is a responsible child and does well with her school work, I do know she would not just dump a bunch of goat tasks on me but I still want to research everything that goes into caring for and maintaining a healthy, clean area for goats.
Careful....they're like Silkies is the American Dairy Goat Association site, there are other associations but I don't recall the names just now. is an amazing site with all kinds of info.
Hoegger supply has good information in their catalogs (and I think online as well)
and there is a sister site to this one,
Goats need a place to be dry, and a dry place for their food, hoof trimming once a month (you can do it less often but it's easier if it's done regularly), limited access to grain (only 'needed' for milkers, otherwise is a treat, but too much can kill them), etc. etc.

I have 5 Nubians on a half acre and they are just enough. Actually two would be enough, 5 is almost too much for me

If you don't want to deal with kidding & milk maybe she can do a 4H goat packing project. That is a good use for wethers, and a great project for kids.
If she wants them I say go for it. I would ask 4H or a local dairy for buck kids they won't be keeping (some dairies will just give them to you rather than deal with them), bottle feed it and you're off & running. I disbud my boys at 7-10 days old, but for packing you'll want to keep the horns. NEVER play headbutting with a goat-I never had trouble with being butted until DH used a visiting suitor's horn as a handle to put him back in his yard; from that day forth he would bump me or hook the back of my leg with a horn if he had a chance

Good luck & enjoy!
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I'd go with a couple wethers. You should have no issue finding them. Smaller breeds would be great. They're almost like having a puppy as far as personality. Mine are very curious. They don't require extravagant housing. As long as they have good hay, forage, and a good balanced goat feed they should be fine. The most hated task around here with ours is hoof trimming. Our buck is hard to catch!! A quarter acre is not alot until you have run all over it chasing a We have a lot of work to do this Spring getting better set up for them. 4-H is a good idea, it'll be fun for her! There is a lot of more info on the forums you could check out to learn more. This stuff is just random off the top of my head. Some others will chime in soon, but you should also check out the sister site BackyardHerds for more goat specific info.
I bought two bucks and got them fixed AT THE VET! lol. They are so cute! They are mutts... nigerian dwarf mixes. They love cats and chickens. Definately get at least two at once. When I took one at a time to get fixed at the vet the one left behind would cry all day... wouldn't eat or anything... just cry loudly looking for their brother.
They don't make noise at all if you keep them happy. They only... "bahhhh" when they want something.
The bucks cost me $50 a piece to buy and a $100 a piece to fix. People around here think I'm nuts for not "banding" them... but I just couldn't.
I've had two goats, absolutely adorable

Sadly, one of our wethers Peter died last year

We still have Houdini (So named because as a baby he would CONSTANTLY escape, no matter what we tethered him with!)
He is lovely and very charismatic! I highly reccomend goats as pets, they are very amusing and have such great personalities!
Good luck on your goat hunt
If you have any questions feel free to PM me
They are so much fun. Depending on where you live you might even be able to get free bottle babies. Around here there are a lot of dairy farms and sometimes they give the billy bottle babies away free. I took a couple free ones last spring and they are now wonderful pet whethers that keep my billy goat company when he is not with the girls. I have mostly Alpines and they are so sweet. Whethers would def. be the way to go for just pets.
The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side.

Our whether was always wanted to play with me. He was almost as big as I was and probably would have killed me by jumping on me, if he could have I am handicapped.
I have 2 Pygmy does, lol, Cissy and Mione and they're great! Even though they will just be pets you should make sure your goats tested negative for CAE.

Pygmy's are great, and on average get to about 60lbs (which when you're carrying a very fat Pygmy is quite heavy! My older doe is 60lbs and she weighs a ton!).

I love our Fainting goats. I've had different types but still go back to them. They come in a range of sizes but mine are on the small size. They are nice friendly goats that don't seem to get into much trouble and don't jump up on everything. They do well with all my other critters and are easy to catch............ plus they faint wich is funny in it's own right.. hehe
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