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By: Jen from The Easy Homestead, Contributing Writer
The number one reason to gets goats is…
They are super cute. The end.
I mean, seriously- do you even need another reason?
Ok ok- all joking (and a goat’s cuteness) aside, bringing an animal onto your homestead is a pretty serious decision.
So serious, in fact, it took Mountain Man over a year to say YES!
But then again- how could he resist those adorable faces in the pic above? He couldn’t. Obviously.
We have had our twins, Pippy (brown ears) and Lilly (white ears), for a little over two months now. It took me some begging, pleading, plotting, and promising to Mountain Man, in order to get our girls, but mama here gave him some pretty dang good reasons to get goats…
Five Reasons to Get Goats
1. Milk (duh!)
Like for reals y’all- this has to be the number one reason to get goats. If goat milk is handled right it has an amazingly, very similar to cows milk, taste. (Please note: the taste of the milk also depends on the breed).
The two most common backyard goats for milk are Nubians (ours) and Nigerian Dwarfs.
It’s the RAW part of the milk that makes this the number one reason. Raw milk is one of the most nutritious drinks on the planet. Full fat milk all the way, baby! Wanna learn more about raw milk and why it’s so super duper (apparently this is the new kid slang I am into) nutritious- then read THIS.
Goats can be bred every year. You will have to dry her up about two months prior to being bred, so you may have to freeze milk/cheese for winter use.
Fun Facts: Most children who are allergic to cows milk can digest goats milk with no problems! It is also the closest animal milk on earth that is similar, in structure, to human breast milk!
2. Dairy Products (Cheese, Yogurt, Butter, etc) or Meat
We don’t keep goats for meat in these parts, so I can’t really say much about keeping goats for meat. I just wanted y’all to know that it is an option.
But don’t get me started on butter, cheese, and yogurt, my friends. I am an eater, lover, eater, consumer, eater, and maker of butter, cheese, and yogurt. Did I mention that I LOVE to eat them? The taste of homemade butter, yogurt, and cheese is OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. Nothing like the processed stuff from the store. If you make homemade butter I swear you will eat. it. off. the. roll. No joke. I could never do that with store bought- gag.
Do you know how much money you would save from the store if you didn’t have to buy milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter?!? Probably like $1,457,234.32 a year.
I compare a goats nature to a cross between a deer/dog. Now let’s not go bat crazy and keep the goat (or a deer for that matter) inside your home. Goats are still a farm animal. I am just saying that they eat and act like a deer- and kinda resemble one too. But, they act like doggies! No joke. They absolutely love and demand attention. They loved to be scratched, pet, rubbed, and played with. They will even call you by name. Mine say “Moooooom. Moooooom” when they want to play or they just want food. A lot of peeps I know keep collars on their goats and even walk them around on a leash.
I think we may get Pippy and Lilly some custom collars- not leashes- just collars and just because we can. Really no other reason.
Entertainment. Need I say more? Goats are seriously some of the funniest animals I have ever seen. They love running, head butting each other, jumping, etc. We actually have a little tikes slide that we put in our goat pen, along with a few rocks, and the girls have a blast.
Goats are also smaller animals so we have no fear when all the kiddos want to go into the pen and play on the slide with them.
Truth: If I could I would totally let my goats sleep with me like people sleep with their dogs. They are that awesome and snuggable (please reread paragraph one in this section).
We haven’t gotten to make soap yet because our twins are only four months old, so we obviously don’t have milk yet. But, this will be one of our favorite things to do with the milk- make goat milk soap. We pay almost $4 for a small bar of castile soap, and mama here, is getting tired of spending that kind of cash on a bar of soap- I’m all into frugal homesteading y’all.
There are so many different types of/scents of soap you can make! This can also lead to some income.
5. Easy to Keep, Live a Long Time, Costs are Minimal
Seriously y’all…goats are the easiest farm animal that I have! They are so easy to keep. The only thing we buy for our girls is a bale of alfalfa hay, minerals, and herbal dewormer that they get once a week. Make sure they have access to their hay and minerals and that’s all the care they require for the day. You will have to “trim their toenails” as the kids say (really- you are trimming their hooves). It’s a pretty easy process though once your goats gets used to you.
Healthy goats live a really long time. Like 10-14 years long. Although some can live up to 30! Say whaaaat?!? Yep- not a typo.
Wanna know everything in the world (plus more) about goats? Here is a really great website for everything you ever need to know about goats.
Wanna learn more about goats and butter from The Easy Homestead?
- How to Make Butter in Five Minutes
- It’s TWINS! Meet Our Nubian Goats
- How to Prepare for Goats- The Necessities
- Fall Prep Around the Farm- And a Goat Story
Jen is a wife to Mountain Man (Beau) and to three children. She lives on 15 acres in the NW part of South Carolina. They are currently raising laying hens, ducks, meat chickens (twice a year), and goats. They have a 18ft x 36 ft hoop house and an “outside” garden about the same size. They try and grow, raise, and hunt everything that their family consumes. Their homesteading journey began after Jen’s 50 year old mom died from cancer. The Oncologist mentioned to take a look at the “food” Americans consumed- and so it began (read about it HERE). Jen likes to say “homesteading isn’t easy. There are always failures, sometimes more than successes, but when those successes come- there isn’t a better feeling.”
You can follow their homesteading journey over at her website The Easy Homestead.