Goats are rising in popularity across the United States, as more and more Americans decide to purchase the animals as pets. If you’re considering buying one, you might be wondering: what are the best goats for pets?
With hundreds of goat breeds, finding the right one for you can be complicated. In this post, we’ll look at the five best goats for pets, including details about their origins and their key characteristics. We’ll also share some vital information to know before you decide to bring one home.
What should I know before buying a pet goat?
As far as farm animals go, goats are relatively self-sufficient and low-maintenance. However, if you’ve never owned one before, there are some essential things to know ahead of time.
Are you willing to take care of multiple goats?
Goats are herd animals by nature, and they don’t do well on their own. That’s why experts recommend starting with at least two goats. Buying female goats (called does) is a smart choice for new goat owners because males (also known as bucks) can be aggressive and smelly. A buck’s odor can even be strong enough to taint the milk that does produce.
What purpose will the goats serve?
Some people just want to own goats as pets, while others might want to use them to make milk, cheese, or meat. If you’re looking for a goat to produce dairy, breeds like Nigerian Dwarf and Nubian are known for their excellent milk-producing ability.
How much space do you have?
At a minimum, you need 20 square feet per adult goat for sleeping and another 30 square feet per goat for outdoor exercise and grazing.
Can you afford to have goats?
Like any other pet, goats will require food and veterinary care. They’ll also need supplemental minerals, hay, and a place to climb. Before you commit to buying any goats, make sure you understand the financial commitment that comes with goat ownership.
What are the best goats for pets?
Ready to take the leap into goat ownership? Great! Let’s look at five of the best goats for pets.
Nigerian Dwarf goats
Nigerian Dwarf goats are miniature-sized goats with tons of personality. They’re fantastic dairy producers, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking to get milk, cheese, or yogurt from your goats.
Pygmy goats have received tons of attention on social media for their adorable antics. Since they’re small (comparable to a medium-sized dog), pygmies are a wonderful option for families with children.
Nubian goats originally came from England, unlike the Nigerian dwarf and Pygmy breeds, which originated in Africa. They’re also much larger. Their milk has high butterfat content, making Nubians a top pick for people who want a dairy goat.
Like Nubian goats, LaMancha goats are large in size and popular as a milking breed. Even though they’re big, LaMancha goats are relatively quiet and docile, making them suitable for people with smaller properties.
As you might expect, Alpine goats originated in the French Alps. They’re known for their big size, dairy-producing ability, and friendliness. When they have babies, does are incredibly nurturing mothers too.
For more pet-related content, visit the PetPonder blog.