If you are planning to get a goat as a pet, make sure you have gathered information about what you are getting into. Woolgathering will only leave you stumped! So let's take a look at the different points to be kept in mind while planning to raise goats as pets.
Raising Goats as Pets
Before heading into the question, 'how to raise goats as pets', it is important to ask yourself, 'why do you want to raise goats as pets'. Answering this question will help you to decide the type of goat you want to raise. People often feel goats are natural alternatives to lawnmowers. If you are one of them, then it is high time you change your mindset.
Wild or Tame Goats?
While choosing goats, make sure the goat is 'touchable' before you actually take him or her home. If you think you can tame the goat after taking him home, you are in for a surprise! Taming wild goats are next to impossible tasks, so skip the frustration stage by getting a friendly goat.
Moreover, get a goat that has been disbudded. Though goats look really adorable when they're 3 months old, their horns will eventually grow out and when the goat realizes he has horns, he will use it in unpleasant ways.
Doe, Buck or Wether?
Does are loving and respond to their names when called. They supply milk and make great companions. Although they make lovely pets, does are expensive, as compared to bucks and wethers. Bucks or intact males are not recommended for people who are first time goat buyers. The simple reason being, bucks are breeding animals and not companions.
Being intact males, they constantly seek the companionship of a doe and become lonely and agitated, in situations otherwise. Neutered males or wethers are the best option if one wants a goat for a pet companion and not milk purposes. Wethers never get aggressive and do not develop an unpleasant smell.
Unlike bucks, wethers do not think about sex all the time and remain 'kid-like' and affectionate all their lives. They will respond to you when you call their names and will even shower you with their affection. Moreover, wethers are cheaper to buy and maintain, than bucks and does, which makes them even more appropriate for getting as a pet.
How Many Goats to Get?
Goats being social animals tend to get very lonesome without the companionship of their own kind. Single goats end up being very lonely, thus, it's important to start off with at least two goats. First timers should not head out and pick up one buck and one doe. To avoid breeding issues, it's best to get two does, two wethers or one doe with a wether.
Choosing the Goat Type
There are several types of goat breeds, for you to choose from. Each breed has its own advantages and it depends on personal choice, which breed of goat to get. Just make sure you follow the above-mentioned pointers while choosing them, such as friendly, debudded, doe-wether combination, etc.
Raising goats as pets and raising goats for profit are two different things. While getting goats as pets, one can buy the dairy goats, however, it's not necessary to milk them. Moreover, as with any other pet, goats also need to have a physical examination, carried out by a veterinarian, once a year and need to be vaccinated.
Watch out for attacks by stray dogs and other animals, as goats are fairly vulnerable to attacks. Goats will supply you with lovely milk, however, don't get a goat for the sole purpose of getting free milk.