Goats as Pets
Many people keep goats as pets instead of a cat or a dog. These area usually pygmy goats or dwarf goats. These are the goats usually found in a petting zoo because they are so friendly. Before you do get a goat as a pet, you do have to know what to expect. You may have to consult the bylaws of your city or town to see if you are allowed to have such a pet. These are also herd animals and do not do well on their own. Therefore, you should perhaps have two goats or another animal as a pet with which the goat is compatible.
Having a goat as a pet does not mean it will curl up at your feet as you watch TV. This is an outside animal and if you keep it indoors, you will certainly notice it chewing on the furniture. You need to have a pen to confine it to a certain area and a warm house or barn for it to sleep at night, especially in the colder months. Goats eat three times a day with food consisting of plant material. You can also supplement the diet with hay and alfalfa. Water is especially important as goats do drink a lot of water.
The kind of food you need for your goat depends on its age. If you get a goat at a very young age, you may have to bottle feed it until it learns to eat on its own, which is usually at 3 –4 months. Adult goats usually eat hay, but they can be fed grain in the winter. Since goats can get very sick if they eat too much grain, you should give them less than a pound a day. Horse grain and horse feed should be avoided. You can feed your goat baking soda too. This cuts down on the rumen activity.
Like all pets, goats need to see the vet on a regular basis for checkups. They also need to be vaccinated against various types of diseases. Adults should be dewormed on a regular basis and have their hoofs trimmed once every six months.