How Much Does It Cost to Raise Goats?
So you’ve decided you want to get a goat for your homestead, but how much will it cost to take care of it? Here’s a good breakdown of approximately what it costs to raise goats…
Goats can be a fun and useful addition to your homestead, and the good news is that they really aren’t that expensive to raise.
First you will want to determine what is your purpose for keeping goats? Are you looking for a milk goat, or a meat breed? Once you have decided on which breed of goat you would like, then you can look into buying one.
Below are some estimates of what you can expect raising a goat to cost you. Keep in mind that these costs can and will vary widely depending on your location. If you have a large area where your goats can graze and forage, you won’t need to feed them as much supplemental feed. If you live where hay is plentiful and cheap during the winter months, this will also cut down on your ongoing costs.
Also be aware that goats are very social animals! This means that if you are going to get one goat, you really need to get two. Other grazing animals (sheep, cows, etc.) may fit the bill to some extent, but goats generally are happiest when they have another member of the same species to play with.
Here is an estimated list of what it will cost to purchase and raise goats, according to WeedEmAndReap.com:
Purchasing your Goat
The first purchase is most likely going to be your highest. A goat (whether it’s a baby or an adult) can cost anywhere from $100-$300 depending on the breed & sex. Purebred goats are usually more expensive as are the females. If you’re looking to milk your goat, you definitely want high quality lines, so be willing to spend more for good stock…
Goats are notorious escape artists, but it’s not too hard to fashion a simple fence. As long as the fence is at least 5 ft. high and you put the posts on the OUTSIDE of the fence, you can make a pen to keep your goats away from plants you don’t want it to eat. A goat usually needs about 250 sq. feet of space, but goats always need another goat buddy, so plan on 500 sq. feet.
Fencing can be as cheap as $50 (if you’re willing to find free stuff or repurpose items) or up to $600 depending on how elaborate your pen is.
Feeding your Goat
The majority of your goat’s diet should be hay or pasture. Goat’s LOVE variety, so they won’t be super happy on just grass alone (though they will eat it and it will sustain their life if it’s their only option). We feed our goats a nightly scoop of alfalfa pellets (which is basically hay in pellet form), along with a flake of alfalfa hay at night and in the morning we let them out to the pasture. Our milking goats get a handful of grain at the milking stand, but no other treats than scraps from the garden.
We’ve found that one average-sized goat costs us about $15-20/month in feed.
You’ll have to make sure your goat has a mineral block to make sure and supply him/her with those necessary nutrients. Some people also like to feed their goats black oil sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to help boost their health & reduce intestinal parasites.
A mineral block will last you about a year and only costs about $12.
Vet Care for your Goat
We have a vet that we can call for emergencies, but for the most part, we do all our own care. We de-worm our goats weekly with herbs and then we test our goats for diseases once a year, which costs us about $20 per goat.
Deworming & testing costs about $30 per year per goat.
Bottom Line: We’ve found the total cost of keeping a goat (after your initial goat purchase and fencing supplies) is around $20-$25/month.
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