As a new-ish goat owner (it’s been 20 years or so), I am learning all over again what you absolutely MUST have to keep a goat safely and enjoyably. Goats are escape artists–something I had recalled but kind of underestimated when Dinks showed up for my birthday, and something my husband didn’t know about at all. He made this cute little pen out of his great grandfathers’ gates (see below), but the gates only held him in while we were in the barn in plain sight. As soon as we left, he was out of there. That is a whole other story.
Five Must-Have Items for Your New Goat
- Fencing or pen that is at least five foot tall. If it is made out of wooden boards, make sure the boards are not too far apart that the goat can stick his little hooves in between to use them as a ladder.
- Good quality hay. It’s best for goats to always have access to forage. Ours gets alfalfa and grass, but he always goes for the alfalfa when free-ranging.
- Baking soda. Another awesome use for household baking soda, right?! This is something I learned about after our little baby started getting diarrhea. If you put free choice baking soda in a dish for you goat, he will eat it! It helps balance their digestive system.
- Mineral salt. We chose a mix that is good for several different species–it helps your goat to get all the nutrients he needs.
- Things to play with. Whether it be other animals, or bales of straw and hay to climb on, goats love to explore and jump.
These are just the five major things we learned about soon after getting Dinks, and that have made a difference in his safety and happiness. Any other goat owners out there have anything to add?