Will a goat make a good pet for your child?
Goats come in a variety of sizes and breeds. Goats can be raised on a farm for their milk or they can be raised in smaller areas of an acre or two as pets. Most cities prohibit goat farming 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 dejected when raised on their own. They can be bred for display at the county 4H fair, for their milk, or to help keep an area free of weeds and overgrowth.
Goats need attention and commitment from the owner. They need food, fresh water, and to be enclosed within a secure grassy area with adequate shelter from the weather. Goats cannot be left alone for days, so when planning trips out of town, consider who is available to care for them.
Goats are also susceptible to infections and chronic diseases. Routine vet checks, vaccinations and deworming should be part of the budget when planning for pet goats. The cost of food, hay, medicine, plus the time and attention it takes to properly care for goats, must be weighed against your purpose of raising goats.
Look up research material in the library or online sources when deciding whether a goat is the right pet for your child. Considering a goat for milk or dairy products like cheese or soaps should include looking at the cost of making those products from home vs. buying the same products from other suppliers.
Goats are frequently included in petting zoos because of their friendly manners and curious personalities. They make good companions due to 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 will be to care for the goats. Young children may enjoy petting and playing with goats, but they may not be mature enough to take full care of a herd. A clear understanding of who will take care of the goats’ chores in the morning and at night will help you decide if your family has time to take care of this type of pet.
Look for goats from a trusted breeder to ensure the health of the animals you choose as pets. Talk to other people who raise goats to fully understand the responsibility, cost, and needs of the breed you want to raise. After looking at all the aspects of raising goats, a goat can be the perfect pet for your child.