Goats are an ancient domesticated species and a popular choice for backyard petting. With so many different goat breeds to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide the best goat breeds for your backyard.
The great thing about goats is that they come in all shapes and sizes; there’s truly something for everyone! In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most common breeds of goats you might want to consider when starting a small herd. Before you know it, your backyard will be home to a friendly group of goat buddies!
7 Best goat breeds for your backyard
There are a lot of goat breeds that can be raised in the backyard, but which are the best? Here’s a look at some of our top picks for backyard goats that can provide companionship, entertainment, and (of course) delicious milk!
1. Nigerian Dwarf:
These friendly goats first hailed from West Africa and have gained popularity as backyard pets due to their small stature and manageable size, weighing no more than fifty pounds.
They are hardy animals and can adapt to a variety of climates making them great for any area. Plus, they don’t require a lot of space either!
As an added bonus, these goats produce sweet-tasting milk that can be used in all sorts of recipes.
Fun fact: Nigerian dwarf goats love to climb!
A medium-sized goat breed from the French Alps, Alpines boast long ears and a sturdy frame that makes them well-suited for outdoor living in moderate climates.
They tend to be good-natured, making them terrific companions and they can produce up to two gallons of milk a day.
Fun fact: Alpine goats have been bred for centuries, with some records dating back to the 1700s!
This breed is a relatively new one, but don’t let that fool you – Oberhasli goats are strong and hardy animals that make perfect backyard companions.
They hail from the Swiss Alps and can produce up to two gallons of milk per day.
They are alert and friendly, making them great for kids and adults alike!
Fun fact: Oberhasli goats come in two shades – chocolate or bay with black markings, giving them a unique look!
These white fluffy wonders are originally from Switzerland and are one of the most popular dairy goat breeds in the US.
Saanens come in a variety of sizes and can produce up to three gallons of milk per day.
They are gentle giants that make great pets and enjoy lots of scratching and brushing – perfect for those long summer days!
Fun fact: Saanen goats were named after their original home region near Lake Geneva in Switzerland!
Toggenburgs are a classic Swiss breed, first developed in the Toggenburg valley of Switzerland.
This breed is beloved for their easy-going personality and vigorous nature.
They can produce up to two gallons of milk per day and are quite active – perfect for backyard exploration!
Fun fact: Toggenburg goats were some of the first dairy goats imported to the US in 1883!
These handsome goats hail from South Africa and have become popular in many parts of the world due to their hardy nature and ability to thrive in virtually any climate.
Boers have a gentle temperament, making them excellent pets and they produce high-quality milk with plenty of butterfat content – perfect for those delicious recipes!
Fun fact: Boer goats got their name from the Dutch word ‘boer’, meaning farmer or peasant!
A cross between a British long-eared goat and an African short-eared one, Anglo-Nubians make great backyard companions due to their adaptability and good nature.
They are hardy animals that can thrive in any climate and produce delicious milk with a high butterfat content – perfect for making cheese or other dairy products.
Fun fact: Anglo-Nubians are well known for their unique appearance which includes roman noses and distinct lyre-shaped horns!
No matter what type of goat you choose, all seven breeds make excellent pets and provide plenty of benefits for keeping in the backyard.
From sweet-tasting milk to low-maintenance needs, these goats have something special to offer anyone looking to add a little more fun to their outdoor area.
How to raise a goat in your backyard
Raising goats in the backyard can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, and can provide your family with fresh milk, cheese, and even wool!
Here are seven points to consider when deciding if goats are right for you.
1. Make sure that local laws allow you to keep goats in your area. It’s always best to check with local authorities before diving in head first.
2. Consider the cost. Goats do have some maintenance costs associated with them (e.g., food, housing, vet bills) so be sure that you’re able to cover these before taking the plunge.
3. Choose the breed of goat based on what you hope to get from them. If you want milk, opt for a dairy breed; if you’re more interested in wool, select a cashmere or angora breed.
4. Goats are social animals, so it’s best to keep at least two of them since they thrive better with companionship.
5. Make a proper home for your goats. They need shelter from the elements and housing for nighttime, so it’s important to have a well-built barn or shed that can provide them with protection.
6. Feed your goats the right diet. Grass and hay should be the mainstay of their diet, supplemented by fresh vegetables like apples and carrots as well as goat feed (a mix of grains, minerals, and vitamins). Make sure that access to fresh water is always available.
7. Goats need lots of space. You will need at least 1/4 of an acre per goat. So make sure you have enough room for them to roam free. Or you can build a sturdy fence around their grazing area.
By following these five steps you can successfully raise healthy goats in your backyard! Enjoy the rewards of having these lovely animals around you!
In conclusion, there are plenty of goat breeds that can make excellent companions for backyard owners.
Whatever your desired temperament or production goal may be, you’ll find the perfect breed to fit your needs!
Just remember to always do your research before getting a goat. Provide them with ample space, nutrition, and veterinary care.
Goats will bring plenty of fun, joy, and milk (for cheese-making!) into your life if you let them. Happy goat-keeping!
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