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Goats For SALE! 10 Things You Must Know Before Buying Goats
Owning goats (or any livestock) is a HUGE commitment. Animal husbandry is not something that should be taken lightly or something that one should jump into. Say goodbye to vacations, sleeping in, nights on the town, fancy shoes and manicured lawns.
However, if you want to add goats to your homestead, I encourage you to do so!
We love our goats! Love, love, love our goats.
#10 Milk, Meat or Both
One of the decisions you need to make before looking at goats for sale is do you want Milk? Meat? Or Both?
We own Nigerian Dwarf Goats due to our limited space. NGD’s are the smallest recognized dairy goat breeds and perfect for small homesteads.
While they are ideal for those with limited land, they are not heavy milkers. If you want goats for milk, I suggest looking into one of the other dairy breeds.
Milk Goats For Sale:
- Nigerian Dwarf (read my Top 9 Reasons Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats Here)
For more information on dairy goats and their milk production click here. Please note, they have not updated their research to include the Nigerian Dwarf.
Meat Goats For Sale:
- Myotonic (fainting goat)
For more information on meat goats, click here.
In addition to milk and meat goats, there are some breeds that people claim are good dual purpose goats.
However, if you plan on raising goats for profit, it’s best to stick to a specific purpose breed.
# 9 Goat Babies
This little tidbit of info may be a no-brainier to some of you, but for some this may come as earth shattering news.
If you want goat milk you need to have goat babies. GASP!
A goat in milk will only produce a good amount of milk for a little less than a year. Then you need to dry her up, let her body rest, breed her, wean the baby, then you can have her milk again.
Breeding your doe’s can generate income by selling the kids, or you can your herd grow and raise them for meat goats.
You need to keep the breeding cycle going if you want to stay in milk so picture goat babies in your future.
#8 To Disbud or Not to Disbud That Is The Question
Goats have horns. You can buy a goat with horns or without horns but they are all born with horns.
Goat owners tend to feel very passionate about this subject and to be honest, I am on the fence.
If you plan to show your goat or enter 4-H contest, you need to have your goat disbudded.
Disbudding should take place when they are a kid and not an adult.
If you don’t care about showing your goats, another thing to consider is goats tend to get their horns stuck in the fence- a lot.
This can cause injury and even death. So if you decide to let your goat keep their horns, make sure your fencing is adequate.
When we got our buck, the breeder messed up disbudding the first go around so she did it again. When she was finished, outside of the horrid smell, his little eyes were bulging out! She claimed ‘oh he will be okay’ but I was highly concerned for his well-being.
When you disbud a goat, the hot iron burns down to the skull. We could literally see his raw skull for weeks.
Now I am not a vet, nor a scientist, but I do know what heat can do to brain cells.
Personally, I am not a fan of disbudding. However, if we were to show goats in the future I would do it.
#7 Poisoning Your New Goat
Just because your goat can eat everything, doesn’t mean they should. And when I say they will eat everything- trust me.
Make sure you check your land for any of these toxic plants or trees, prior to buying a goat for sale.
#6 Registered or Unregistered?
Ahhhhhh…… the ever debatable topic of registered or unregistered.
Registered Goats For Sale
A registered goat is sold with paperwork to register it with a registry (what registry will depend on what registry the parents were registered with, or if they are being registered as grade goats, etc). With a registered goat you can trace the ancestry and get an idea about their background from the breeders and what you might be dealing with as far as health and confirmation issues.
Unregistered Goats For Sale
An unregistered goat is simply that, it is sold with no paperwork and typically sold with no history of parents, etc.
Most of the time, there is a major price difference between registered and unregistered animals.
Another thing to consider, a lot of bucks are sold as unregistered and are usually wethered. In that case, you may have parent history, etc, but the breeder is choosing to sell a goat without papers. That is the seller’s prerogative.
Why I Buy Only Buy Registered Goats
This is MY personal preference so don’t go all spider monkey on me.
I want to have registered goats so I can track their lineage, sell my goats at a higher price and show in contest or 4-H programs.
If you decided not to do anything with their registration, no big deal. But if you want to show your goats down the road, you can never register a goat that didn’t come with papers.
In addition, if you do choose to buy a registered goat- learn from my many mistakes by reading this article. Maybe it can help you avoid the headache and heartache I went through.
#5 Doe, Buck and Wether
Doe’s- Female Goats
Buck’s- Male Goats
Wether’s- Neutered Bucks
If you want to stay in milk you will need a buck. However, you should never keep bucks and does in the same paddock unless you want your doe bread.
Wether’s are good company for both does and bucks.
#4 If It Sounds Too Good To Be True
Never be afraid to walk away from a bad deal.
This little piece of advice is the best I have ever received. I am one of those people who get quickly attached to animals- all animals.
Because of this, I often make bad decisions when it comes to livestock. I feel like it is my job to save the world when it comes to our four legged friends.
But if you were offered a free goat or someone is has a goat for sale for a crazy low price, there is generally a good reason for that.
For more on this topic, read #2
#3 One Is A Lonely Number
Goats are herd animals, meaning they need other goat companions. This is very important. Even if you have other livestock where your new goats will live, they need other goats. Not horses, not chickens, not pigs, but goats.
They will get along with any animal, but they need other goat companions. So if you were planning on just one, either find another livestock for your homestead or get two goats.
Call me crazy, but when we got our buck we had him in the house. He was too tiny to put in the yard with our doe’s and our daughters fell in love.
For awhile I even had him potty trained! (Yes I did!).
Alas, our little house goat longed for his four legged future wives so outside he went.
Pairing Goats Together
When placing goats together in a paddock, the combos can work like this
- Doe’s together
- Buck’s together
- Wether’s together
- Does and Wether’s
- Bucks and Wether’s
- NO: Bucks and Does together (for more information on this read #1 on this article).
#2 Goat Vet and Health
If you are going to buy a goat for sale, the first (OK second) thing you should do is find a vet that specializes in goats. Taking your goat to the same vet that treats your cat is not a good idea, unless that vet is trained and familiar with ruminants.
If you are serious about buying a goat that is for sale, then ask the vet to do a wellness check and do blood work to check for disease.
And never be afraid to walk away from a bad deal.
If the goat is sick- walk. It’s not worth the money and potential heartache.
The vet check will cost you some money, but that is nothing compared to the cost of treating a sick herd.
There are even cases where people have bought sick goats (unbeknownst to them) that contaminated their soil and worse yet, the disease spread to their other animals.
And the number one thing you MUST know before buying goats is…………..
#1 Goats and The Law
Breaking the law breaking the law- now is that song stuck in your head?
While you may be a rebel at heart like me, I would highly advise against breaking the law when it comes to livestock.
Yes, it is your and land and Yes you should be free to use it how you see fit. Unfortunately that is not the case.
Buying goats for sale and bringing them to your homestead when it’s against the law is not only stressful for you but the goat as well.
Moving and transitioning to a new environment adds stress to a goat, or any livestock for that matter. Not to mention your family members will become attached. If you add goats to a homestead where goats are not allowed, you can find yourself in a legal battle and possibly jail.
Ask me how I know? I could share with you all of my struggles with our county and our fight for our livestock but I will save that story another time.
If you can’t wait to know the details, here is an article about fighting for our chickens.
Do you have any tips to offer new goat owners?