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goat keeping, health information
Goats as Pets

Which breed do you want?

As far a what breed of goat is best for a pet, I personally recommend LaManchas. This is the breed we raise. We have tried Nubians and Oberhaslis, but settled on LaManchas. (For more info about all the various goat breeds, click here). Many people are unfamiliar with the LaManchs breed. LaMancha have a wonder temperament and are very friendly, trainable, loving and easy to handle. I think some people automatically suggest Pygmies as pets because they are well known and smaller. The LaMancha is a medium sized breed, not small like the Pygmy, but their temperament is much better. LaManchas are also naturally very healthy and hardy, which is nice for first time goat owners. Many people like Nubians for their long ears and roman noses, but interestingly this breed is the least naturally healthy of the dairy breeds, so you may want to take that into consideration. Nubians have what I call a "proud" temperament.

Of course I am a little bias in favor of LaManchas <smile>. Look over the Breed page and this will help you choose the breed that is right for you. Remember that just because some breeds are dairy goats does not mean the you have to milk them. You can keep a dairy goat as a pet and never end up having to milk them. Though, it is nice to have a loving companion that will happily supply you with nutritious raw milk if you need it, thus freeing you from having to buy factory farmed milk from the grocery store.

No matter what breed you choose, make sure you start with friendly, healthy goats. You really can't go wrong with whatever breed you decide on as long as they start out friendly and healthy.

 

Which sex to you want?

Wether (neutered male):
If all you want is a pet and do not care about getting milk, you want a wether. Wethers also never develop a smell or get aggressive. They will stay "kid like" their whole lives. They will learn their names and come when called. They will be very loving and affectionate. The nice thing about wethers, is that they are cheaper than does or bucks, so buying two wethers is still less expensive than buying just one doe. Also, wethers eat less grain than does or bucks.

Doe (female):
If you want milk as well as companionship, you should get a doe. They will learn their names and may come when called.

Buck (intact male):
If you are a first time goat buyer, You DO NOT want a buck under any circumstances (read this page).You do not need a buck unless you already have at least 6 does and you can provide the buck with separate living quarters and a companion (wether or another buck- not a doe).

 

How many goats should you get?

Because goats are herd animals you should not get just one goat, they need a companion. A single goat will be very unhappy so you should start with at least two.

 

What about horns?

You also DO NOT want horns. Even if the goat is nice and friendly, if they have horns, you risk injury. Please trust me on this (read this page).

 

Recommendations for buying goats: Click here

 

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