Goats can be a lot of fun to raise, though there are both advantages and disadvantages of raising goats that must be closely evaluated before taking on the responsibilities. Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and the ugly that comes with raising goats.
Advantages of Raising Goats
The advantages of raising goats definitely help overlook the disadvantages we’ll cover in a bit. However, it is important that you consider both the advantages and disadvantages of raising goats.
Meat and/or Milk Production
Goats are an excellent source of meat and/or milk production depending on the type of goat. Goats are a lean and healthy source of meat, and they are well-suited for small-scale and backyard farming operations. Additionally, goats are known for producing high-quality milk that can be used for making soaps, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
Helpful for Land Maintenance
Goats are not picky eaters and love to chomp on leaves, tall grass, weeds, invasive plants, and more. They can be quite helpful for maintaining large areas of land without having to mow or chop down a bunch of brush. In addition, their waste provides an effective natural fertilizer for gardens and crops.
Low Carbon Footprint
Raising livestock is often criticized for its large carbon footprint. However, goats in particular are efficient at converting plants into meat, milk, and fiber while maintaining a much lower carbon footprint.
Minimal Care Requirements
Though goats do have their own care requirements to be healthy, their requirements are much more flexible than other livestock. They need food, water, and shelter, but aren’t too picky about the specifics.
Goats can be great companions and are known to have unique personalities and can be fun to have around. Some goat owners describe their companionship as similar to that of a dog. They like to play, follow you around, and generally spend time with humans.
There are multiple ways raising goats can be profitable. Their meat and milk production is the most obvious way, though because of their personalities, they can generate profit with the experience they provide. People have generated income with their goats by hosting things like farm visits, goat yoga, goat brunch, and so much more.
Disadvantages of Raising Goats
Now that we have covered the fun of raising goats, it’s time to talk on the downsides you must think about.
Unfortunately, any animal comes with health risks. Goats can be susceptible to health problems, such as parasites, which can be costly to treat and can potentially spread to other animals. To mitigate this risk, regular veterinary appointments and preventative care is important.
Though goats are not picky about their housing, they are naturally curious creatures and love to explore. Goats are known for being able to escape from enclosures and can be difficult to contain, which can be a problem for farmers who want to keep their goats in a specific area. Even if you are just trying to keep them on your property, it may take some trial and error to find a fencing solution that actually contains them.
Noises & Odors
Goats produce a strong smell, especially males, during the breeding season, which can be unpleasant for some people. They also can be quite vocal, and their bleating can be loud and persistent, which can be a nuisance for neighbors.
There are some places where raising goats is restricted or prohibited by law, so it's important to research the laws and regulations in your area before getting goats. To avoid any consequences, ensure you research and follow local guidelines very closely.
Goats require regular feeding and care, and their enclosures need to be cleaned regularly. This can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large herd.
Is Raising Goats Right For You?
Though goats are an easier livestock option than cows, for example, raising goats still requires a basic knowledge of their care and management. Of course, with all things, there are both advantages and disadvantages of raising goats. Ensure you learn as much as you can prior to raising goats.