We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Basics of Goat Farming?

By DM Gutierrez
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The basics of goat farming include feeding, veterinary care, milking, and herding. Keeping accurate records is important as well as performing other business activities.

Some sources about goat farming suggest raising goats is a simple endeavor. Goat experts, however, note that raising goats is usually as time- and labor-intensive as raising sheep or cattle. Goats, whether raised for meat, dairy, hair, or show, have to be kept healthy and safe. This requires adequate browsing land, shade, shelter from bad weather, a water source, and regular veterinary care. Dog-proof fencing is also extremely important—goats tend to wander if not enclosed and, because they are small and can only run for short distances, are highly susceptible to dog attacks.

The goat breed chosen in goat farming depends on what the goat is being used for. Boers, originally a South African goat, are raised for meat, while Alpine and Nubian goats are primarily used as dairy animals. Angora goats are farmed for their hair, and Pygmy goats are typically raised as show animals.

The digestive systems of goats are generally able to process plant matter easily, even unpalatable vegetation like nettles and thistles. Goats usually prefer leaves and weeds and eat from the top down like deer. This top-down eating pattern is called browsing, as opposed to the eating pattern of cattle and sheep called grazing. Goats have adopted this browsing behavior in part to avoid ingesting parasitic worms, which are usually in or near the ground. The animal must be inspected regularly for parasites, which can debilitate or kill a goat.

A meat goat can usually browse for sustenance as long as it is moved regularly from field to field. A dairy goat requires a feeding regimen of one pound of goat-specific grain per two quarts of milk produced each day. Dairy goats also need as much green alfalfa hay and water as they will consume. Salt is typically made available at all times. Many dairy goat farmers supplement the grain and hay feed with fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, apples, and carrots.

Caprine Arthritis Encephilitus (CAE) and Caseous Lymphadentitis (CL) are two diseases that negatively affect goat farming. CAE is a virus passed from the mother goat, or doe, to the offspring, or kid, through infected milk. There is no treatment or vaccine. A blood test is required to detect CAE.

Breeders generally provide an inspection certificate to goat purchasers to prove the goat for sale is free of CAE. CL is also a disease without available vaccination. It is highly contagious and can only be prevented by culling the infected animal from the herd. Well-fed and exercised goats are usually hardy and healthy animals.

Goat farming is sometimes carried out for home use only, but is usually intended as a business. Any business requires a working knowledge of bookkeeping, banking, taxes, and inventory control. Record-keeping is especially important when raising goats. Knowing which feed produces the best-tasting or richest milk, which goats produce the hardiest offspring, and which breed of goat is right for the amount and type of land available can assist the goat farmer in being successful.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon352467 — On Oct 23, 2013

I am very interested in goat farming. I want to read more about the feeding and housing management of goats. Between sheep or goats, which one is hardy and is affected by diseases less?

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.