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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my boyfriend has finally agreed to let me have some goats.

I love goats, so this is huge for me. I was wondering if anyone had some tips to get the place ready before we get them over here? I was planning on fencing in the entire yard, and putting a gate of sorts by the back of the house, where their home would be, but as of yet, I'm not sure what else I need to do. I'll be googling, but since I check the boards here pretty often, I figured I'd ask just in case someone else here has pet goats and could offer something as well.
 

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from where do you get goats?
 

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Goats are infamous chewers. and they can jump over low fences too.
 

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Yeh goats will chew or eat anything they can - show laces, paper bags. Kind of like if you crossed a lab puppy with a husky puppy and a new born baby. Everything goes in the mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was thinking of checking petfinder, to see if there's any in my area. we can adopt from pretty much anywhere in new england, so... considering how large an area that is, I was hoping that'd yield some decent results when the time comes.

and thanks, rotoshave and vegansarawr. I was thinking maybe shoulder height on me for a fence, because there's a rather large dog across the street that I don't want jumping in, so that'd be a little over 5 feet high. is that still considered low?

on the chewing angle... are they like bunnies, where the teeth keep growing? I'll hafta find a vet to harass about this.
 

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Goats are good climbers as well as good jumpers. They will kill off all bushes and plants in the yard, and you'll have to put fencing around the trees to protect them.

Are you allowed to have goats where you live? (I.e., do you own or rent, do you live in a subdivision (all subdividion restrictions that I've ever read would prohibit the keeping of goats - they would fall under the category of barnyard animals), what do your local ordinances say about keeping barnyard animals?)

Also, if you and your boyfriend would break up, would you still be able to care for them? Having outdoor animals, especially barnyard animals, will severely limit your housing choices in the future.

I love goats too, but you need to be aware what you're getting into, in the long term. What kind of shelter are you going to provide them? They need shade in the summer, and an insulated shed, preferably one with a capacity to be heated, for the winter and inclement weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
we own.

I live in a town that's FULL of small farms, so I'm assuming that it'd be okay (and I live not far from the house I grew up in, where we had sheep and chickens and the like) but that's a good point, I should double check to make sure.

I was thinking one of the climate control sheds (we were going to get one anyways for his "toys", and can probably get a deal if we get more than one anyways) with lots of hay and stuff on the floor for them, plus blankies if they like that, and I have large trees all over the backyard. not so much the front, though, I may have to work on that.

we've been together for... eight years? so I doubt we'll break up over anything if we haven't yet, but that's a good point. however, if we ever do break up, my grandmother's willed her house to me, so I could go there if I needed to. she's got a smaller yard, but tons of trees. I'm unaware of barnyard animal ordinances there though.

thanks for that, I didn't even consider double checking the ordinances
 

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Be aware that goats eat everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Papers, bulbs (we had a goat when I was in the 8th grade, which was 25 years ago, and no tulips or daffodils that spring), Ry-Krisp, leaves, branches, Ipods*, Walkmen, CDs, bills, and they do drop little pellets everywhere which is...well, you get the idea.

*Yes, I know Ipods, and CDs, and laptops, etc weren't invented. But the cliche "Stomach like a billy goat's." wasn't coined by accident.
We ended up giving our goat to a preschool out in the country. They really got our goat.
 

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Job #1 is to find a goat vet you can get to in an emergency if s/he can't come to you. Some equine vets like goats; most don't. Some small companion animal vets like goats, most don't. They like looking at them and laughing at their antics like everybody else, but don't want them as patients. If you adopt an intact male, the option of castrating him "like they showed you in school" is not an option at all. Female miniature goats have a higher propensity for hormonal haywire and disease conditions that result from it.

You should probably read this and make sure you can fulfill the requirements, although I disagree with the rabies vaccination statement. Goats do not have continually growing teeth like rodents and rabbits, but they can suffer dental problems that require a veterinary dentistry visit.

Suitable fencing is crucial for goats and that includes the dimension of the openings in welded wire fence (if you decide to use it rather than flexible no-climb) vs. the goats' size. Basically, if it's remotely possible for them to get their heads stuck in the fence, it will happen daily.

I'm not trying to talk you out of goats. There's just more involved than most people realize and nowhere near the resources available to help you when you really need help, unless you're sitting on top of a VMTH.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrowthepig View Post

Job #1 is to find a goat vet you can get to in an emergency if s/he can't come to you. Some equine vets like goats; most don't. Some small companion animal vets like goats, most don't. They like looking at them and laughing at their antics like everybody else, but don't want them as patients. If you adopt an intact male, the option of castrating him "like they showed you in school" is not an option at all. Female miniature goats have a higher propensity for hormonal haywire and disease conditions that result from it.

You should probably read this and make sure you can fulfill the requirements, although I disagree with the rabies vaccination statement. Goats do not have continually growing teeth like rodents and rabbits, but they can suffer dental problems that require a veterinary dentistry visit.

Suitable fencing is crucial for goats and that includes the dimension of the openings in welded wire fence (if you decide to use it rather than flexible no-climb) vs. the goats' size. Basically, if it's remotely possible for them to get their heads stuck in the fence, it will happen daily.

I'm not trying to talk you out of goats. There's just more involved than most people realize and nowhere near the resources available to help you when you really need help, unless you're sitting on top of a VMTH.
That's a great page you linked to. I have thought about adopting a couple of goats and have an outbuilding that I could insulate which would provide appropriate shelter. I also have a lot of brushy, shady areas that goats would love, but fencing a couple of acres with goat appropriate fencing would be very expensive, so I've always postponed the idea. That site raises other issues that I hadn't even thought of.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

I also have a lot of brushy, shady areas that goats would love, but fencing a couple of acres with goat appropriate fencing would be very expensive, so I've always postponed the idea. That site raises other issues that I hadn't even thought of.
The ac./goat ratio is really only a concern if you want pasture to be their main food source year-round. A little grazing/browsing area plus a mostly grass hay diet is fine, too. 5 ft. no-climb wire is good for goats, but as they tend stand on their hind legs and rest the fronts on the fence, it just has to be really tight and staked more between sections to keep them from caving it in. At least they don't just plow under like pigs ...
 

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They are just like toddlers. You will be running a daycare if you have goats. They eat everything (clothing, paper, bags, wood, plastic, rubber, etc.), complete moochers, destroy buildings and fences for fun, climb everything, noisy and nosy, very cute, sweet (in general), and lovable.

Be prepared.
 

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Ha! - that reminded me of the other reason I put the idea of adopting goats on hold - the outbuilding I was going to use for them is wood, and when I started reading up on them, I realized that it might only last a month or two.
 
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