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If you’re looking to start raising goats on your small hobby harm and homestead or just dream of owning your own cute little goat then you’ve come to the right place. Goats are the perfect beginner animal for small hobby farms and homesteads for a number of reasons that I’ll share with you today.
8 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO START RAISING GOATS
We rented goats for a summer to trial having them on our homestead. I’m so happy we did it! They were a fun addition to our homestead and we learned a lot about keeping goats in a quick short period of time. I’m going to share 8 reasons why we thought goats would be perfect for our beginner homestead.
RAISING GOATS TO CLEAR LAND
Goats are a great foraging animal and will eat whatever they can get in their mouths. One summer we didn’t plant our vegetable garden, next thing we knew we had grown weeds and bramble higher than myself. It was time to find goats to clear our land.
when we were delivering hay to a customer she mentioned needing a home for her goats while she showed her house for sale. We left her with hay and came home with her goats… to borrow!
If you have land needing clearing renting or borrowing goats is a good feasible option to test out goats before committing to raising them. Put an “ISO” in search of ad out in your local farming community and take a drive in the country side on the look out for goats. Contact your local 4H. Make an arrangement with the goat farmer regarding feed and water, the length of time and transportation.
It took those 6 goats 3 weeks to clear our 50×50 fenced garden patch. We left them water, and they used the old garden shed as their shelter.
We got started by bringing six goats home. They were easy to coax into the trailer and into our fenced in garden.
CUTE AND FRIENDLY
Yes, goats are cut and friendly animals. Are are often the biggest attraction at a petting farm and kids love them. But, it’s important to remember that they are still animals and just because they are cute and friendly doesn’t make them house pets.
GOATS ARE PLAYFUL ANIMALS
When deciding what animals we wanted to raise, I had read somewhere that lambs were like your sweet children and goats were like the bad kids in the neighbourhood. I also read that they are great land clearers.
They are quite the entertainment and are good farm animals to have with children. Petting farms always have goats for a good reason. Goats like to stay entertained by having a variety of things to eat, and lots of play structures to stay busy.
There are several perks to having goats on your homestead purely based on their small size.
Goats are easier to handle than larger livestock like cows. They are also easier to train, move and milk. Goats also eat less hay than a large animal.They also produce a lot less manure than a larger animal. They also require far less equipment for milking and fencing.
GOATS MILK & FRESH DAIRY PRODUCTS
One reason why I’m considering getting goats again is to add fresh raw dairy to our list of things we produce at home. We currently go through 4 gallons of milk a week, that’s $20 a week/$80-$100 a month, we’re currently spending on milk!
Goat’s milk has many health benefits.
They provide a family with milk, often used for making cheese and soap. I love goats milk soap and this is on my list of homesteading skills to learn- soap making!
Danielle from The Rustic Elk has a great article on dairy goat breeds worth a read. Check it out here.
They are also a healthy meat source, since goats are small they also don’t take up much room in the freezer leaving space for other meat raised on the farm, freezer meals and of course your frozen pies, garden produce like tomatoes, zucchini and pumpkin puree.
RAISING GOATS FOR PROFIT
Because goats are small, friendly animals that produce milk products the ideas for raising goats for profit are endless. Here are some ideas,
-Make a sell goat milk soap and bath products
-Sell goat meat
-Sell baby goats
-set up a goat attraction- goats on the roof, goats bridge etc.
-rent for birthday parties
-sell adult goals
-Sell a doe in milk
-Rent to other homesteaders for land clearing
-Charge a stud fee
More information about making an income with goats from Mr. Animal Farm
More information about making money on your homestead.
GOOD FOR SMALL ACREAGE
Goats are a great addition to a small homestead if you don’t have room for larger livestock.
More information about how to raise goats on a small lot from The Free Range Life.
I see goats in the future here on our farm, our boys will love them as they get a bit bigger and could help with milking chores at an early age.
BUT WITH THE PERKS COME THE DOWNFALLS
It’s important to look at the whole picture, to ask other homesteaders that have goats and try to prepare yourself for some of the struggles that may come from keeping goats.
Meghan, The Organic Goat Lady has the perfect article to read that includes 7 reasons why you might not want to keep goats. I recommend you read it- no matter how excited you are about the possibility of getting your own!