Goats are adorable, aren’t they? But getting many numbers of goats and building up a commercial farm seems like a lot of work. In that case, you could get a few goats and keep them around your house and backyard. But can you own a goat in a residential neighborhood? The answer is both affirmative and negative. As of now, there are no restrictions on owning goats as pets, but there could be rules and laws that are different in different areas and localities that could affect the keeping of goats in residential areas.
Advantages of Keeping a Goat in Your Backyard
Goats are smart and funny animals that can lift your mood and spread happiness around. And it will be good to have a distraction from the city life and the pressures of it by indulging in activities with the goats and spending time with them. They, in turn, could provide you with nutrient-rich milk and mineral-rich manure. The kids could also play around with animals and learn to love animals if you keep the goats close to your home, where they could be reached easily.
Check Out the Legal Aspects
Before you decide on getting a goat, especially if you are living in a city or residential area, it is crucial that you look out for any rules and regulations regarding pets and pet care in that area. These things could differ from state to state and localities to localities. This also applies if you are part of any homeowners’ association or society which has its own sets of regulations. There could be areas that allow the keeping of goats as pets but only when their conditions are met, which mainly would care for the safety of others, their properties, and comfort.
Things to Check Before Keeping a Goat in a Residential Neighborhood
Before getting a goat for yourself make sure that you have enough space to house them, where they could move around freely. Goats love to roam freely and walk around; hence, it is important that you have enough space in your backyard for them to move easily. It is recommended that you have at least 250 sq. ft. of land per goat in order to keep them happy. That said, it would be better not to get one if you are lacking in space, especially if you are living in apartments.
Since goats are social animals, they crave companionship. Hence, if you are getting a goat, you must also make sure that you get a buddy for it. That would mean that you will require a minimum of 500 sq. ft. of land in the first place. Without a companion goat, they will feel unsafe and unhappy, which will not turn out well for you or your neighbors since they will show their frustration by bleating loudly.
Another important thing that you must check is to put on good fences and barriers. Goats are incredibly intelligent. They can find their way out in no time and land wherever they want to be. Hence, it is always best to build high and sturdy fences to keep them from jumping away and finding other routes of escape. Putting up a good fence will also reward you, in the sense that your garden will also be saved from the goats who can make it disappear in no time.
How to Get Prepared for a Goat in Your Backyard
While having enough space and good fences are basic requirements when it comes to keeping a goat in your backyard, there are other things too that must be prepared, before bringing the goat home. You will require a safe and secure housing for your goat, a shed, for them to spend the night, and to take cover when it is raining and rest when they are tired. This housing need not be extravagant, but enough to keep them safe from rain, snow, and wind, with dry floors. You must also ensure proper ventilation to prevent them from catching respiratory problems.
Providing food and water at the right times is yet another requirement that must be given much care. Keep the goat’s feed where they could access it easily and make sure that it is kept in proper feeders since they will not consume the food, especially hay, that they find trampled and lying on the ground. Goats will require more food than what they have from grazing the pasture lands that you have. Hence, provide them with hay and necessary minerals as required. Access to fresh water all the time is also vital for goats. You must also check for plants and shrubs that are poisonous to goats and make sure to pluck them away before letting them out for grazing.
Tending to your goat’s needs and meeting all its requirements is a time-consuming process. So, if you are getting goats for milk, it would be better if you could get someone to milk the goats and check for their requirements. You will also require to have a veterinarian in contact to call on if any emergency situations arise.
Dealing With the Neighbors
Goats are messy and loud animals. And this could sometimes bother your neighbors. So, before bringing a goat to your backyard, take some time to ask around the neighborhood about their opinions on having goats in their near proximity. Noise and smell are the most common issues; you can try managing them according to the feedback you receive from them.
You could keep the backyard and goats clean by checking on them and their shed regularly to prevent the odor. And as for noise, you could go for breeds that are less troublesome and make little sound, and not disturb the peace in the locality.
You are free to own a goat in a residential area, as there are no set rules regarding owning and keeping goats as pets. But you will have to check with the area where you are living and the people around you since goats are loud, messy, and can be troublesome at times. Hence, in order to save you the trouble after getting the goats, it would be better to do those beforehand. Also, be ready with the necessary requirements before you bring them home.