A goat's unique personality makes him a runner up to a dog as manÂ’s best friend. However, keeping a goat as a pet is not for everyone. A lot of things should be considered to make sure that one is capable of meeting the goatÂ’s needs. If all goes well, then having a pet goat is very rewarding. Otherwise, ignore the idea of having a goat and go for a dog or cat, instead.
Goats, unlike cats and dogs, are not the typical pets that will curl up on its owner’s head or feet, get the newspaper or sit on one’s lap while watching a television show. They are herd and outdoor animals that love to play with other goats, climb or jump on stock woods and ramps and nibble on grasses. Pet goats have their own unique personality that watching them play from afar will give the owner a sense of tranquility.
In keeping a goat as a pet, the Pygmy or dwarf goat is preferred by many because it is a small breed type with a docile temperament. It’s manageable since it needs only a small shelter and low maintenance.
It is also necessary that the potential owner should first consult the bylaws of its town to check if keeping such a pet is allowed in their locality.
The pets’ welfare should be the primary concern of owners. Here are some useful safekeeping tips:
Goats have only 3 things in mind: eat, sleep and play. Provide enough food such as hay, grass or grains and keep a steady supply of fresh water. Goats eat 3 times a day and drink a lot.
Provide a clean, dry and safe shelter. Make it large enough so they can run around during winter and make sure that the materials used are not something that they’ll likely eat. Goats must be kept safe from rain; they are susceptible to illness if exposed.
Fence a specific area where goats can freely browse or roam around safely. They love to investigate everything in their surroundings.
Keep goats free from parasites and worms by having the necessary vaccinations and regular worming. One important thing that a “would-be” owner should consider is to see to it that a ruminant veterinarian is within the area. It also gives the owner peace of mind knowing that help is within his reach if immediate care is needed.
Goats’ hooves need trimming. Seek the advice of an experienced hoof trimmer on how to execute it properly. How often depends on how fast the hoof grows. Some are doing it once every 2 months while others every 4 months.
Here are some disadvantages in keeping goats as pets:
Goats are escape artists. They can go under or jump over fences and find their way out. Even for small pet goats, make sure the fences are tall and sturdy.
Some male goats are aggressive. If they attack with their horns, it can be very painful.
A male goat, whether neutered or not, urinates on himself to draw the attention of female goats. Even in the absence of female goats, he’ll still do it and the smell is extremely and awfully unpleasant.
They can be very loud and annoying if they feel any discomfort.
Goats need routine maintenance and regular check ups since they easily get parasites and worms if not properly cared for. Vaccination and worming means additional expenses or extra veterinary bills.
Goats’ cost varies depending on where you get it, type of breed, and if it’s registered or not. Price range of a NPGA (National Pygmy Goat Association) registered Pygmy Goat is from $125 to $350. Obviously, a registered goat is more expensive; sometimes double the price of the unregistered. Despite the price difference, buying a registered goat guarantees the quality of the goat. More so, registered breeders offer back up tips and advice.
Refrain from buying goats at an auction. Although it cost less around $30 to $50 for a pygmy, the health of an auctioned goat is doubtful.