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Fe Everett from Zodiac Mini Goats

Buying baby goats – it’s a 10-15 year commitment

Just like puppies, baby goats are unbelievably cute! And just like puppies they grow up into adults – miniautre goats grow to around the same size as a medium dog breed. Goats are generally hardy and live 10-15 years, but also like dogs it can be longer so good to understand this is a long term commitment from the outset.

There’s legislation around buying goats

Before you have livestock on your property you need to have a PIC Number. This is a Property Identification Code. A PIC allows tracing of all movements of livestock in Australia. Anyone can apply for a PIC number and it takes a couple of weeks to come through. In more built-up areas, you may require local Council approval as well. Some Councils have a minimum land size for housing goats.

You'll need a good set-up

Enough space, secure fencing and a permanent shelter are must-have elements before you welcome any goats to your property. Goats are livestock and suitable for acreage lifestyle. Of course, goats are pretty famous as escape artists. If there is a weakness in their boundary, they will find it. Under, over, through all need to be secure!

Rain and wind are not popular with the caprine, so they need a weather-proof shelter. For the first 6 months or so, babies will need to be housed somewhere safe overnight. The shelters need airflow too, so factor that in.

Wethers make the best pets

Wethers are de-sexed male goats and by far are the best choice for pets. A lot of people ask us for ‘girls’, but once of breeding age, does will ‘cycle’ or ovulate every 18-21 days. This can present in many ways, often very noisy calling out. Intact males (bucks) are not suitable pets and ideally are only kept by breeders.

Goats need a goat friend or two

While goats get along with pretty much everyone – human and animal, goats are herd animals and need at least one goatie friend to live with. Reputable breeders only sell baby goats as pets in pairs.

Goats have a bad rap when it comes to eating ‘everything’

We’ve all heard the saying, but as breeders we know that’s not true. While goats will definitely eat your rose garden, they are generally pretty fussy when it comes to food. They are not lawn-mowers like sheep. Actually, goats are unlikely to eat pasture lower than 15-20cm unless nothing else to eat. They are browsers, preferring to eat up and love native branches. Good quality hay, plus usually a chaff mix with pellets or similar will be recommended by the breeder, and any changes to diet need to be made slowly.

Goats are pretty low maintenance

Once weaned, goats are pretty low maintenance. Apart from feed, they need clean water, a regular hoof trim and health check. The main things that can upset your pets are if they eat the wrong thing, have a worm burden, or pick up an infection or bacteria such as ecoli. There are some really simple ways to recognize if they are unwell and your breeder will educate on those when you pick up your goats.

Buy from a Breeder

Lastly if you are thinking of getting some goats for pets, remember you will get what you pay for. If you buy from a breeder, your goats will be registered miniature goats and important paperwork such as transport documents and a National Goat Health Statement will accompany your bubs.

Our website features a list of premium breeders following best practices in breeding and husbandry. We all pretty harshly evaluate the males we keep intact and so somewhere around half our babies born become wethers. Get in touch with breeders close to you to join their waiting list for babies

Zodiac Mini Goats is one of Australia's most awarded miniature goat studs, established by Brendon and Fe Everett in 2013 and based on the NSW South Coast.


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