Are you ready to bring home a goat but are asking the question, “How much does a goat cost?” Let’s figure that out right now…
Get a goat, Delci said. It’ll be fun! she said.
I really did say get a goat. You can watch that video on my channel after this one if you’re not convinced: 13 Reasons You NEED a Goat. And it really will be fun! I promise.
So, yes, get a goat. Sounds easy, right?
It is. Kind of.
You can watch this information in the video below:
Now, the first thing you need to get…is a goat! No, let me rephrase that. You need TWO GOATS! Goats are a herd animal. So if you get one goat, you automatically get two.
And then…they multiply…and it becomes goat math which is almost as confusing as common core math. But that’s to your advantage because that just means you get more goats and no one can explain it.
A goat can cost anywhere between $75 and $200 or more. It really depends on what breed you get, how well-bred the goats are, where you’re located and if the animals are registered or not. Usually, the wethers are sold for less and the little doelings can be sold for $200 or more. And to be quite frank, that is more than fair considering the time, effort, love, feed and supplies the owner of the goats has put into their herd.
There are usually many years of devoted time and effort that goes into breeding goats and selling the kids are one way that the goat owners can actually help pay for all that it takes to make a good goat herd.
Now that’s not to give the impression that a couple of goats will cost you a fortune. But just a reminder to not grumble about the price of goats.
You can find goats or “save” goats going through a sale barn, but you really do need to be careful doing this. There are two reasons that goats end up at the sale barn. One is that someone who raises goats has an influx of kids in the spring and can get a better price at the sale barn than they can justify selling the wethers just for pets. The harsh reality is that a pet wether usually goes for $75 from someone like me but a good sale at the sale barn can get a lot more than that. And understandably so, people need to make money if they are raising goats.
Another reason you will find a goat at a sale barn is that they have an “issue”. Now, this issue could be a lot of things: lice, unthriftiness, worms, sickness, or any kind of disease. And when you bring that goat home, there is the potential to infect your goat herd if you have one or bring home disease onto your property that is hard to get rid of.
But truly, if you are wise in your buying choices whether at the sale barn or from a reputable seller in your area, you can find goats that will be a great addition to your life!
I also mention this in every goat video or article I write because I believe without a shadow of a doubt that every goat owner needs to have one of these on hand: My Goat Binder. This information is indispensable and has been so helpful for so many goat owners. In fact, this is what Russel said about it…
“I never talk like this, but this is it!! The information provided in this packet can be found all over the internet, I know because I’ve been searching, but I have never seen this much information in one place in one printable binder with everything at your fingertips. Print the binder once and the info sheet with your goats as many times as you need! This information has already changed how I have been handling my goats with food, water, cleaning…Everything!!!!”
Please watch this video on my channel about what a goat eats: What do Goats Eat? I’ll mention briefly though that goats need grass or hay as their primary source of nutrition. If you don’t have sufficient pasture throughout the year, then your goats will need you to provide them hay. In my area in Montana, I have about 3 months where my goats can be out on pasture but for 9 months of the year, I need to feed hay.
And hay can become a big part of the cost of goats. But you don’t have to worry, I’ll help you figure out how much hay you will need for your goats. All you have to do is follow this link that will take you to a goat hay cost calculator.
So let’s say that you bring home 2 Nigerian dwarf goats that weigh 75 pounds each. If you type all of that into this calculator you’ll see that for these two goats it will cost you about 1 ton of hay a year.
So you’ve got your goats, you’ve got hay. Now you need a water trough, mineral holder and shelter.
A 15-gallon water trough on Amazon can run about $35 but you can check your local farm and ranch store and you can make a mineral holder like the ones I use for a pretty low cost. Follow the link to see how you can make one of these nifty feeders.
Then you’ll need to fill the mineral feeder. In our area right now I just paid $32 for a bag of goat minerals. You can watch about goat mineral on my channel as well. Please watch that. It is one of the most important videos and pieces of information to understand about goats.
And then a bag of sodium bicarbonate can be bought at the feed store as well. Baking soda is really good for goats that are living in confinement like this. If they get a tummy ache, they will self medicate and this just helps to regulate their rumen. Honestly, I can’t remember how much a bag cost, it lasts a long time but it’s not too much.
And these goat pallet shelters are awesome, low cost and easy to build. They are a great way to start if you don’t have a large barn. They are a great option in areas where it’s really cold and also warmer.
Now, these things I’ve just mentioned are the most vital. Goats who are not in milk, pregnant or in rut, don’t really need any grain. In fact, I believe that feeding your goats a high diet of grain will really cause a lot of problems. You can save yourself that expense until you get to the point of raising more goats. And the cost of grain can vary. I feed my goats barley while I’m milking them. A bag of barley around our parts can be about $11.00 but I can save money when I buy whole barley in bulk.
There are other supplies you will need to get and stock up on as well. You can watch that video right here after this one: Goat Emergency Supplies. These items will be really handy to have on hand in the just in case emergencies that can come up.
If you have never raised goats then you must know that goats are rather fragile. They can and do get sick, just like we do. Without proper feeding and nutrition, your goat will get sick. And if you don’t keep an eye on their worm load and for signs of anemia, it can end badly. So just be aware that you will need to keep an eye on your goats at all times. Pay attention to them and note any changes in their appearance. You will need to be watching their hair coat, eyes, their weight and if any of those changes, act quickly.
This isn’t meant to be a lesson in goat care, but I see so many times that people bring home their beloved pets and then are shocked when they get sick. Don’t let that be you. Watch all the videos on my YouTube channel to learn about how to care for your goat’s health.
When you look at the emergency list of items that you need for your goats, it may seem overwhelming. But what I would suggest doing is budgeting a certain amount each month to stocking up on what you need. Maybe it would be $25 a month or maybe even $50 a month until you have all the items you need.
So to recap, for two little Nigerian Dwarf goats, you’ll need a little over 1 ton of hay a year for them. In our area, right now, we had a glutton of hay last year in our area. The prices right now are a lot lower than they sometimes are. So hay prices for a ton of hay can be between $80-$150 a ton. We can take an average of that, about $125 and add that to the other necessary items to get started and you have about $300-$400 to get started and then the price of the goats you’ll be buying. And then at least $25 a month to invest in getting the emergency supplies.
What do you think? Is a goat worth the cost? I’d say definitely worth it. And they would too.
They have the potential to give you so many smiles and happiness during times when you are stuck at home with nothing to do for long periods of time and they also can provide food for your family. Milk, cheese, yogurt… and even potentially meat.
Ready for your first goat? Go get your goat!! I mean… Go get your goats!