Pet Goat Facts and Tips

August 6, 2017
"lil Nigie"

Baby Nigerian Dwarf Goat loves her picture taken…as you can see.

Cheryl Wing

Are you thinking about getting a goat? Here are some interesting facts you might not know about our friends who were once known as “the poor man’s cow.”

If there were wisdom in beards, all goats would be prophets.

The myth that goats eat anything, from tin cans to noxious weeds is false. In fact, goats are notoriously persnickety.

  • Worldwide more people drink goat milk than any other variety.
  • Goats belong to the genus Capra, an offshoot of the cattle family, and like cows, camels, and giraffes, they are ruminants, which means they are cud chewing and hoofed.
  • The Egyptians worshiped goats and the Greeks sacrificed them, making them “scape-goats” that took on the sins of the community.
  • During the Middle Ages, Christians feared that goats were Satan’s associates because of their cloven hooves and their lecherous ways when in heat.
  • In the traditional zodiac, the sign of Capricorn, represented by the goat, is noted for creativity.
  • In Latin, the word for goat, capre gives us capricious for “lighthearted,” or “impulsive.”
  • Many have found goats to be charming, whimsical, endearing, and quite possibly the precursor to the dog being “man’s best friend.”

Goats as Pets

  • Goats hate to get wet and need protection from the cold. Plan to keep the stalls clean and draft-free.
  • Well-fed, content goats with good fencing stay contained. If they’re being poorly fed and poorly fenced they will find a way out.
  • Goats need a balanced grain nutrition. They should be fed from two to six times a day for high-yield production.
  • Anything spoiled or soiled repels them.
  • Trimming hooves, dehorning, castrating, shots, grooming equipment, feed, and fencing are chores and expenses required for keeping goats.

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment




The Editors's picture

We feel for you and your pet. Goats can be afflicted by many kinds of diseases and the challenge is that many diseases resemble one another. We can really only suggest that you bring your goat under the supervision of a goat health specialist.


I have a neighbor who owned a goat that had CAE very early on and lived to be at least 12 years old with very few symptoms. I hope your goat has an easy go of this, too.

Goats as pets

Don't think you can have just one goat as a pet.... they are herd animals and need companionship of some sort or they scream all the time!

found this out the hard way... anything else will work... from another goat, chickens, llamas or even a friendly outside dog!

The upside to a solitary goat, unfortunately... is that they are delicious...

I agree but would like to add

I agree but would like to add to the well-fed well-fenced comment. I have several young goats that are very well fed and are in a large fenced pasture with ample structures built for their enjoyment. My children love to watch them play. However, there is one and only one that continues to get out and visit our neighbor and her children. So in spite of being well fed and amused they are very curious also.

I own a 1 year old goat that

I own a 1 year old goat that lives in my house as well as the back yard. He has adjusted very well. We also have cats and dogs. He seems very spoiled and happy. We buy hay , crushed corn and dried fruit from the feed store. And he eats regularly in the back yard. Recently I noticed a slightly red discoloration on half of one hoof. Does he need a diet adjustment or a pedicure? He seems healthy and fine. It doesn't seem to bother him any.

Has it been wet in the

Has it been wet in the backyard? Or muddy and damp? A red hoof could mean "footrot" which is common with goals--it's an infection which would usually just mean antibiotics if you catch it quickly. It sounds as if you really care about your goat and are quite observant. You might want a vet to check it out.

Camels are not really

Camels are not really ruminants, they are pseudo-ruminants because ruminants have a 4 chambered stomach, and camels have a 3 chambered stomach. Sheep and goats are true ruminants. Also when cattle are born they are born mono-gastric and develop their chambers as they grow.

Hi, fair enough. We are using

The Editors's picture

Hi, fair enough. We are using the ruminant definition from Merriam Webster Collegiate dictionary: "Even-toed hoofed mammals (as sheep, giraffes, deer, and camels) that chew cud and have a complex usually 4-chambered stomach."

hi my goat was sick but she

hi my goat was sick but she is feeling better but she is not make any noise can u help me on what to do she was always talking

I love my Dairy goats! They

I love my Dairy goats! They have wonderful personalities and they bond to humans as well as each other! Wish I could put a picture in here!