A Guide to Getting a Goat for the First Time – Beginners Guide

Have you ever thought about getting a goat for the first time? Whether you’ve always dreamed of owning goats but are only just getting around to it, or if you’ve been looking to diversify your farm, getting your first starter goats is hugely exciting! It’s a massive new adventure – however, it’s important to consider that not every goat is necessarily an ideal starter goat. With this thought in mind, today, we’re looking at some key questions about the best goats for beginners to help you decide what type of start goats you should buy.

What to Look For When Buying Your First Goat 

Before we go any further, we should first start by clarifying what you should look for when buying your first goat. Of course, buying any animal is a massive decision; before you do so, take some time to check that you have the correct facilities in place and are ready to look after your new goats. 

Remember: goats are herd animals, so you should never buy just one goat. Instead, we strongly recommend you buy two – or ideally three – goats to ensure that your new goat is never alone. A goat alone can be prone to stress, illness, and escape; from a welfare perspective, it’s not fair to leave a herd animal alone.

Therefore, purchasing several goats at once is crucial to ensure they don’t suffer. Moreover, you should ideally choose roughly similarly sized goats since smaller goats may be at significant risk of getting harassed by larger herd members.

So, what sort of goat should you buy? Well, when looking for starter goats, it’s important to consider several crucial factors. These include the following:

  • Gentle temperament
  • Easy to handle
  • Healthy and fit
  • Suitable for your chosen system

These four factors are the main basics of buying starter goats. Indeed, many people assume that buying starter goats is as simple as finding some local goats and bringing them home – but the reality is a little more tricky than that. After all, regardless of whether you’re buying pets or commercial goats, you want to be sure you’ll be able to enjoy the time with your new animals, rather than worrying about aggression.

Plus, it’s well worth considering that goats can suffer from numerous diseases, some of which – such as CL, CAE, Tuberculosis, and Johnes – may be untreatable. As such, be sure to buy healthy goats first, rather than starting your new little herd only to find your goats suffering down the line.

The Best Time to Get a Goat 

When is the best time to get a goat? Generally speaking, you’ll get a goat at its cheapest in winter, but summer is the best time to buy a goat for ease. However, the most important point to remember here is to only buy goats once you’re fully prepared for them! Don’t purchase starter goats and then attempt to fence their field after, for example – it’ll only cause a headache (and goats are excellent escape artists!)

How to Care for your New Goat

Caring for a new goat depends on countless different factors, such as the age and breed of the goat, its current condition, and the like. If your chosen goats are fit and well when you purchase them, it’s worth checking with the seller what care they were receiving before continuing this routine. 

What Goats are Best for Beginners? 

When finding starter goats, you’ll need to do your research carefully to choose the best goats for beginners. Of course, every breed has different attributes, and individuals within a breed will also differ. As such, there’s no simple answer for which goats are best for beginners. This may also depend on where you live.

If you’re solely looking for a small pet goat, pygmies are probably the go-to choice. However, they are far from the only starter goats you could consider; golden guernseys, as a rare breed, are a popular starter dairy breed, while Boers and cashmere-type goats are generally easy to keep for their hardiness. But, again, this depends on individual breeding, so check this over carefully with the seller before you buy a goat. Always visit the animal first to ensure you’re confident you can handle them.

Final Thoughts

Getting goats is massively exciting, especially if you’ve never owned them before! However, working out the best goats for beginners can be pretty tough, which leaves many people asking: what goat should I buy? While the ideal goat will vary for every application, we hope today’s guide will have given you a little more thought about where to begin your search. Good luck: remember, the best goats for beginners are those which are gentle and easy to handle, but each individual animal will vary, even within the same breed. Therefore, do your research carefully and never buy a goat until you’re confident it’s the right one.

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