Goats have rapidly become one of the most popular animals in the United States, and it is easy to see why – they are adorable, loving, smart, and their curiosity lends itself to some hilarious antics. Because of this, many people are now looking to adopt goats as pets, which is great! But as with any pet, and perhaps more with goats, it is important to research what you need in order to take care of them. You’ll also need more than one goat because they are herd animals so keep that in mind! Here is our list of essentials to start you on your way!
As with when buying or adopting any other pet, there is a long list of questions to ask the person or organization from whom you are receiving your goat. Inquire about registration, health records, their breeding program, and a host of other specifics. When all your questions have been satisfactorily answered, get to work on everything below!
Goats aren’t generally “inside” pets, to say the least. I recall an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos where a presumably-Montanan mother was asking her child, “Did you let the goat in the house?” whilst filming its droppings all over the everywhere. So if you are looking at adopting goats, your first step is to make sure that it has adequate, cozy, weather-proof housing somewhere outside.
The other part of Step One is to have a fence surrounding your entire property that will keep the goat in and predators out. On a side anecdote, I was driving through Oregon City about a month ago and there was a chicken just walking along the sidewalk. It was chilling next to a bush and I knew that its yard was on the opposite side of said bush, but the point of this story is that they didn’t have an adequate enclosure. Goats are, obviously, much smarter, more adventurous, and more curious than chickens, so you’ll have to work extra hard to build a good fence for them.
When you’re building your setup for your new furry friend, one of the most important things to remember is food. You don’t just need to have your goat’s food, you need to build storage for the food and a hay manger, you need to have proper bowls, water buckets, and a mineral feeder. Goats need lots of hay, grass, and minerals based on what breed, age, and gender they are. Consult your vet for the best diets possible!
As I said, goats eat a lot. They are also grazers, meaning they’ll at least attempt to eat most forms of vegetation that are within their reach – meaning that you will have to rid your property of all the things that are poisonous to goats. The College of Cornell put out a comprehensive list of things that are dangerous to goats, but among the most common are hemp, marijuana, and poppy.
Before you bring your goat home, you also need to have a first-aid kit ready and know how to take care of the basic things like stopping bleeding, trimming hoofs, and fighting infections. Never hesitate to contact your vet if you encounter a situation you’re unsure of, and always document everything to your best ability to ensure the most accurate and comprehensive treatment possible!
Your new goat can and will be a wonderful member of your family for years to come. So learn what you need, be prepared, and do the work so that you and yours can have all the wonderful times with your intelligent and adventurous new furry companion!
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