Goats come in a variety of sizes and breeds. Goats can be raised on a farm setting for their milk or they can be raised on smaller areas of an acre or two as pets. Most cities prohibit the raising of goats within city limits. Here are some considerations before deciding if a goat is the right pet for your child.
Goats are herd animals and prefer to be in groups of two or more. They become destructive and despondent when raised alone. They can be raised to show in the county 4H fair, for their milk, or to help keep an area free of weeds and overgrowth.
Goats need attention and a commitment from the owner. They need food, fresh water, and to be contained inside a safe grassy area with proper shelter from the weather. Goats cannot be left alone for days on end so when planning out of town trips, consider who is available to care for your goats.
Goats also are susceptible to infections and chronic diseases. Routine worming, vaccinations, and vet checks must be part of the budget when planning for pet goats. The cost of food, hay, medicines, plus the time and attention it takes to properly care for goats must be weighed with your purpose for raising goats.
Seek out the library or online sources for research material when deciding if a goat is the right pet for your child. Considering a goat for milk or milk products like cheese or soaps must include looking into the cost of manufacturing those products from home vs. buying the same products from other suppliers.
Goats are frequently included in petting zoos because of their friendly manner and curious personalities. They make good companions because of the gentle nature that most breeds are known for. Pygmy goats are most often used for pets due to their smaller size and loving nature.
Have a family discussion to determine whose responsibility the care of the goats will become. Young children may enjoy petting and playing with the goats, but may not be mature enough to assume the complete care of a herd. A clear understanding of who will do the goat chores morning and evening will help to decide if your family has the time to care for this type of pet.
Seek goats from a reliable breeder to ensure the health of the animals you are choosing as pets. Talk with others who raise goats to understand fully the responsibility, the cost, and the needs of the breed you want to raise. After looking into all aspects of raising goats, a goat may be the perfect pet for your child.