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Adding Goats to the Homestead

| 1/15/2019 10:26:00 AM


If you farm and have livestock, then you probably think that goats can't be that much different from say, chickens, sheep or cows.  You may be in for a surprise.  Goats can be fun livestock to keep, but they can also be a headache if you aren't prepared.  If you don't have livestock and you're thinking about starting with goats, then you certainly want to do your homework first before you get goats. 

I don't want to scare you away from getting goats, but I don't want you to go into goat farming blindfolded, either.  Ever heard the phrase 'better safe than sorry'?  That definitely applies when it comes to raising goats.  If you're well-prepared then goat farming can be quite fun.  So let's talk about what you need to know before you get started with goats.

Goats will climb... everything

I'm sure you've seen mountain goats teetering on tiny ledges on the side of cliffs.  Mountain goats are not-so-distant relatives of domestic goats.  Domestic goats love to climb and will climb anything that they physically can.  They will stand up on your fence to look over the other side, so make sure that your fence is prepared to handle that.  They can climb up fence supports and corner braces, so it's best to have those on the outside of the fence. 

Goats will also try to climb sheds.  Some producers don't want them on the sheds and make their sheds goat proof.  Some producers make the sheds climbable so that the goats have a safe place to climb (other than their fence).  I've also seen producers make jungle gyms or small tree houses for their goats.  If you let your goats loose, be prepared for them to climb on cars.  They will try, they will get on them and more than likely, they will scratch the paint.

Goats explore everything with their mouth

Goats have a split upper lip that they use to explore the world around them.  That's where the saying 'goats will eat everything' comes from.  They won't actually eat everything, but they will explore everything with their mouths.  From your shirt buttons, fingers, buckets and even gate latches, it's all game to go in their mouths, at least for a moment.

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