Types of Goats

I want a goat, but there are so many types of goats out there! how do I know what type to get?  what is the difference between all of them? 

These are just some of the questions that you will be faced with when getting started with goat farming. Everyone always looks a little startled when we say we are dairy goat farmers.  "What do you do with them?" they ask.  "Is there much of a market for goat milk?" 

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Milk Goats, Meat Goats, and .... 
Pet Goats :) 

Types of Goats used for Goat Milk Production

There are basically two things about the milk to think about when considering which breed of dairy goat to get: the amount of milk and the butter fat content of the milk.  The higher the butter fat content is, the less milk you will get per goat.  The more milk you get, the less butter fat content. High butter fat will produce great quality cheese.  So, some things to consider, as each breed of goat will have their benefits and drawbacks. Click here to learn more about dairy goat breeds.

Types of Goats used for Goat Meat Production

When looking for meat animals, you'll want a stocky build. That being said, there are many meat goat farmers that will pick up the buck kids from dairy goat farmers and raise them for meat, even though they are actually dairy goats. Click here to find out more about meat goats.

Breeding goats for milk and for meat is becoming increasingly popular, as the demand increases both for goat milk and for goat meat.  Goats also make great pets, as they are incredibly smart, fun, and mischievous animals.  Some goats, such as the Nubian goats, are even known to call for their owner! 

I really feel like at our small farm, we have the best of both worlds (the farming world and the pet world) - it's small enough that we have a bunch of special pet goats that we've named... although I can't say they really come when called, but that's probably my lack of training :) and then there are a bunch of others that are just part of the herd.  This way too, by having so many, it's not as sad when they die or get shipped; as my little 7-year-old said the other day when we moved a bunch of doelings from one barn into our milking barn, "Now we can get to know lots more goats and make friends!"

So... what is it that you're looking for? whether you will be purchasing one goat as a pet, or a herd of goats in order to milk them, or to raise for meat, you'll want to select the right breed of goat for your needs.  I hope this helps you narrow down your search for the right kind! 

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Dairy Goat Farming

click to learn more about each type of dairy goat breed: