I’d always loved goats—every one
of them different from every other one,
and all of them goofy and playful.
— Steve Watkins, What Comes After
So you’ve finally resolved to make the leap: whether for their milk, or fiber, or simple companionship, you’ve decided to add some goats to your family menagerie. In preparation, you have…
- Read everything you can get your hands on about the care and feeding of goats;
- Set aside a chuck of land big enough to accommodate your new goat friends;
- Enclosed it with a fence tall and strong enough to hold them (remember, goats are curious and love to climb things, or else eat through them);
- Built a small barn or other roofed enclosure to house them in inclement weather (goats hate to get wet);
- Invested in stainless steel buckets and a milking bench (if delving into the goat milk and cheese business is your plan), and created a sanitary environment for serious dairy production; and
- Picked out the breed and gender of goats you want to keep and brought them to their new home.
Now all that’s left is to choose names for your goats (and get them imprinted on durable Ketchum goat ear tags). Coming up with suitable names may be the hardest part of all—but also the most fun. Continue reading “The Naming of Goats”
Oh gentle friend, I know not what
Your age may be,
But of my years I’d give the lot
Yet left to me,
To chew a thistle and not choke,
But bright of eye
Gaze at the old world-weary bloke
Who hobbles by.
Alas! though bards make verse sublime,
And lines to quote,
It takes a fool like me to rhyme
About a goat.
— Robert William Service, “The Goat and I”
For thousands of years humans around the world have kept domesticated goats as livestock for many practical uses, primarily for their meat, milk, wool, and hides. We typically think of them strictly as farm creatures, best suited for animal husbandry and agricultural production. In developed countries like the United States, however, there is a growing trend among non-farmers to keep goats as family pets.
This concept is not as crazy as it sounds. Keeping a pet goat has often been compared to having a dog. And while it is true that goats are fun, funny, affectionate, highly intelligent, and even trainable to leash—not to mention possessing distinct and appealing personalities—there are a number of major differences to consider before taking the leap and purchasing a goat as a pet.
If you have been contemplating adding a new hircine member to your family menagerie, here are a few things you need to know. Continue reading “Getting a Pet Goat: What You Need to Know”