Monday, November 1, 2021

Best Goats for Beginners

Learn about the best goat breeds for beginners.  If you're new to backyard goats, these are good goats for beginners.  They have a easy temperament and make excellent backyard pets.  These goat breeds are friendly and easier to take care of.

Best Goats for Beginners

When we moved to the farm, goats were not on our list of animals to keep.  We knew we wanted chickens and maybe a cow or two.  

Spoiler alert: we did not get a cow.

My cousin was raising goats for a while, and he gave my kids two goats as a "sorry I was a jerk to your mom while we were growing up" offering.

I guess it made up for all those years of torment to see my kids happy.

Two goats turned into five goats.  The kids love the goats, and they are fairly easy to take care of as far as backyard livestock.

While we didn't choose our goat breeds since my cousin only raises one breed of goats, I have been looking at other breeds to expand out herd.  

Here are some good goats for beginners if you're thinking of getting goats.

If you're new to goats, also check out these posts for more information:


What are the Easiest Goats to Keep?

The easiest goats to keep vary depending on the individual goat. With that being said, nubian goats as well as pygmy goats are usually the top picks as far as easy going and friendly goats.

How Many Goats Should a Beginner Start With?

I recommend starting with about two to four goats when you are first getting started. This is because goats are very social creatures and need to have another member of the herd around them. 

Additionally, this is a smaller number so they will be much more manageable for you but still keep one another company.

What is the Friendliest Breed of Goat?

As previously mentioned, nubian and pygmy goats are incredibly easy to get along with and are some of the best goat breeds for beginners. In fact, they are both often viewed as some of the best goat breeds for beginners. 

Furthermore, they are also incredibly friendly! Another benefit to pygmy goats is that they are smaller than most breeds. This makes them easier to handle, and less likely to cause any harm should they knock into kids or other pets.

Are Goats High Maintenance?

Goats can be rather finicky when it comes to their living quarters and their diet. Goats need consistency and are prone to anxiety. Further, they are susceptible to certain illnesses that can be triggered by sudden changes to diet and living.

However, if you are consistent with your goats and ease them into change, they should do just fine. Just remember to slowly introduce them to new changes in routine and in their food.

How Many Acres Do You Need Per Goat?

If you are hoping to ultimately keep the land intact, then I recommend no more than ten goats per acre. Preferably, you should have around six to eight goats per acre unless you are attempting to clear it. In that case, you can have up to twenty goats grazing on an acre.

Are Boy or Girl Goats Better?

In general, I would say that female goats are easier to handle than are male goats. Male goats are prone to poor hygiene, including urinating on themselves in order to attract mates. 

Further, they are more stubborn and can be mean or territorial. Female goats, on the other hand, are typically much cleaner and easier to get along with.

The Best Goat Breeds for Beginners

When you first decide to raise goats, proper care and research must be taken to determine the best goat breed for beginners. Following is a simple list of some good goats for beginners insofar as breeds are concerned.

Pygmy Goats

If there was a hall of fame for friendly goat breeds, pygmy goats would probably be the first to be inducted. They are often viewed as one of the best goats for beginners. 

They have already been mentioned a few times already, and for good reason. It simply cannot be overstated just how relaxed and friendly these goats can be.

Further, they are a smaller breed and easy enough for new owners to handle them should they have to. Even in the incredibly rare event that a pygmy goat gets agitated, they do not pose as much risk to children or to other animals due to their size.

However, their small size does come at a slight cost. They are much more susceptible to predators who will prey on them due to their smallness. With that in mind, proper measures need to be taken and you must ensure that they have adequate fencing to protect them.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Nigerian goats are similar to pygmy goats in that they are a much smaller breed and pretty docile as well. Like pygmies, they are often heralded as some of the best goats for beginners. Nigerian dwarf goats come in all kinds of wonderful patterns and colors which has made them a favorite breed among breeders.

Additionally, they do not need a lot of space in order to adjust to their new surroundings. They will, however, need plenty of space to roam and play. They get along great with other herd members, animals and kids due to their friendliness. Further, they are a very happy breed of goat and do not make a lot of fuss or scream a lot as a result.

They are not good for meat or leather, but they do yield quality milk which is great for all sorts of products. You can make cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and so much more with this goat's milk.

Spanish Goats

Spanish goats are one of the smaller goats on this list, as they can usually only grow to be up to about twenty inches tall. However, they can grow to weigh over two hundred pounds, meaning that they make up for the small height with a large heft!

As a breed, they are pretty mild tempered and prefer to play and graze throughout the day. They do not scream or fuss a lot. However, they can be startled or otherwise panicked fairly easily. As such, it is important to ease them into changes to their home and routine.

When you directly interact with them, they are very friendly and have been known to be quite talkative. Further, they are known to attach themselves to their owner.

Boer Goats

Boer goats are known for their large size, and also their large hearts! They are a beloved breed, especially by those who show their goats. The milk and meat they produce is incredibly high quality.

Not to mention, they are great with children as well as other homestead animals such as chickens, cows, ducks, and the like. They are pretty quiet overall, and very hardy as well.  We have Boer goats, and they make great pets.

They are a great pet and perfect for beginners. The best part about them, however, might just be how cute and loveable they are!

Alpine Goats

As a breed, alpine goats are known for being very curious. Further, they are often the leaders of their herd. 

They are a wonderful source of dairy, but they are also fiercely intelligent. They are incredibly fun to watch as they love to explore the area around them. Overall, they are a hardy breed and great for beginners!

Nubian Goats

When you first start researching good goat breeds for beginners, oftentimes the nubian goat is one of the most mentioned breeds. They often make the list as one of the best goats for beginners. Nubian goats are one of the bigger breeds of dairy goats. They are also one of the large breeds on this list.

They have become a favorite breed for those who raise goats thanks to their mild temperament and friendly nature. Not to mention their adorable floppy ears! They are known to be sensitive on occasion and might cry and yell at times.

Further, they quickly become attached to their owners and will get upset when they do not see them for a while. They can also be quite shy so while they get along with kids and other animals, they might not want to directly engage with them at first.

Do you have one of these from my list of good goats for beginners?

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