If you have taken an interest in raising goats, you are not alone – all over the world, about 7 million goats are being raised, most of them in developing countries. Many people who choose to raise goats do so for the milk, which tastes somewhat different to the milk from other animals, although goats can also be farmed and raised for their meat or skin. Mohair and cashmere are products that most of us are familiar with, and the meat and hide from goats is also considered to be very different and sometimes superior to that of other animals. The following tips should be followed if you are planning to raise goats on your property.
Goats generally don’t have any specific requirements for their housing, making it fairly easy to take care of these versatile creatures. However, if you are planning to raise goats you should keep in mind that they will need to have enough space to freely roam about in, and will, of course, need access to fresh water, and grass. Your goats will also need to be given dry bedding during wet weather, and they do not like to get wet, meaning that some indoor shelter space is a must during rainy weather.
Goats tend to get lonely and depressed if starved of companionship, meaning that you should always raise at least two goats to ensure that they have some much-needed companionship and socialization. A goat with a companion in the field is a much happier goat.
To prevent your goats from escaping and wandering off, you should build a secure fence around the outdoor area in which your goats will be grazing. The last thing you need is for your goats to escape and create some kind of disturbance around the area, or cause damage. It’s also a good idea to let your immediate neighbors know that you are raising goats on your land, especially if your neighbors are in close proximity.
Goats will happily eat grass and plants, although they also tend to be somewhat fussy eaters and they need to be given access to fresh cut hay on a regular basis. If you notice that your goats just aren’t eating, it may mean that the hay is stale and it is time to replace it with something fresher and more appealing.
Goats don’t like to eat hay that has been lying on the ground for too long, and you may want to invest in a wooden hay stand that is placed on the ground. This simple device will help to keep the hay clear of the dirty or wet ground and keep it fresher for longer. Always buy your goats good quality grains and hay, to make sure that they are getting their daily recommended dosage of nutrients. Goats also need to have access to clean and fresh water all the time, and if you don’t have a stream or pond on your land, you will need to make sure they do have access to water, changing it regularly if needed.
Raising goats can be enjoyable and profitable, whether you are farming them for their milk or their meat, or simply for the fun of it. Following the tips outlined above can help to ensure an enjoyable experience, and ensure that your goats are safe, content and healthy.