So, you’re thinking about getting a goat and are wondering about the typical costs.
Who would blame you?
Goats make fun and entertaining additions to any backyard farm or homestead.
It is always a good idea to get an idea of the financial requirements of any animal before bringing one into your household.
Knowing how much a goat costs based on various expenses is a great place to start.
Goats usually cost between $100-and $800, depending on the animal’s age, breed, and sex. Fencing costs between $60-and $600 depending on the type of material used. Feed typically costs between $10 and $20 per month. Vet care typically costs around $30 annually unless special care is needed.
Adding a new animal to your farm or household is a big decision.
This is especially true if you’ve never had a particular animal before.
We’ll tell you everything about the one-time costs and ongoing expense breakdown of getting and caring for a goat.
Goat Cost Table
Is Owning A Goat Expensive?
Before running out and grabbing a goat, it’s always a good idea to know if you’re in a financial position to own a goat.
Luckily, goats are relatively inexpensive compared to other farm animals and livestock.
They are great additions to a household, especially if you are looking for some lawn maintenance and goat milk.
Many people may be surprised by how inexpensive keeping goats is.
It’s important to mention the herd mentality of goats.
We don’t recommend getting one goat.
They will be lonely and significantly louder with their complaints if they don’t have any company.
A dog, chicken, duck, or cat will not provide your goat with the companionship it requires.
For this reason, we highly recommend getting a 2nd goat to keep them happy and content.
Further reading: Can a goat be happy alone, or do they need companions?
All the expenses we list must be multiplied by the number of goats you get.
Expect to spend anywhere from $160-$1400 for initial expenses for one goat.
The range is wide because there are many factors to consider.
The goat breed, age, and sex of the goat will change the price dramatically from anywhere between $100 and $800.
Other initial expenses include fencing to keep your goats safe.
You need at least 5′ feet high of fencing to keep goats contained.
This ranges from $60-$600 depending on whether you want to use found materials or invest in high-quality fencing.
Further reading: How high can goats jump, and is your fence high enough?
What Is The Initial Cost Of A Goat?
The initial cost of a goat ranges pretty significantly.
You may spend as little as $160 in initial costs if you are looking for the most cost-effective option possible.
If you want to splurge on initial expenses and the actual goat, you’re spending upwards of $1400.
Many factors contribute to the wide range of initial costs of owning a goat.
The most common and largest initial expenses of owning a goat are shelter, fencing, and animals.
Each of these initial costs has a wide price range as there are many options for them.
If you want to indulge in a fancy goat breed or hire someone to make a custom shelter and fencing, you will spend a lot more than someone whose focus is on saving money.
Let’s go over each aspect of the initial cost of owning a goat in a bit more detail.
Having adequate shelter for your goats is an essential part of being a responsible homesteader.
Goats are hardy and resilient animals and don’t require too much shelter to stay happy and healthy.
The most crucial aspect of your shelter should be a refuge.
Your goats need a place to go to stay dry when it rains.
They also need a place with shade when the sun is very strong and hot.
Some people build a shelter for their goats out of free and found materials like pallets.
Pallets do an excellent job creating a hutch for goats to live in.
Other people also use large dog houses, greenhouse barns, and calf hutches as goat shelters.
If you have other livestock or farm animals, the existing shelter is just fine for your goats.
They are not particularly picky animals and will enjoy shade or refuge from the rain anywhere they get.
Further Reading: Cleaning out a goat pen
Fencing is critical when it comes to owning goats.
Goats are mischievous little escape artists.
Don’t let their sweet faces fool you; they will attempt to find a way to explore greener pastures and find some tasty new plants to eat.
For this reason, have your fencing installed before you even bring your goat home to make sure they are safe.
Goats escape from short fences very quickly.
They are masters at jumping and climbing structures, as you will quickly notice when you bring your goat home.
We recommend installing fencing at least 5′ feet tall to keep goats in.
It helps to put the posts on the outside of the fence as these tend to temp goats.
They will attempt to jump up and perch on the post, so it’s best to keep posts outside the fence.
Fencing ranges widely in cost.
If you already have 5’-foot tall fencing, you won’t need to spend anything.
The cost ranges dramatically based on building material choice if you need to build new fencing.
Using found and free items will cost you about $60 on average after purchasing hardware to put it all together.
If you want something more aesthetically pleasing, you’re looking at spending closer to $600.
If you hire someone to install the fence, the cost will be even higher.
How much you spend on fencing is entirely up to you and your preferences.
Buying A Goat
Goats are surprisingly inexpensive farm animals.
The initial cost of buying a goat depends on quite a few factors.
Each of these will influence the final cost of the animal itself.
Again, how much you spend on the goat is entirely up to you and your preferences, and your budget.
Here are the main factors impacting the price of a goat:
- Goat Age (baby goats tend to have different costs)
- Breed (the type of goat influences the initial goat purchase price)
Purebred goats and female goats are considerably more expensive.
Mixed breeds of goats cost less.
Mixed breed goats who are castrated males tend to be the least expensive.
It all depends on what you plan to keep your goats for. If you are looking for milk, you’ll need a female.
Certain goat breeds are known for being particularly prolific milk producers.
If your main goal is to get as much milk as possible, the final cost will likely fall on the higher end of the price range.
You’ll need a female from high-quality breeding lines to assure she is of good stock.
If you want a goat to trim down your yard or as a pet, your options are much wider.
Adopting a goat is a great way to provide a nice home and save some money.
If you are looking for enough milk to support your family, you’ll probably get away with a mid-range female goat.
The purchase price for the initial goat range anywhere from $100-$800.
However, some people get lucky and get the goat for free, so the initial cost goes even lower.
What Are The Ongoing Costs Of Owning A Goat?
After spending the initial money on the goat, shelter, and fencing, the ongoing costs are manageable for most people.
Goats don’t need much to be happy and healthy.
The most common ongoing costs for goats include feed, supplements, veterinary care, and bedding.
None of these are all too expensive at the time.
We’ll break down each of these expenses so you know exactly what to expect as far as ongoing expenses go when owning a goat.
Getting high-quality goat food is of paramount importance.
This assures all the nutritional needs of your goat are met.
Providing a balanced diet is crucial for your backyard goats’ overall health and well-being.
This is especially important if you’re keeping goats for milk or meat purposes.
Meat goats and milk goats need to be healthy to produce high-quality milk and meat.
Otherwise, you are just wasting time and money.
On average, the cost of goats runs up about $15-$20 per month for feed for one goat.
This price ranges depending on whether or not your goat has access to grazing a pasture.
It is also great to give nutritious snacks to your goat, but they should never make up the majority of your goat’s diet.
Here are some great vegetables and fruits to give goats as a special and healthy treat:
- Romaine Lettuce
This recurring monthly cost is relatively inexpensive when you think about the money you’ll save on milk when you have dairy goats.
Goats are low maintenance and don’t require much money every month compared to other farm animals.
Veterinary care is a hard thing to estimate.
If your goat has some sort of serious illness or injury, then vet care will be much more expensive.
Most of the time, vet care is fairly inexpensive for goats.
On average, goat owners spend about $30 annually on vet bills for goats.
This depends widely on the specific health issues of your goat.
Most of the expenses around goat vet care are centered around deworming.
It is essential to regularly deworm your goats throughout the year.
It is also essential to get your goats tested for worms every year.
Because veterinary emergencies happen unexpectedly, we highly recommend saving a little money each month for medical care.
Setting aside $10-$15 a month for savings will leave you in a good position should any unexpected injury or illness requiring vet visits occur.
Vet bills often cost hundreds of dollars, so saving up in advance is good.
Bedding is essential for keeping your goat happy and comfy.
Bedding is very inexpensive but is something to consider when calculating expenses.
It is vital to change the bedding every other week and whenever it is excessively dirty.
Keeping bedding clean is essential for preventing bacterial skin infections and other health issues from occurring from unsanitary conditions.
Since bedding is so inexpensive, it is a small price to pay for sanitary and clean enclosures for our beloved goats.
On average, bedding rings up less than $5 per month, depending on your location.
Some places charge higher prices for bedding, so this expense may vary.
Should I Get A Goat?
If you are wondering whether or not to get a goat, there are a few key considerations to ask yourself.
For starters, researching the monthly expenses of goats is an important consideration, so you are in a good place if you are reading this article.
Ultimately, whether or not to get a goat is up to you.
Let’s go over some important questions to ask yourself before deciding whether or not to add a few goats to your backyard farm or homestead.
Are You Willing To Own More Than One Goat?
Your goat is naturally a herd animal.
They feel most comfortable and at peace with a few buddies around.
If you only get one goat, the lone goat will experience stress and loneliness.
This often manifests in a very noisy and loud goat.
Getting a few goats allows them to fulfill their social needs.
Make sure you are willing to have at least two goats before you decide to get them.
Do You Have Enough Space?
Goats need to have ample space to roam and exercise.
They won’t do well in confined spaces.
Plan to have at least 250′ sq ft per goat.
If you get a minimum of two goats, you’ll need 500′ sq ft.
Make sure you have enough space before you bring any goats home.
Further reading: How much room do you need for goats?
Are You Allowed To Have Goats In Your Area?
Many towns and neighborhoods do not allow goats.
Make sure your area allows you to keep goats in your backyard before bringing them home.
For What Purpose Do You Plan On Keeping Goats?
You may have further expenses down the road depending on what purpose you plan to keep them for.
Milk goats and pet goats won’t incur additional costs, but meat goat owners will have butchering and slaughtering costs when they reach market weight.
Be sure to consider this.
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