Husband wants goats and I'm terrified of goats...

Highland Meadows

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My husband and father-in-law keep pushing for goats on the farm. I am however, to put it bluntly quite terrified of goats lol Now you are probably thinking that's absurd and I won't argue with you it might sound very silly to most people. The story behind my fear of goats starts when I was 10. Our next door neighbor kept a single buck (I believe nubian). It was "disbuded" , but of course his horns grew back and they NEVER had it fenced they just let this guy free roam. My parents always made me walk to my grandmother's house every day which was on the other side of this neighbors house with the goat. This goat would always come onto the road to chase me, head butt me and even would try to jump on me (I'm assuming mount since he was alone all of the time). I would layer my clothes and wear an oversized canvas carhartt coat to try and cushion myself from this goat and even then I would have grapefruit sized bruises on my sides and scrapes all over. He even nicked my face with a horn one once and I still to this day have a small scar from where he got a little chunk of skin out of my face. Eventually the neighbors were forced to get rid of the goat because I wasn't the goats only victim and other neighbors complained. He would attack anyone on the road walking, he even attacked the neighbors little dog when she was taking it for a walk and then the goat started to headbutt people trying to knock them off of their bicycles. He also went full crazy and started trying to headbutt cars that drove by (it was a dirt road so most people didn't drive above 20 mph). I still to this day avoid going anywhere near goats, but my husband and father-in-law LOVE goats. They have been planning out a goat yard and goat barn while I'm sitting here sweating up a storm watching my childhood fears come to life again😅 However, I don't want to let my fear stop him from getting goats if that's what he wants. Basically I'm willing to learn and try, but need a little reassuring before he brings any goats home. So my questions are based on your personal experience:

-What goat breeds are the most docile?
-Are male goats in general very aggressive?
-Is it purely each goat is it's own individual and it's a hit or miss personality thing?
-Or was it simply because the neighbors kept a lone buck that made him so aggressive?
-Would it be better to stick with only does?
-Also I know goats are herd animals so how many goats does it take for a goat to feel most comfortable and like they have their own herd?
-I'm a reader are there any recommended books on goat handling/goat behaviors?

Thanks!
 

Palomino

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What an awful experience! I can see how you would be afraid of goats. But I can assure you that is not the norm. In any type of animal, in every breed, you are going to have good and bad individuals. As a whole, you really can't say if there is any truly aggressive domestic goat breed, because a lot of it is genetics. For example, I had a line of Lamanchas at one time and absolutely hated them. They were aggressive to the other does, fence jumpers and biters. But I know lots and lots of people who love their Lamanchas and rave about how docile they are.

Yes, keeping a goat alone can definitely make them more aggressive. Not having any does around probably didn't help either so he must have been crazy bored. Bucks can have a lot of energy and it doesn't sound like he was ever disciplined either. I raised Nubians and Nigerians, and had several bucks of each breed. My main Nubian buck thought he was a puppy. He was just the biggest, sweetest boy. He loved to stand there for neck scratches and rubs. Never even tried to dominate the Nigerians and he produced beautiful kids. I hated to sell him when I got out of goats, but his new owners loved him too and would let him onto the porch because he was so friendly in a laid back way.

You can have as few as two goats and they'll be quite happy. I would recommend starting with two does. You don't absolutely have to have a buck, unless you want to keep a closed herd. You should probably get polled or disbudded goats so you don't have to worry about their horns. I also very highly recommend Nigerians for you because of their size. They are only 21" maximum at the withers and always playful and fun to watch. If you bottle raise, you will really develop a bond with them. Now depending on how much milk you want, if that's what you want, an average Nigerian gives between 1-2qts each day. So if that's not enough, I would go with a miniature breed, like mini Nubians or mini lamanchas. They can give upwards of 1/2 gallon per day while still being only a little larger than the Nigerians.

Whatever you do, try to find a good breeder who disease tests, knows how to take care of their herd and will give you sound advice along the way. That will be invaluable for you. Good luck and I hope you enjoy discovering the wonderful world of good goats!!
 

Highland Meadows

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What an awful experience! I can see how you would be afraid of goats. But I can assure you that is not the norm. In any type of animal, in every breed, you are going to have good and bad individuals. As a whole, you really can't say if there is any truly aggressive domestic goat breed, because a lot of it is genetics. For example, I had a line of Lamanchas at one time and absolutely hated them. They were aggressive to the other does, fence jumpers and biters. But I know lots and lots of people who love their Lamanchas and rave about how docile they are.

Yes, keeping a goat alone can definitely make them more aggressive. Not having any does around probably didn't help either so he must have been crazy bored. Bucks can have a lot of energy and it doesn't sound like he was ever disciplined either. I raised Nubians and Nigerians, and had several bucks of each breed. My main Nubian buck thought he was a puppy. He was just the biggest, sweetest boy. He loved to stand there for neck scratches and rubs. Never even tried to dominate the Nigerians and he produced beautiful kids. I hated to sell him when I got out of goats, but his new owners loved him too and would let him onto the porch because he was so friendly in a laid back way.

You can have as few as two goats and they'll be quite happy. I would recommend starting with two does. You don't absolutely have to have a buck, unless you want to keep a closed herd. You should probably get polled or disbudded goats so you don't have to worry about their horns. I also very highly recommend Nigerians for you because of their size. They are only 21" maximum at the withers and always playful and fun to watch. If you bottle raise, you will really develop a bond with them. Now depending on how much milk you want, if that's what you want, an average Nigerian gives between 1-2qts each day. So if that's not enough, I would go with a miniature breed, like mini Nubians or mini lamanchas. They can give upwards of 1/2 gallon per day while still being only a little larger than the Nigerians.

Whatever you do, try to find a good breeder who disease tests, knows how to take care of their herd and will give you sound advice along the way. That will be invaluable for you. Good luck and I hope you enjoy discovering the wonderful world of good goats!!
Thank you so much for the advice and such great information! I think a smaller breed and two does like you recommended would be a good start for us and I will be sure to look into the breeds you recommended. Thank you again!
 

Beekissed

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Why do they wants goats so very much? To eat brush? If so, there's a gentler, more sweet and easier animal that can do that for them. Hair sheep, in particular, the docile Katahdin breed. Will eat browse like a goat, but carries far less parasites, will stay in fences better, shed their wool each spring/summer and are known for twinning.....plus market prices for sheep are higher than goats right now.


The rams are known for docility, as long as they are not made into pets as lambs, and they don't smell as bad as buck goats do. In fact, the hair sheep don't smell as bad as woolly breeds of sheep, either, but smell more like horses.
 

Baymule

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@Palomino that is a very compassionate and informative answer. I’m so glad you joined this forum!
@Beekissed that is a very good point. I may be a little biased because I have hair sheep too! LOL

Good question , why do they want goats? To slaughter for meat? To raise for their milk? Or just to keep the brush and weeds down? Haha, I bet THEY won’t go milk the goat! So who will, you? There I go again, stirring up trouble!
 

Highland Meadows

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Why do they wants goats so very much? To eat brush? If so, there's a gentler, more sweet and easier animal that can do that for them. Hair sheep, in particular, the docile Katahdin breed. Will eat browse like a goat, but carries far less parasites, will stay in fences better, shed their wool each spring/summer and are known for twinning.....plus market prices for sheep are higher than goats right now.


The rams are known for docility, as long as they are not made into pets as lambs, and they don't smell as bad as buck goats do. In fact, the hair sheep don't smell as bad as woolly breeds of sheep, either, but smell more like horses.
When I asked I was told "because we just like goats"🙄. I am with you on the sheep! I love sheep and would gladly jump into a pasture with a ram over a goat buck any day. Maybe I can convince them to just go with the sheep🤔
 

Highland Meadows

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@Palomino that is a very compassionate and informative answer. I’m so glad you joined this forum!
@Beekissed that is a very good point. I may be a little biased because I have hair sheep too! LOL

Good question , why do they want goats? To slaughter for meat? To raise for their milk? Or just to keep the brush and weeds down? Haha, I bet THEY won’t go milk the goat! So who will, you? There I go again, stirring up trouble!
I was told that they just wanted goats because they like goats so only as pets. I told them that if they get goats they will have be separate from my sheep because I am not ending up with goat chores or being chased out of the barn/pasture.
 

Palomino

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I was told that they just wanted goats because they like goats so only as pets.
If they just want goats as pets then a pair of Nigerian or Pygmy does or wethers would make great little pets. I may be biased, but I can understand wanting goats as pets. They are so entertaining and such fun little animals!! I will say that they do require some maintenance, hoof trimming, worming, etc. so that should be considered along with feed costs for an animal that isn't producing any benefits aside from being a nice pet.
If you have sheep, the goats should be kept separate from them anyway as they have very different mineral requirements, principally when it comes to copper which goats really need.
 

farmerjan

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I am not a goat fan..... they are adorable as little babies.... but I just never had a real liking. Plus I had some and they were never in where they were supposed to be, and always wanting to be on top of everything.... like the smaller, pasture chicken coops, and then the car when they got out....:mad:o_O:barnie:rant:somad.

I also have cows for milk so not wanting dairy goats for that.

As far as the hair sheep, they are really a pretty good trade off.... and the hair sheep breeds will "look" more like goats than a wooled breed.... Plus, the lambs, if you should breed them, are as playful as the goat kids.... although the adults are not as "playful" as goats seem to be; and they will do more grazing in comparison to the goats wanting to do more browsing on brush and stuff.
Rams do not get as "strong" smelling when breeding season comes around like @Beekissed said.
 
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