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20 Truths of Raising Goats

The Unveiled Realities: 20 Truths of Raising Goats

Raising goats can be a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor, but it comes with its own set of truths that every goat owner should be aware of. From their playful antics to their unique dietary needs, goats are complex creatures that demand attention, care, and a good sense of humor. In this article, we will uncover 20 truths about raising goats that encapsulate the realities.

If you’re new to raising goats and haven’t decided what type of goat you want to raise, then it’s time to decide that now! It’s near impossible to raise quality milk, fiber AND meat goats all at the same time. Pick one avenue, stick with it and get good at raising the best herd of goats you can. 

Keep learning about how goats live and think

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Goats are Not Lawnmowers:

While goats have a reputation for eating everything in sight, they are selective browsers rather than lawnmowers. Expecting goats to keep your lawn perfectly manicured may lead to disappointment.

Goats Love to Climb:

Goats are natural climbers and love to explore elevated spaces. Be prepared to find them on top of anything they can reach, from boulders to your car.

Goats are Social Creatures:

Goats thrive on companionship. Loneliness can lead to stress and health issues, so it’s advisable to keep at least two goats together.

Goats Have Distinct Personalities:

Each goat has its own personality. Some may be mischievous troublemakers, while others are calm and docile. Get to know your goats individually.

There are many different views on bottle baby goats. Some producers will sell their kids on the bottle and only will raise bottle babies. But you may find that bottle babies are a pain in the tush. They will be your friendliest goat and will always be underfoot but without the social training from their mother, they can find themselves at the bottom of the pecking order. 

Goats Are Excellent Escape Artists and are Great Jumpers:

Goats have a knack for finding weaknesses in fences and exploiting them. Invest in sturdy fencing and routinely inspect it for any potential escape routes. Goats are agile and excellent jumpers. Ensure that their enclosures have adequate height to prevent escapes.

Goats Love Treats and May Have a Large Belly:

Goats have a sweet tooth and enjoy treats like fruits, vegetables, and grain. However, moderation is key to prevent health issues like obesity.

Although it’s so important to not allow your goats to get fat, also know that some goats look like they are pregnant at all times. And people will always comment, “Is that goat pregnant? When is she due?” And you’ll respond, “No, she’s not!” And their response may be something like, “Oh, she’s just fat, huh?” In actuality, she isn’t fat, she has a big rumen, which is really an important indication that the goat has an active and healthy digestive system. 

If you goat is fat, they will store their fat next to their internal organs. And you’ll be able to squeeze their “handles” between their front leg, where it meets their chest. If you can pinch an inch of flesh, your goat is probably fat. But they really do need a layer of fat over their fibs. Pinch that fat between their legs first to determine if they are too fat.  

Goats are Clever Problem Solvers:

Goats possess problem-solving skills and can figure out how to open latches, gates, and even doors. Secure enclosures with goat-proof locks.

Goats Also Can Only Go From Point A to Point B

Yes, goats are mischievous…but they also won’t be able to figure out how to go around a fence to get water if they can see the water right across that fence.

If the gate to the barn is at the far end of the pasture, they won’t go through it if they can walk to the fence line right across from the barn.

If this is the case for your setup right now, it probably would be best for the sake of your goats to make a gate where it makes sense to your goats. 

Goats Are Vocal Communicators and are Not Silent:

Goats are surprisingly vocal and use various sounds to communicate with each other. Learn to distinguish between their different bleats, grunts, and calls. Contrary to the stereotype, goats are not silent. They can be quite vocal, especially during feeding times, when separated from their herd or when they are in heat. 

Goats are Not Cows:

Goats have different dietary requirements than cows. They are browsers and benefit from a varied diet that includes forage, browse, and supplemental grains. Goats are closer in relation and desires to a deer than a cow. If allowed, they would roam and forage for their food just like a deer would. 

Goats Can Be Picky Eaters:

Goats put everything in their mouth…maybe even a tin can…but that’s not the whole story. 

Despite their reputation for eating anything, goats can be picky eaters. They may avoid certain plants or hays, so observe their preferences and adjust their diet accordingly.

What appears to you as picky, in reality has a fundamental reason. Goats can not digest stemmy hay with a lignin content over 39. Their fast metabolism literally can’t digest it in time before it’s out of their system. 

Goats are Pregnant for Five Months:

Goats have a relatively short gestation period of about five months. Be prepared for kidding season and provide proper care to pregnant does. Don’t buy a doe and then decide to move them across country. They stress easily and most likely there will be problems if you do this. 

And bucks only have one thing in mind. They can be dangerous when they are in rut. 

And does will also kid when the weather turns bad. Count on it and prepare it. 

Goats Require Space:

Goats will get stressed if they are kept in crowded situations. Especially when they are grazing. If they can’t get away from their fecal matter because of overgrazing, they will ingest more worms, not only because they are eating by their poop but also because they are eating closer to the ground. 

Goats are Excellent Brush Clearers:

Goats excel at clearing brush and unwanted vegetation. Utilize their browsing instincts to help with land management.

Goats Need Proper Hoof Care:

Regular hoof trimming is essential for goats to prevent overgrowth and related health issues. Learn how to trim hooves or enlist the help of a professional.

Goats Are Prone to Parasites and Sickness:

Goats are susceptible to internal parasites. Implement a strategic parasite management program, including regular fecal testing and deworming.

If a goat has worms, then they are even more likely to get a sickness like pneumonia. But large temperature swings can also stress a goat and cause them to get sick. 

In reality, all animals, including goats, have at least a small level of worms, coccidia and bacteria inside them. This is how they maintain their health. It’s impossible to completely rid a goat of every single worm or bacteria. 

But it is your job to keep your goats healthy and provide them with an environment and nutrition profile that will help them remain in robust health. 

And when you come across that goat who is always more wormy or sick than the rest, it’s time to cull them. 

Goats are Herd Animals:

You may know of someone who owns a goat or wants to own a goat to “be company” to a horse or another animal. While this may be a noble thought, it’s not a wise thought. Not only can a larger animal like a cow or horse, easily and mistakenly stop on a goats leg and snap it, a goat is a herd animal. And a herd animal needs to be with an animal of its own kind. It will not thrive living with a horse. 

This is a natural instinct that comes from the thought “there is safety in numbers”. 

Goats Enjoy Sunbathing:

Goats love to sunbathe, and a sunny spot in the pasture is a favorite hangout. Provide shade options during hot weather to prevent heat stress.

Goats are Curious Creatures but Also Creatures of Habit:

Curiosity is a defining trait of goats. They will investigate anything new in their environment, so be cautious about introducing unfamiliar objects.

Goats who find a hole in the fence, will always and forever keep finding that whole in the fence. If they put their head through the fence, they will always put their head through the fence and will always get stuck, every time. If they “do this thing”, they will always “do that thing”, whatever that thing is. 

Goats Need Protection from Predators:

Goats are vulnerable to predators. Secure their sleeping quarters with predator-proof fencing and provide guardian animals, such as dogs, for added protection.

Goats are Sustainable:

Goats are sustainable animals that can provide milk, meat, fiber, and companionship. Embrace the joys and challenges of raising goats, knowing that they offer a range of benefits to dedicated owners.


Raising goats is a unique and enriching experience that brings joy, laughter, and sometimes, a bit of chaos. Understanding these 20 truths of raising goats can help prospective and current goat owners navigate the challenges and appreciate the delightful quirks of these fascinating creatures. With proper care, attention, and a sense of humor, goats can become cherished members of your homestead or farm.

You’ve only just begun! Keep learning about goats here: Raising Goats Resource Page

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