Goat Prices: How Much Do Goats Cost? Uncover the full cost of ownership
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The modern domestic goat ( Capra hircus ) was first domesticated somewhere in Asia thousands of years ago. Today, goats are easily recognizable by their compact size, light frame, receding horns, straight coat, and short tail. They are closely related to sheep and serve many of the same purposes, such as providing milk, hides, meat and wool. In fact, goats are so useful that modern garden farmers around the world have begun adding them to their zoos. If you're considering raising goats, you're probably wondering: How much do goats cost?
Here, we'll answer that question and more. We'll start by understanding the one-time costs associated with purchasing a goat. We'll then look at the common monthly costs involved in keeping one or a few goats. Finally, we'll discuss some of the miscellaneous goat-related expenses you may encounter. By the end, you should have a better understanding of the cost of acquiring and keeping goats.
One-time fee – $500-$1,000
The first outlay is what you need to invest in to start raising goats. These costs vary greatly depending on where you live, the type of goat you want, and whether you're already running a farm. You should expect to spend at least $500 in startup costs—including the goat itself.
1. Buy a goat
certainly! The first step in raising goats is to purchase one or several goats. But how much do goats cost? Well, that answer depends a lot on what kind of goat you're looking for. Traditional breeds of goat are expensive, while more common breeds are often less expensive. If you find someone who has abandoned their goat, you can even get a goat for free. Typically, a non-genetic goat costs between $50-300.
2. Setup and equipment
This includes fences and shelters, first and foremost. Goats need to be kept in an enclosed area — whether it's a large yard or a farmstead — and fencing is a must. Additionally, goats need a place to shelter from rain, snow, and heat. Finally, be sure to buy enough feed to get your goats or goats going before you bring them home. This usually includes straw, hay and other fodder. You'll also need a sink or two.
Monthly Fees – $40-500
Coming to the question: How much do goats cost? It's important to realize that costs can fluctuate wildly depending on how many goats you have, where you live, and what you provide them with. Let's take a look at some of the most important monthly expenses associated with keeping goats.
1. Food for goats – $10-50 (monthly)
This is probably the most significant of all the monthly costs associated with keeping goats. The cost of feeding one or more goats will vary depending on where you live, whether you use pasture, and the type of food you use. Goats need a steady supply of hay – hay should make up about 90 percent of their diet. But they also need supplemental foods like salt licks, grains, and goat formula pellets. Fortunately, feeding goats is relatively inexpensive.
2. Veterinary care – $10-$50 (monthly)
The second largest monthly expense of keeping goats comes from veterinary needs. Goats are very healthy animals, but that doesn't exempt them from vaccinations and lice treatments. Additionally, goats should be checked regularly at the veterinarian. While this expense may not come with each month, it is important to budget for at least one annual veterinary visit. As with all goat expenses, the amount you need to budget each month is directly proportional to the number of goats you have. The more goats there are, the more expensive it is to keep them.
3. Hooves and Grooming – $0-$40 (monthly)
Answer this question: How much do goats cost? You have to learn more about goat hair and hooves. Most goats have short, straight hair (unlike sheep), which is easy to manage and keep clean. Unlike many dogs, they don't need regular visits to a groomer. However, goats need their hooves trimmed regularly, at least every 8 weeks. Depending on how comfortable you are with this, you may choose to have your goat's hooves trimmed for you by a livestock specialist. Or, you can buy your own hoof trimmer as a one-time purchase, avoiding the monthly fee.
There are always other miscellaneous expenses that come up when it comes to owning any animal. For goats, these may include treats, toys and new equipment. Shelters and food pans wear out occasionally, and you may have to invest in new fencing every once in a while. And, if you like to dress up your goat, you also need to consider the cost of the costumes!
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about the author
Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She has degrees in English and Anthropology and writes horror, science fiction and fantasy stories in her spare time.
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- PennState extension, available here: https://extension.psu.edu/animals-and-livestock/goats
- Oklahoma State University, available here: http://afs.okstate.edu/breeds/goats/