How Do You Start a Goat Farm?

start-goat-farm Credit: Katriona McCarthy/CC-BY 2.0

There are some upfront decisions to make before beginning a goat farm including what type of goat products are you harvesting, what kind of space can you dedicate to the goats and how much capital you have available to invest up front. Once you have answered these preliminary questions, begin by designating and building housing for the goats.

Be sure to check your local ordinances to make sure goats are a legal addition to your property. Goats do not do well in wet or swampy areas. Fence goats in a dry pasture with a dry barn or shelter. Goats are also very social creatures so plan to have at least two goats. Single goats can wreck havoc with destructive behaviors and noisy companion calls.

Goats eat a lot and they continuously eat throughout the day. Plan to invest a significant portion of your budget into the feeding and veterinary care for the goats. Goats prefer clean foods and they also eat other vegetation in the pasture. All of the foods a goat eats affect the flavor of the milk and cheese harvested from the goat.

Goats need regular veterinary care and monitoring. Goats can get sick easily and die quickly. They are also very curious animals, leading to accidents if they aren't closely monitored. Milk dairy goats on at least a daily basis to prevent painful infections. If you plan to leave the farm for any amount of time, hire a knowledgeable farm sitter to take care of the animals.