Deciding to buy a goat is an exciting decision! It’s also an incredibly important one, because goats come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own set of characteristics. Your choice of goat will affect every part of your life, from how much you feed it to how much space you have to keep it. The more time you spend learning about goats before you buy one, the happier you’ll be with your final purchase! Here are some tips and suggestions on buying a goat that will allow you to pick the perfect goat for your needs and lifestyle.
Research the Different Breeds of Goats
There are many books on the market today that offer guidance on buying and breeding goats. The following are some of my favorites!
- Goats by Dr. H.G. Hartman, published by Storey Publishing, LLC; 2nd edition (2005)
- Raising Goats For Dummies by Carol Ekarius, published by Wiley Publishing, Inc.; 3rd edition (2008)
Consider Your Purpose for Buying a Goat
If you’re thinking about buying a goat, there are many things you need to consider. To help, we’ve put together some of the important factors for choosing a goat.
-What is your primary purpose for buying a goat? (milk production, meat production, fiber production)
-Will this be your only source of milk or will it be one of several sources?
-Do you want kids or adults?
-Do you want dairy goats or meat goats?
-What breed do you want?
-How much land do you have available?
-Where are you located? These considerations can help narrow down the field and lead to a better idea of what kind of goat best suits your needs.
Many types of goats range in size, color, and temperament. The three most popular breeds of goats are the Boer goat, Nigerian Dwarf goat, and Kiko goat. To make a decision on which type of goat will work best for you, it is important to consider what you will be using your goat for. If you plan on milking your animal then you must choose a dairy breed such as the Boer or Nigerian Dwarf. However, if you only plan on using your animal for show purposes then any type of goat could work. The Kiko offers a good mix between milk production and exhibition qualities so this might be a good compromise if both criteria are important to you. If you live near an area where there is a large population of wild animals like coyotes or bears, it may also be wise to research breeds that have natural defenses against these predators.
Choose a Healthy Goat
The first thing you should do before buying a goat is to make sure it’s healthy. Healthy goats will have an alert look in their eyes, be curious, and seem inquisitive. They should also have clear eyes without discharge or crusting. Healthy goats will have shiny coats with no bald patches, scabs, or signs of skin infections like mange or lice. Finally, they should be moving around easily without dragging their joints or limping. If any of these things are off-putting, then you might want to move on to another goat! You don’t want to buy an unhealthy animal that will only give you problems down the road. Once you find a good goat, make sure that the seller gives you proof of shots so that your animal doesn’t bring home parasites or diseases from its environment.
Determine If You Want a Male or Female Goat
Male goats are typically used for their meat and female goats are used for their milk. Male goats can make great pets, but they do not produce milk. Female goats produce milk, but it cannot be used for meat. If you want an animal that is going to provide you with food, then go with a male goat. However, if you want a pet or something that will provide you with milk then get a female goat.
Select a Goat That Is the Right Age
When deciding on what type of goat you want, you’ll have to consider their age. For example, you won’t be able to take in a baby goat because they need a mother’s milk. If you’re looking for an older goat, make sure they are of good age. Baby goats should not be more than 3-6 months old while adult goats should not be more than 2-3 years old. By picking an appropriate age, you’ll know that the goat will be easy enough for your family to care for.
If you’re still struggling with how to pick the perfect goat, don’t worry! Here are a few suggestions for you. First, always consider where you live in terms of climate. If it’s warmer or cooler, consider getting a goat that is best suited for your area. Second, talk to someone who has goats about what breeds they think would be best for your situation. Third, get advice from local farmers on what breeds they have had success with in different climates and circumstances. Lastly, read up on any breed you find interesting and decide if it would work well with your situation. The most important thing to remember is that every breed has its pros and cons so do research before buying a goat!
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