Goats are both adorable and amusing, and they’re one of the most popular farm animals out there. However, with their versatility and small stature, they’re not limited to farms — you can also raise goats in urban and suburban backyards.
Whether you are interested in raising them as pets or for milk and cheese, you’ll find that backyard goat keeping is fairly simple and straightforward.
Before you purchase goats, make sure it’s legal to raise them in your backyard. You’ll be able to find this information in your city ordinances. Pay special attention to whether there are any size or weight limitations, especially if you live in a suburban area.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that since goats are herd animals, you’ll want to have at least two.
When you decide to pursue backyard goat keeping, there are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration before you get started. Goats require:
While goats don’t require a lot of room, you do want each pair to have at least 15 square feet of space. Having a roomy area to live in ensures they’ll be able to move around and graze or forage.
To keep your goats safe in all kinds of weather, make sure they have a structure with at least three sides and a roof to protect them. To keep them comfortable, add a thick layer of bedding. You can use waste hay, straw or wood shavings as long as you regularly replace the layers as they get soiled.
Because goats tend to chew and can easily slip through small spaces, they need strong, secure fencing. You can use anything from woven wire to a chain-link fence as long as it doesn’t have any gaps and is tall enough that they won’t be able to climb over it. Goats will sometimes lean on fences to scratch themselves, so make sure your enclosure has plenty of support.
To keep your goats entertained and prevent them from getting into trouble, you can add some goat climbing structures or toys to their living space. Whether you add a platform, bridge or ball, these items can help enrich your goats’ environment — and provide you with hours of entertainment.
Goats need access to fresh, clean water at all times. While goats can eat a wide range of grasses, shrubs and weeds, if forage is limited in your backyard, you may need to add additional hay or feed to make sure they are receiving the nutrients they need.
Nature’s Best Organic Feeds offers scientifically proven feed to help you raise healthy goats in any environment, whether that’s a sprawling farm or a suburban backyard. Formulated by nutrition experts, our premium feeds are free of animal byproducts, chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics.
Check out our store locator tool to find the closest retailer that stocks our goat feed in your area.