“ If it ain’t waterproof, it ain’t goatproof! Maintaining adequate fencing is probably the hardest part of owning goats.” have them together, you’ll need a barn or separate paddocks for feeding time. 5. Goats do not eat tin cans. Or celery. Or hay, that they consider to be beneath them. Yes, goats do like to eat, but they are actually pickier than you might think. They are curious and will pick up just about anything in their mouths (hence the tin cans myth), but they spit most things right back out. They are browsers, not grazers, so they are happiest “eating up” (vines, weeds, shrubs, etc.) and not “down” (grass). 6. Goats do require vaccines and hoof care. Goats need vaccines every year, just like household pets. They are at risk for rabies and are especially sensitive to tetanus if not vaccinated against it. Furthermore, goats need routine hoof care just like horses. But, because goat hooves are smaller and much easier to work with, you can trim your own goats’ feet with a good pair of goat trimmers (I like the trimmers with the orange handle
at Hoeggerfarmyard.com) and a lesson from your veterinarian. It does require two people, one to hold the goat still and the other to trim its hooves, but my husband and I have found that this makes for a fun date night in the barn. Well, at least I think it’s fun… 7. Goats are a 12 – 15 year commitment. Goats, much like cats and dogs, can live to be just as old as domestic pets. They are not allowed in most urban areas, so when adopting goats, not only are you committing to be a responsible goat owner for that length of time, but you are also committing to live in a rural area where your goats will be allowed.
Henry, courtesy of Lawrance O’Neal
If you do have the space, adequate fencing and the time to devote to pet goats, you will absolutely love having them as pets. I hope that if you do make the commitment to own
goats, you will also decide to adopt instead of buying from a breeder. Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network has taken in almost 200 goats in the last few years from animal control agencies in various counties, and there are always goats in need of homes.
All photos are courtesy of Steph Skardal Photography, (except Henry). Spotty and Spiffy, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, are super cute brothers who absolutely need to be adopted together. They had lived on a farm but their owner was no longer able to care for them.
For more information please check our website at www.reddogfarm.com or go to www.petfinder.com to find rescue goats in your area that need homes. You will be glad that you did! Garland and her husband, Gary, have always opened up their home and hearts to rehabilitate and foster homeless animals. After fostering 50 animals, they began to see the huge need for a rescue group in our area to help all animals, specifically farm animals. Garland and Gary decided to start a nonprofit rescue network to allow others to foster and donate. They founded Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network in 2006. Garland is still very active within the rescue group. She currently serves as President of the organization and fosters a variety of critters at their private farm. To learn more about Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network - www.RedDogFarm.com, or follow and “like” them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RedDogFarm. www.triadhappytails.com May 2014
Animal adoptions, shelters/rescues, veterinary advice, training column, pet products and services, articles.