Raising Goats For Dummies
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Finding goats to supplement your green lifestyle or to raise as pets isn't difficult. If you're looking for a rare goat breed or have very specific needs, finding the goats you want locally might be a little harder, but take your time and use some of the resources discussed here:

  • Local feed stores: Get acquainted with the proprietors of local feed stores. Often, the owners or clerks at the feed stores know the farmers in the area and are willing to direct customers to them. They also usually have a bulletin board with livestock and farm-related ads, business cards, and flyers — a good place to start in your search for goats.

  • Agriculture papers or thrifties: These publications are a good place to look for goats for sale in your area or a short drive away.

  • Craigslist: Craigslist is a good resource for finding goats locally and often at a competitive price. Just go to the site for your city or a close city and look in the farm and garden sale section.

  • Breeders' Web sites: You can find people who breed the type of goat you want by going directly to their Web sites. Just search for the type of goat you want and the word breeder. You'll find a number of Web sites, usually with pictures, pedigree information, and sales pages. Some breeders also include information on their management practices and helpful hints for raising goats.

    Unless you want to pay for shipping, narrow your selections to nearby breeders.

  • Registries and goat clubs: A breed club promotes the breed they're interested in and sometimes sponsors shows. A registry is usually a nonprofit association that keeps a herdbook on goats. When you join, you get a member handbook or contact information for other members who have the type of goat you want.

    You may also be able to find a local or regional goat club to join. These clubs often offer a newsletter and sponsor shows. They may also hold conferences to educate goat people and give them a chance to network.

  • County or State Fairs: Your next county or state fair is likely to have a goat exhibit, which is a really good way to find out more about goats, look over some goats, and network with other goat people. Goat exhibitors use the fair as a place to acquaint people with their animals and to market them.

  • Goat shows: In regions with a large goat population — Texas comes to mind — goat shows happen quite frequently. Read the paper and watch the feed store bulletin board ads to find out when a show will occur.

    Some areas also have an annual goat day or goat conference. For example, the Northwest Oregon Dairy Goat Association (NWODGA) has an educational goat conference every February. Few goats are sold there, but people network, offer goat products for sale, have a raffle, and often hand out sales brochures.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Cheryl K. Smith has raised a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf and Oberian dairy goats under the herd name Mystic Acres since 1998. She is the owner of karmadillo Press and is the author of Goat Health Care, Goat Midwifery, The Best of Ruminations Goat Milk and Cheese Recipes, and Raising Goats: Some Essentials.

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