How to Raise Goats Without Going Broke
I heard that goats were a great addition to the homestead because they practically pay for themselves. Between milk savings and the money you get from selling goat kids, we would hardly shell out anything to keep these goats. Ha! I’m glad I had heard the same information about chickens several years before and debunked it, so I knew to take this wisdom with a grain of salt. Honestly, the idea that raising goats will “break even” is laughable.
My life truly changed for the better when I got my first goats. But let’s face it, goats can be expensive to keep, especially if you have more than just a few.
— Carrissa Larsen, Feather & Scale Farm
If you only have a couple of goats, maybe you aren’t yet feeling the financial burn, but if you’ve added quite a few to the herd (it’s so hard to say goodbye to those cute baby goats, isn’t it?), you’ll want to find ways to raise goats that cuts costs without compromising quality care. Learning how to do tasks like simple vetting (giving subcutaneous/intramuscular injections and drawing blood) and hoof trimmings can save you a lot of money. Maintain good herd health with regular herd checks and stay on top of basic problems before they become expensive vet visit will also help save lots.
Remember, one way to save money is to never spend it in the first place. Barter with other farmers for services such as disbudding or banding – many will exchange farm labor for skills you haven’t acquired yet.
Buying in bulk can save you money on grain costs. Check with your local feed store to see if they offer discounts if you buy by the pallet, or have any bulk sales scheduled. Our feed store also keeps a list of ripped bags that they offer to us at a hearty discount. The right hay net/manger can also save money. Goats love wasting hay, but hay containers with smaller holes helps rein them in.
The second thing to consider is making money beyond milk sales (which are unfortunately still illegal in many states) and selling kids. That’s where Carrissa comes in. She has some great ideas for making money from your goats. Go check it out…