Goats as Pets (Part 4)
by Gary Pfalzbot
About the Author
One of the most important issues regarding goats as pets is of a health related nature. It is imperative that you can devote a fair amount of time daily to just look at your goat(s), making note of their behavior and habits. Goats are very susceptible to illness and disease just as humans and require care thereso. Missing just a day of not at least looking your goat(s) over from a distance may be the difference between a live and a dead goat. Goats are very likely to appear fine one moment, ill the next, and on deaths door within a short period of time if symptoms are not identified and acted upon immediately. While this particular area may cause would be goat owners to not choose a goat as a pet, it should be said that the better care you provide for your goat, the less likely this will occur.
Persons considering a goat as a pet also must consider a few other things as well - primarily (and if the goat is not to be kept in the house) shelter for the goat. A goat needs shelter just like many other animals do. And while I could devote an entire article (coming later) to just goat shelters, I will paraphrase the subject by saying that one must keep their goat safe from rain and wind. When exposed to these elements, illness can rapidly set in on an unsheltered goat as a result.
One very important factor remains regarding a goat as a pet and I would be entirely remiss in not bringing it up: one goat or two (or more)? Goats are herd animals which means that they will thrive better with constant companionship of another goat or the pet owner. A goat left alone while the owner is at work all day will not be a happy goat. Some owners do this and there are no outwardly apparent effects, yet the goats psyche is being deprived of the true elements of its nature.
One might argue that a goat wouldn't miss what it does not know, but I can simply counter this by saying, how does a goat know how, why or where to nurse within minutes of just being born? They know. It's in their nature and it is important to make certain your goat isn't deprived of too many of the key elements of "being a goat". Again, goats are herd animals and need a high level of constant companionship through the day and throughout the night. Can you provide that for your pet?
Overall, having a goat as a pet can be very rewarding. Just watching your goat(s) browse contently is a sight that paints a thousand words. There is a certain peace and tranquility you will experience when watching from afar.
After reading this article, you will be able to tell if a goat is the right pet for you. I also recommend reading another excellent article about Pet Goats that will give you further insight into the care of goats young and old.
Carletta Robinette, Kelly Gaspard, Rainbow Acres, Susan Maguire, Joy and John Sturza, Jen Grant