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Once upon a time we had goats on our homestead. I have written the story as to why and how we got them and how to prepare for owning them already. Now, we no longer have goats but I thought that I would share my thoughts on the pros and cons of raising goats based on my own personal experience.
The Pros and Cons of Raising Goats
Let me preface this with saying that I like goats. I really do. I just don’t want to raise them. I love visiting goat farms and playing with them as they are certainly fun creatures but they are just not ideal for me to raise.
You see goats are born pretty much trying to die. Don’t let me scare you off. That’s just a common (but kind of true) joke amongst goat owners. It’s not that they try to die, it’s just easy for them to do.
There are definitely some good reasons to own goats. I’ll explain what I mean about all of this with weighing out the pros and cons of goat ownership.
Goat Owning Pros
Goats are cute- Baby goats are the cutest! We had Nubian goats and I loved their long ears. Nigerian Dwarf goats have got to be some of the cutest animals on the planet.
Goats are fun- Talk about personality! You’ll never meet two goats who are alike. They know who they are and they make sure you do too.
Goats are easy to milk- They don’t produce as much as a cow therefore it takes less time to milk them. They’re also much smaller than cows so they’re easier to handle and maneuver on a milk stand.
Goats don’t require a lot of feed- They do like a lot of feed though. They’ll eat more than they need if you let them. That’s a bad idea so don’t over feed your goats!
Goats clear out brushy areas- Goats are browsers by nature so they are great at clearing out brambles and brush. Be sure to check the area for toxic plants before letting them browse.
Goats don’t require a lot of space- Since goats are browsers and small creatures, they don’t need a lot of space. If you are on a smaller homestead, a goat may be perfect to fit your location.
Goats have lots of babies so you can make money selling them- Goats will usually give birth to at least 2 kids a year. You may find yourself quickly overrun with goats. You can make some extra income by selling the excess of goat kids.
Goat’s milk soap is awesome- If you want something for smooth and silky skin, try (or make your own) goat’s milk soap. It’s good stuff, man!
Goat’s milk- Many people find that they can tolerate goat’s milk much better than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk cheese is also very popular these days.
Cons of Owning Goats
Goats are escape artists- Goats will get out of their fence period-exclamation point. They just will, it happens all the time.
Goats are pesky- That whole personality thing is great until you get an overbearing goat that climbs in your car, on your picnic table, all over your porch, anywhere and everywhere you don’t want them to be. They also like to be in your face.
Goats get parasites- Remember that whole goats trying to die thing? This is the biggest culprit. Goats tend to be very susceptible to parasites and can quickly become deathly ill from them.
Goats eat toxic plants- Unfortunately, our Tango goat did just this and she didn’t make it. We were devastated!
Goats destroy things- Fruit trees, bushes, gardens, basically anything that you want to keep around and nice goats will find a way to destroy it.
Goats don’t respect boundaries- This goes back to being pesky, goats know no bounds. They will be everywhere you don’t want them to be. They are also very food pushy. If they see you with a bucket they’ll be on you in 0.25 seconds.
Male goats are disgusting creatures- If you’ve ever spent even a few minutes observing a male goat you know exactly what I mean. For starters, they pee on their own faces. Ewwwwww. They also do other things that I shall not mention on my family friendly blog. Trust me, they’re gross.
Goats are noisy- Excessively noisy. They like to be heard. They often run around randomly singing the songs of their people. Just stop with the bleating, please!
Goat milk can be gross- When goat milk is fresh and handled properly , it is tasty. Once it sets for a day or so, those enzymes go into action and it starts to taste like well, a goat. It also starts tasting very goaty if there is a buck around.
Are Goats Right for You?
Now that I’ve shared my personal experiences on the pros and cons of raising goats, I hope it has given you information to think on while considering if they are the right animal for you.
I think that goats are the perfect animal for many people. Just be sure that you have weighed out all of pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.
You may decide to give goats a try and find out that they aren’t for you. That’s totally ok. We did just that. We were able to raise them for a year which resulted in 5 additional goat kids and then we sold them all and bought a family milk cow. This worked out perfectly for our family and homestead.
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