10 Frequently Asked Goat Questions

Our little hobby farm gets a lot of questions about the goats these days and I love sharing about it! I wanted to answer a few questions y’all have about our goatie girls all in one place.

1. How many goats do you have?

We have three goats, and their names are Edith, Ella, and Estelle.  We had a male goat named Ezra, but he passed away at three months old.

2. What type of goats are they?

Nigerian Dwarf.

3. How old are they?

Our Goatie Girls were born in September of 2016.  I know you aren’t afraid of a little math 🙂 We got them when they were one week old and bottle fed them.  That’s why they are so spoiled.

4. Why do you have them / Do You Milk them?

We do not milk them, milking is a huge time commitment and since we travel so much we really are not able to consistently be around to milk them. They are strictly our pets and we enjoy them.

5. How do you tell them apart?

The easiest one to tell apart is Edith. She is the one without the lower portion of her jaw and you can typically see her tongue hanging out. 

Ella is mostly black with a little bit of salt and pepper on her torso, she also has a white belly. Estelle is the tallest of the group and is solid black with a distinct white stripe on her side.

6. What happened to Edith?

In April of 2018, a large aggressive dog jumped our six-foot wooden privacy fence and attacked our goats.  Edith was protecting her sisters and was mauled by the dog. Estelle was also attacked, but Edith got the worst of it. After two extensive surgeries and spending two months at the University of Georgia’s Large Animal Hospital ICU, she was able to return home and lives a full, healthy life. She is able to fully eat and drink on her own and requires no special care!  She was the first goat to ever have the surgery successfully done and is truly our little miracle goat.

7. What do they eat?

Despite popular belief, they do not eat everything in site or even our grass. Our girls are very picky and even refuse to eat their hay if it is not in their bowls. They eat a mixture of alfalfa and orchard hay. Edith also gets sweet feed daily and they all get ginger and banana treats!  Pecan leaves straight from the branch is their absolute favorite treat of all time.

8. What are their personalities like?

I would say just like any other pet, the more you spend time with them you recognize certain personality traits. All three goats are very affectionate and like to snuggle. Edith and Ella are twins and you can see similarities in their personalities. There is a definitely heirarchy in their little herd and Ella is dominant, Edith is in the middle, and Estelle is the lowest on the totem pole. Before the attack, Edith was dominant but that changed a little bit. Ella is what I would call a benevolent dictator because she is nice to most everyone, but keeps the goaties in line. We jokingly call Edith Queen because she is just so sassy.  Edith is very protective of me and doesn’t like strangers or small humans.  Estelle is just a sweet goat all the way around and is happy to get affection.

9. How do the goats like Paco and Pearl since they survived a dog attack?

Paco and Pearl are our Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs. You can read more about their job here.  We were definitely a little bit hesitant about introducing livestock guardian dogs into our hobby farm after the dog attack, but it was necessary because we wanted more than infrastructure protection.  The goatie girls tolerate Paco and Pearl.  We got Paco and Pearl when they were 10 weeks old and smaller than the goats. Paco and Pearl know that the goats are the dominant animals in the yard and treat them with respect.  Paco has bonded with Edith and protects her and even sleeps next to her which we think is very special.

10. Would you recommend goats as pets?

Absolutely, but just like any animal you have to do your research and see if it is a good fit for your lifestyle.  Goats are herd animals and you should never just have one.  We love them and could not imagine life without them, but they definitely require time and effort!

What do you think? Would you have goats as pets? Did I miss any questions?

 

mm