Dear fellow animal lovers! There are a lot of reasons to raise goats. They can be kept for their milk, meat, and fiber. Goats also make a good company for human as good as cats or dogs. While you can keep one goat breed for every purpose, actually each kind has its own specialty, such as Saanen that is most known for its milk, Boer for its meat, dan the pygmy as pets. Acknowledging what do you really want with your goats is one of the basic thing to start your own goat farm.
But, what if we live in the city? Or we only have limited space for keeping goats? There is an option to keep your goat indoors, but you’ll have many things to consider before doing so. Another option that more likely you choose is to keep them in your backyard. Of course, you’ll still need a quite spacious backyard to do so, but if you really want to, here we are going to learn how to effectively raising goats in your backyard.
- Check out the regulation
Checking what is allowed and what’s not is very important. You don’t want to get into trouble with authority after finally having your dream goat and all the stuff it needs. Ask them the crucial things like is it allowed to keeping goats in your backyard, and is there any regulation if they do allow it, such as the size limitation of the goat or the minimum size of backyard for keeping goats. Due to this size limitation, small goat breed is likely to be chosen like the pygmy, Nigerian dwarf and the pygora.
Goats can be very nosy sometimes. Besides the authority, also check your neighbors whether they have no problems with the noise and the smell of your goat. By checking the authority and your neighbors, you can choose the right breed, as well as be prepared for some complaints that might come to your door.
- Keep them company
Naturally, goats live in a herd. They are sociable, so if you want to raise a goat, you’d better have more than one goat. But maybe don’t purchase the sizable herds from the very first as the goat can multiply very fast within years, and remember you’ll keep them in the backyard, not a large farm. We suggest you start with two goats, then let them get used to each other and make sure your backyard will fit them all before you adding some more.
If you live in a city, you may want to avoid having a buck for your “small farm”. But, make sure to plan a regular disease testing, as well as due diligence in finding a quality, disease-free buck to use every year.
Give them some time to get used to each other and goats can befriend another animal, too. They also love it when you pet and play with them. Never leave them for a long time without any company.
- Provide them a strong fence
Goats are expert in escaping, especially the shorter ones. Make a fence that is high enough so they can’t jump over it. The strong fence will also protect your goat from any predator in your area.
Goats are highly curious and smart. There are some cases where they can escape through field fencing square that is no bigger than 4 x 4 inch. Considering you’ll have the miniature goats, remember this principle “if the goat can get his head through it—he can get the rest of the way through it.”
- Provide them a nice shelter
The standard of how nice is a nice shelter depends on where do you live. For example, if you live in a place with cold winter or wet weather, you’ll need an indoor space which can keep them warm and comfy. Make sure the shelter can protect them from wind, provide good shade, safe, and clean.
The windows on the shelter should be higher than the head of the tallest goat when it is standing on hind feet or cover the windows with bars or screens so your goat can’t poke its head through.
- Understanding goat needs
This is actually the vital part of how to effectively raising goat in your backyard. While goat is not a picky eater, some said goat won’t eat the food if the goat already stepped on it or peed near it. So you may want to keep the food clean by putting it a little higher than the ground.
Goats are an active animal. Provide them with toys or any entertainment because they need to exercise and being active. You may want to take them for a walk and providing rocks for them to climb on. You can also run and play with your goat with toys like a ball.
Vaccination is important for keeping your goat healthy, so make sure you check the schedule up and de-wormed your goat twice a year.
Check the hooves regularly. See if there is any damage or something stuck on them Trim its hooves every 6 weeks because long hooves can make it hard for your goat to run, jump, and climb. Have a professional to show you how to trim goat hooves or to do them for you if you can’t do it yourself.
Disbudding, or removing the horns is also needed so your goat will not injure itself, yourself, or others animal. You can get this done by a veterinarian for goat kids to minimize the trauma.
Each breed may need a different treatment. For example, if you raise dairy goat, you have to milk them every day, rain or shine. It is indeed a commitment.
All in all, ways keep your goat happy and healthy, because happy goats make happy owner, right? As long as they are happy, you can tell you’ve succeeded raising goats in your backyard. Good luck!