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Coastal Community | Animals

Beginner’s Guide to Goats

March 7, 2019
If you own several acres of land, or even if you’re the proud owner of something smaller, the idea of raising a few goats for meat, milk, or to add some personality to your pasture, may have crossed your mind. Here are a few things to consider as you get started with goats

Choosing the Right Breed

There are quite a few breeds to choose from, but as Emily Rucker, an Albany, Oregon resident who raises lambs and goats can tell you, there is just a handful to consider.

Boer: This is the most popular breed for meat. They grow quickly, resist diseases well, and can thrive in nearly any climate.

Nigerian Dwarf: This miniature breed is easier to keep inside fenced areas, produces up to two quarts of milk a day, and do not require as much food as other goats. They grow to be around 18-inches tall.

Nubian: These are some of the most popular goat breeds. They’re perfect for milk production, producing upwards of two gallons a day. Nubian goats have a tendency to be very loud when they get hungry.

Savanah: This breed is known for its meat, hardiness, and low maintenance. Plus, they kid well, meaning you could grow a herd relatively easily.

Room to Roam

While it’s possible to raise goats in a small paddock, they do like room to move just like any other farm animal. Experts suggest allowing your goats to clear out unused pastures of weeds and other vegetation from time to time if giving them their own large area isn’t possible.

Above all, goats do need shelter from the elements (a 3-sided shelter works wonders), a warm place to sleep (upwards of 20 square feet is often enough), and a nice spot for their food and water.

Build a Strong, Tall Fence

Anytime Emily takes her goats to another property to clear brush and other vegetation, she uses electric netting to keep her goats contained and safe. Other experts say hog wire secured into the ground also works as long as it is tall enough keep a goat from jumping into or over it. You can find both options at your northwest owned and operated Coastal, including Powerfields 40-inch Electric Web Poultry and Goat Netting with Posts.

Food and Water

Goats are known for eating just about anything, including tin cans. But Emily says that just isn’t accurate. Goats won’t eat anything they cannot chew or digest, and in her experience they can be quite picky. She suggests feeding them alfalfa pellets and orchard grass hay as well as protein supplements found in the 15-pound Vitalix Goat Choice Tub.

Coastal Knows Goats

When you’re ready to bring some goats into your daily routine, stop by your Northwest owned and operated Coastal for all of the feed, fencing, medication, and supplements you need to keep them happy and healthy. We also have plenty of answers to your goat questions. All you need to do is ask.