Dairy Goats—Pros and Cons
What do you think of goats? While you might already have a dog and a cat, or maybe even a barn cat or two on your property, you might not be fully on board with other types of animals yet. However, you might find that bringing on some livestock can be fun and can help you to become even more self-sustainable. Dairy goats, if you haven’t thought of them yet, could be a perfect addition to your home. They are fun, strange creatures that have some interesting personalities.
Below, we will be looking deeper into the pros and cons of owning and raising dairy goats. We’ll also look into goat milk a bit more to see if it might be worth your while.
The Pros of Owning Dairy Goats
First, we’re going to look at some of the biggest benefits that can come from owning dairy goats. You will find that typically, the pros will outweigh the cons.
We can’t talk about goats without talking about how cute and funny they can be. They have interesting personalities that help to make them just as interesting as any other animal you might have. Most of the time, they tend to be friendly and a little goofy.
One of the other reasons to consider goats, particularly dairy goats, is because they are easy to milk. They are smaller and more manageable than cows, for example. They don’t produce as much milk, so it doesn’t take as long to milk them, either.
Goats don’t need a lot of feed, but they do like it. Goats are known for eating just about everything they can get their teeth on, so you will want to be careful. You don’t want to overfeed them.
You will find that you don’t need quite as much space as you might think when it comes to your goats. One goat or a few goats can do well on relatively small homesteads. They could be a perfect animal for your location. They are on the quiet side, and they are good at clearing out the brush and the grass. Of course, you will first need to make sure that you check for and remove any toxic plants.
The Cons of Owning Dairy Goats
Even though there might be more pros than cons, you have to be realistic about the idea of buying and owning goats. It’s not going to be feasible for everyone. As mentioned, even though they don’t require as much land as cows, you will need to have plenty of space. You will need to understand how to raise and care for the goats. This includes milking them. Below are a few of the potential cons to raising dairy goats.
Keep Them Safe
You have to make sure you are keeping the goats safe from anything in the area that might want to hurt them. Predators, such as coyotes, could be a problem, so you’ll want to ensure you have a safe location where the goats can stay.
One of the things you have to be aware of with goats is that they are good at escaping. There is a good chance they will get out of their fence from time to time. Be aware of what is in their penned area and what they might be able to climb to get out. Speaking of climbing, that’s something most goats like to do. Your goats might try to climb onto your porch, your tractor, your car, and countless other places you don’t want them to be.
Goats Aren’t Geniuses
They are cute and silly, but they are not the smartest animal in the bunch. They will do things that seem to put them in harm’s way. They don’t understand boundaries, and they can end up destroying their enclosures.
Goats Can Be Loud
Although you might not immediately think of a chatterbox when you think of a goat, they can be loud. They bleat often and they bleat loud. If you don’t like to have noisy animals around, then you might not want a goat.
Is Goat Milk Healthy?
Goat’s milk is the most popular dairy in the world. One of the reasons for this popularity is that it is easier to keep goats than it is cows in many parts of the world. Additionally, a lot of people tend to prefer goat’s milk to cow’s milk. Some people choose goat milk because they love the taste. For others, it’s a matter of digestion. They find it easier to digest than cow’s milk. Fewer people are allergic, as well.
Goat’s milk has a substantial amount of protein and calcium. It also happens to be a good source of vitamin A, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
Of course, you can do more than just drink goat’s milk. You might also want to use it to make your own goat’s milk soap. It’s good for the skin and it is easier to make than you might imagine. If you have extra goat’s milk, give it a shot.
However, you do have to remember that even though a lot of people find goat’s milk healthier, it doesn’t mean it’s lactose-free. If you are lactose intolerant, then you will want to stay away from goat’s milk. In those cases, it’s better to stick with a product that is guaranteed to be lactose-free.
Are Dairy Goats a Good Choice for You?
If you are going to raise goats, you have to make sure you are fully prepared first. This means you have to think about the space you have available, the amount of time you have, and that you have a place where you can keep the goats safe. Otherwise, you will not have a good experience, and neither will they.
Goats may not be the ideal option for everyone. However, if you own a property and you have the space, it might be worth considering one or two dairy goats. If you aren’t going to use the milk, though, you might want to opt for something other than a dairy goat. Try to find an option that will work for you.