Goats are adorable animals that make great pets. They are interesting, fun, and form close bonds with their owners. They have a brilliant demeanor which makes them suitable for homesteaders and the best goats for pets. In this article, we shall look at some smallest goat breeds that make friendly pets. If you’re interested in learning more about raising goats then we have a complete starter guide for that too.
Here are some of the cutest goat breeds outlined for you.
The Pygmy goats are one of the best pets suitable for young children. Used more like a pet than a milking machine, they are easy to look out for, enjoy a close relationship with humans, gregarious, and are considered adorable. Weighing 55 to 85 pounds, they are well-muscled animals known for demanding lots of hugs and contact from humans. If you are looking for a super-friendly breed, here is a great option.
Nigerian Dwarf goats
The Nigerian dwarf goat is another great addition to many homesteaders. Recognized by the registry in 2005, its milking and meat-producing serve as an advantage to its owners. Many of them are 22 to 24 inches tall and usually weigh about 75 pounds. They are cute, intelligent, and very productive animals. Compared to other breeds, its milk contains more nutrients that make it healthy. When choosing these breeds, ensure that you do not choose them from breeders that raised them strictly as pets. For Nigerian Dwarves strictly raised as pets do not attain their full milking potentials.
Alpine goats are one of the most intelligent and entertaining of all breeds. They are about 30 inches tall and weigh at least 135 pounds. They come in various patterns, adapt to most climatic changes, and are friendly. It is mostly recognized for its milking ability as it produces about 2,400 pounds of milk per year. In other words, if you do not have a dairy cow, the alpine breeds are a good replacement. One significant thing about the alpine breeds is the mothering attitude of the female goats (doe). Here, they look after their kids with such great affection. This empowers them to be friendly in their actions. Having this breed as a pet is a considerable option for homesteaders.
The LaMancha breed is another cool option for homesteaders. Known for its one-inch ear which looks like they have no ear and its long sturdy nose, this breed serves several purposes to its owners. Unlike other breeds, the LaMancha Goats are more patient during the milking process. Perhaps, this accounts for the reason they produce tasty milk of about 4 percent butterfat. Weighing about 160 pounds, this gallant breed is gentle, patient, and very productive. Besides, if you want a breed that doesn’t make much noise, the LaMancha goats are a suitable choice.
Known for its long ear, medium size, and short nose, the Boer goat is a friendly pet that enjoys its time outside. Weighing about 200 pounds, this breed is more popular for its meat. Although it is not tall, it is wider than other breeds. Due to its size, young children may not have an enjoyable experience playing with it. Still, they are resourceful to their owners and friends.
Can Goats Be Kept As House Pets?
Yes, Goats can be kept as pets. They are lovely, gentle, and adorable animals that come with lots of perks for their owners.
Just like humans, they need friends that will keep them company or eventually, happy. Due to the varieties in their species, they act differently. While some are feral, others are truly adorable which makes them good buddies for humans. Having them as buddies keeps you relaxed, elated, and makes you feel comfortable.
Check Your Local Laws
Different towns have their regulations for keeping animals. It is therefore essential to consult the legal authorities before proceeding with your action. While some cities allow the animal, others may not. If allowed, look out for the regulations guiding them. Many cities make prerequisites for keeping goats such as dehorning the pet, keeping only miniature ones, neutering the male ones, and many more. Besides, do your research before getting them. Since some goats are louder than others, they could create unpleasant experiences for your neighbors. Also, check your homeowners’ association rules. While some could allow goats in the front yard gardens, others may not agree to such an agreement. In short, check your environment and its reaction before attempting to buy any goat.
Goats Are Loud
Goats can be loud animals. Their loudness can be unpleasant not only to you but to those around you. Different reasons account for their loudness. For instance, when the goats are in heat, they make loud noises. Also, you have to check if they are hungry or thirsty. Hungry or thirsty goats have a high chance of making loud noises as well. Besides, non-neutered goats occasionally make noises due to their nature. Irrespective of these, it is best to figure out the reason behind their loudness and put an end to it. Here are some lists that can keep goats quiet.
- Feed them regularly when due.
- Do not bring new ones as they might both find it difficult to adjust to each other.
- Take them out for walks or hikes to stimulate their physical and mental wellness.
- Avoid applying violence to your goats. It will only make them afraid of you and won’t stop the noise
- Have a strict but predictable routine for yourself
- Do not become too attached to your pets.
- Show them love and attention at specific hours.
Goats Will Escape Your Yards
Goats are very curious animals. Hence, they have a high chance of jumping your yards just to fill their curiosity. Besides, they often get itchy as insects and other critters usually get into their furs. In a bid to get the insects out, they could scratch themselves on the fencing and accidentally break it. Sometimes, they could just break the fence with their horns in a bid to escape with their herds. They love to be in groups rather than being alone. Despite the reasons, you should always prepare to keep them busy to avoid breakouts. Here are some guidelines that prevent goats from escaping your yards.
- Have some toys or makeshifts for your goats to keep them entertained.
- Build a fence of 4 feet tall to prevent them from escaping. Taller fences are also acceptable if you can afford it
- Use a padlock to lock the gates. Avoid using hook and eye, bolt latches, and lever as they can easily open them
- Design the goat fence to keep the predators out
- Use electric fences as they are also viable options.
- Check your fence for regular maintenance and repair all that is necessary
- Your fence should be about 2m deep to keep it sturdy.
You No Longer Have A Garden
Goats are herbivores. They consume any vegetable substances as long as it tastes juicy to them. In some cases, they even consume poisonous plants and other available pest plants such as sumac, ironweed, ailanthus, kudzu, and many more. Although they control weeds, they could eat any plants around their environment including thorns and stickers. Hence, it is advisable not to plant any privacy plants that are dear to you as long as you are rearing them. Or better still, you can create a separate location where they can feed on. Here are some tips for your goats in the garden.
- Build a tall, sturdy fence that keeps the goats in and prevent predators such as coyote from snatching them away
- Create a well-ventilated shelter that keeps them from extreme temperature, wind, or rain
- Provide them with supplementary grains at specific hours
- Provide a clean source of water for them
Do You Have Enough Space?
Keeping goats as pets implies that you must have enough space for them to grow healthy. Since they are tall and wide in size, you have to consider their space in terms of shelter, feeding and drinking spots, leisure activities, and many more. However, the space created all depends on your choice of breeds and the total number you want to rear. Having an indoor and outdoor space is a great idea for starters. Hence, the general requirements needed are a minimum of 10 square feet for indoor space and 200 square feet for outdoor space. However, creating these minimal requirements means you may not want to keep many goats. Having these minimal requirements for many goats will only result in negative consequences for their health status and total well-being.
Can Goats And Dogs Be Kept Together?
Goats and dogs are different animals. They are different in nature, response, and many other things. While goats are very friendly animals, dogs are more aggressive. The former is the prey and the matter is the predator. Hence, dogs tend to frighten goats in their daily activities. Besides, if the dogs are of the feral type, they could hurt the goats with ease. Therefore, they will interact less with each other. Another reason is that goats are happier amidst their herds. Associating with animals such as dogs only keeps them in fear and reduces their level of interaction. Furthermore, goats are sensitive animals in their sleep. Keeping them with dogs results in negative mental illness as dog barkings could wake them without stress. Hence, it affects their health status and mental well-being.
Goats, The Good
Goats are adorable pets. As long as you attend to their basic needs and requirements, you are bound to be close buddies. They are social animals that enjoy lots of attention and can even eat from your hands if permitted. To enjoy the best of goats as pets, you have to take care of them adequately.
The Best Milk You Will Ever Have
Goat’s milk is one of the most nutritious in the world. For years, humans have been enjoying the milk without complaints. It comes with loads of health benefits that help the human body. Today, several companies use this product in the production of other edible substances such as cheese, yogurt, and more. Here are some of the benefits of cow’s milk
- It has more oligosaccharides than cow’s milk that maintains the health of the digestive tracts
- It contains less lactose
- It is packed with loads of vitamins such as calcium, phosphorous, iodine, vitamin A and B, and many more
- It is blood pressure friendly as it is naturally low in cholesterol
Great For Clearing Weeds
Goats are herbivores and consume any plants close to them. Whether the plants are located on the roadside, parks, vacant lots, or open fields, goats will clear them up for you. Although they consume grass, they love other plants more. This implies that they may not be the best option for lawnmowers. Instead, you could have a herd of them consume the plants on a specific landscape. Their herbivorous nature even promotes them to consume poisonous plants. As long as you don’t have plants that are dear to you on the field, you can let them clear the weeds for you.
Are Goats Expensive To Keep?
Goats are inexpensive to keep when compared to cows. Thanks to their sizes, you can easily have one or two of them around. However, the numbers you will keep largely depend on the size of your land and where you live. Aside from the initial amount you will spend on fencing, shelter, and security, you may not spend a lot again. Besides, if you are lucky to have a natural habitat that supplies goats (without the use of a goat waterer or goat feeder) with natural resources such as plants and water, you may not spend more as well. The only requirements you have to supply will be in terms of health maintenance.
Mini Goats Vs Standard Goats
Goats vary in terms of sizes – the miniatures and the standard size breeds. The miniature ones are those who weigh about 100 pounds or less. They are relatively small and can be reared in urban settings. Such is the pygmy and the Nigerian dwarf breeds. Meanwhile, the standard breeds are those that weigh more in size. Their weight is often between 100 to 200 pounds or more. Examples are the Alpine or Nubian breeds.
Male Or Female Goats As Pets
Are male or female goats better pets? Honestly, it depends on your choice. Both male and female goats make great companions. However, having the castrated ones as pets is more preferable to the intact ones. The intact males are more aggressive. Meanwhile, the intact female can give you problems when trying to keep them at a healthy weight. Why? They give birth occasionally and produce milk all year. If they can’t do this. they get obese. Therefore, choosing the castrated ones is a suitable option for pet lovers. They are easy to keep and manage, require only pasture, and are friendly.
Bottle-Raised Vs Dam-Raised Goats
Bottle-raised kids are kids that are fed from the bottle. Owners do this to keep them more friendly and sociable. Besides, it prevents the ruining of the dam’s udder. Meanwhile, dam-raised kids are kids that feed directly from the dam. They are nursed by the dam until an appropriate time. Dam-raised kids consume less time compared to the bottled ones. However, the owners may not have enough access to its milk. When raising the kids, the chive is up to you.
Which Breed Of Goat Is Best For Beginners?
Breeds of goats are quite different. While some produce meat, some produce milk. The best breed of goat for beginners depends on the function they want the goat to serve. Then, they can look for the best breeds which include the alpine goat, Saanen goat, LaMancha goat, Nigerian dwarfs, Nubian goats, and lots more.
Are Male Or Female best goats for pets?
Male and female goats are good choices. However, choosing the castrated ones will be better as they give little problems compared to their intact counterparts.
Which Makes A Better Pet, A Goat Or Chicken?
Goats and chickens make incredible choices. However, choosing one depends on what you intend to get from a pet. While goats require more food, attention, care, chickens can be left to scavenge for themselves. Therefore, it all depends on your choice.
In A Nutshell
With over 200 breeds of goats, selecting the one that serves your needs is a wise option. After all, it all depends on the purpose you want it to serve. Whether you want it for its meat, milk, fur, or as a pet, you need to select the ones that suit you perfectly. Through this, you can enjoy the utmost benefits as a goat owner.