If you’ve ever watched a goat, you know they’re some of the most entertaining creatures on earth. They dance and play and chew on everything they can find. And if you’ve ever tasted goat milk or cheese? Well, you know that goats are also some of the tastiest animals. But many people need to realize that raising goats is good for more than just feeding them to your family. Here are some of the reasons why you should raise goats on your small farm:
Easier to digest than cow milk.
Goat milk is also easier to digest than human milk, so the human body more efficiently breaks down the lactose in goat’s milk. But it doesn’t mean you should start feeding your child goat’s milk instead of human breast milk. Still, if your child over a year old has trouble adapting to cow’s milk or other animal-based milk, transitioning them into a diet featuring goat’s dairy might help ease their digestive problems. But of course, you should consult the doctor before switching.
This benefit extends beyond children with lactose intolerance or allergies. Goat dairy contains less lactose than other milk and has similar proteins as human breastmilk (though only about half as much casein). Many people who have trouble digesting cow dairy can drink goat’s variety without experiencing adverse side effects.
Goats make great pets.
Goats are the perfect pet for the farm or homestead. They’re intelligent, friendly, and so fun to be around. You’ll never get bored of your goat because they have such a big personality. Goats are also easy to care for since they eat just about anything! They even make great weed-eaters! So if you’re looking for a new pet, consider getting one of these adorable creatures!
Goats are intelligent and gentle.
These characteristics make goats a great animal to have around. They are intelligent and have a good memory, which can be surprising considering their size. Goats are curious and like to explore new things they learn. For example, if you teach them how to open a gate, they will remember that trick forever!
Goats are also very gentle animals that enjoy being petted, brushed, and scratched by people. They love human attention so much that they will follow you if you don’t give them enough time with people (which is why people sometimes keep goats as pets).
Goats are happy with smaller spaces than other livestock.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a farmer and were discouraged by the fact that your backyard needs to be bigger, keep going! Goats are happy in smaller spaces than cows, sheep, horses, pigs, or chickens. They don’t need much space to graze or play around—an acre of land can keep up to 8 goats. You can even keep goats in an urban setting if you’re okay with them going outside during nice weather and having access to fresh water at all times.
Goats often bond for life with their owners.
Goats are friendly, intelligent animals that bond with their owners. They like being around people and often enjoy being petted or scratched behind the ears. Goats are very social animals; they prefer to be around other goats, including those within their herd.
Goats are also often quite playful and enjoy playing with children outside in the backyard.
Goats can help eliminate poisonous plants
If you’re like me, you’ve had to deal with poison ivy and blackberry vines, which can be incredibly difficult to eliminate. But not if your goat is around! Goats are natural herbivores and will eat the leaves of many plants without harming the roots. If a goat eats enough leaves from a poison ivy plant or blackberry vine, it’ll eventually kill off that plant completely—and this is especially great news for those who don’t want to spend hours pulling out tall plants by hand.
Raising goats is a rewarding experience. You’ll have them to thank for many years of milk and cheese and companionship from your new pets. Because they’re so easy to care for, it’s a great way to get your feet wet with livestock before moving on to more significant projects like chickens or sheep. If you’ve ever thought about raising goats but were curious if it was worth the effort, these benefits should make clear just how beneficial owning one can be!
Sarah Lane has been a farm wife since 2010 and mother of two children for nearly as long. She and her husband, Jonathan, live on a small farm in Texas where they raise dairy goats and beef cattle as well as chickens for eggs and meat. In addition to growing their own hay, straw and garden produce, the Lane family works with other nearby farms to source organic grain from which they make artisan bread sold at local farmer’s market.