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Getting Your Goat
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Credit: Natesh Ramasamy
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramnaganat/6217090819/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

In American cities, there's an increasing trend towards urban agriculture, meaning more and more people are growing and producing their own food on city lots. People are cultivating gardens, raising chickens, and even buying dairy goats. Goat's milk is good to drink and can also be used to make products like cheese and soap. Best of all, goats can live in much smaller areas than other dairy animals.

Good Fences Make Good Goats

If you want to raise dairy goats, you'll need fenced-in pasture. Goats aren't as fussy as cows. They eat a wide variety of grasses, weeds, and other plants. However, goats also like to wander, climb, and jump. If you want your goats to stay put, you'll need sufficient fencing, and fencing can be expensive. Square pastures require less fencing to enclose an area than rectangular pastures, and each goat needs about 250 square feet of space. Since most goatherds recommend keeping goats in pairs, you'll need a minimum of 500 square feet of land. That means each side of your pen will need \sqrt{500} feet of fencing, or about 22.36 feet on a side.

Space isn't the only concern with dairy goats. In the winter, your goats will have to eat hay. They'll also need to be milked twice a day, year round. And you will need to make sure that they get enough attention and exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Credit: Breville USA
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/breville/10476226406/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

You'll have to decide what to do with the goat's milk. You can pasteurize it on your stove and then drink it. You can also use it to make cheeses and yogurt. Add a scent like lavender, and your goat's milk soaps might be a hit at the local farmers' market. For some goat owners, the first pair of dairy goats leads to a successful small business.

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0NQqjgq1E8

Explore More

Watch the videos below to learn more about raising goats.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5M-XYhH0ho

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQyls-Gujc4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVxVTOSC4go

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Natesh Ramasamy; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramnaganat/6217090819/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Breville USA; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/breville/10476226406/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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