Goats are fascinating animals. They were domesticized somewhere in Asia thousands of years ago and since then, they provided milk, red meat, skin, wool, and more. They’re majestic animals recognized for their backward-pointed horns, similarity with sheep, and tendency to climb high rocks in the most extraordinary ways. However, being majorly domesticized, many people are looking for ways to extract products from them, as well as keep them as a pet. While the latter is less common than the former, both are wondering how much a goat costs.
However, the costs of purchasing a goat are the least to worry about compared to other expenses, such as enclosure, food, medical expenses, and much more, especially if you want to make goats regular members of your farms and offer more for their lives in the process.
Goats are quite similar, as well as related to sheep, which is why taking care of them will resemble taking care of sheep. If you haven’t taken care of sheep before, then learning about the expenses that having a goat make will also help you learn how to take care of them in the process.
It’s no secret that investing in a goat, or a herd of goats for that matter can be overwhelming, but also expensive in the process. But, if you’re looking for a place to start, you can start by getting a baby goat, or a buckling.
If you want to make a serious investment in purchasing a goat or multiple goats, then you should continue reading this article, and inform yourself about the main expenses of a goat, the secondary expenses of owning goats, as well as where to buy goats in the USA.
Keep reading, and you’ll be able to understand the price range of goats as they age, and how much their overall cost would be.
Quick Summary: Many factors affect the price of goats. For one, you need to know whether you’re buying milk or meat goats. With that in mind, goats start at $100 and can go up to $1,500 and more.
Domestic goats (Capra hircus) are easy to recognize because they’re more compact compared to other farm animals. They have lighter frames, straight hair compared to sheep, and quite short, soft tails. The goat milk that they produce is quite beneficial for liver health and other health aspects and many more reasons.
That’s why farmers often get goats, primarily for the milk and then everything else. Goats are today popular members of farm menageries, which is why it doesn’t surprise us why you want to get one. But, before you google how much a goat costs in some online marketplace for livestock, let’s first identify why exactly you need the goat.
As mentioned earlier in the article, goats are either kept for milk, skin, or meat. There are different goat breeds, so it’s important to learn more about the breeds which are suitable for different products.
Different Goat Breeds
When purchasing goats, you will either search for goats that are good at producing milk and dairy products in general or goats that are suitable for meat production. Some goat breeds are good for both, which is why they’re called dual-purpose goats.
Below are the top 5 goat breeds for milk production:
- Nigerian Dwarf: These are some of the most popular goat breeds for milk production because their milk contains the highest butterfat content. Farmers who own these goats usually sell their milk to factories that produce cream and cheese made of dairy. They have a large milk supply, even though they’re considered dwarves.
- Saanen: They have a mild and relaxed temper and are safe to keep around children, but they need a lot of space and grass to eat. They have a high milk supply of up to 3 gallons of milk per day. However, they have low butterfat content.
- Nubian: Nubian goats can produce up to 2 gallons of milk per day. They also have high butterfat, which is great if you’re making cheese or even soap. They are also average in size, but they are quite loud so you better have a large space to dedicate to them.
- Alpine: Although they’re quite dependable, they are easy to take care of and manage. They produce steady amounts of milk, usually 2 to 3 gallons.
- LaMancha: These goats are also friendly and safe to keep around children. They produce 1 to 2 gallons steadily and medium butterfat content which can be used for making low-fat cream and cheese.
Aside from the milk-producing goats, many goat species are ideal for meat and leather production. Goat red meat is highly nutritious and healthy and many cultures around the world produce and eat it. It is less rich in calories compared to other red meat such as beef. The best part about it is that it’s quite easy to digest.
Another thing worth mentioning is that meat goats grow quite fast, which ensures quick commercial farming. However, given that there are a lot of meat-breeding goats, it’s important to choose only the best ones. Below are the five most popular meat-breed goats for your farm.
- Boer Goat: They are among larger goats that can weigh as much as 300 lbs. Because of their size, they are often a popular choice among farmers and meat breeders.
- Black Bengal Goat: These are the most popular goats used for meat because of the nutritious meat, as well as the great taste. They were domesticized in Bangladesh, but they’re highly adaptable and can be found around the world now.
- Rangeland Goat: This breed is from Australia, but farmers around the world own it as it’s adaptable. They’re tall and can grow quite a lot and their meat is of great quality and delicious.
- Spanish Goat: Originating from Spain, Spanish goats can be found around the world, it’s raised as one of the meat goats breeds with the most nutritious meat in the world, which is why a lot of farmers go for them.
- Sirohi Goat: This is another goat from Asia, particularly India, and makes a great breed for meat production because of their size, as well as nutritious meat. They are also quite adaptable so farmers around the world are looking to buy them.
How Much Does a Goat Cost?
As mentioned earlier in the article, many factors play a role in determining the price of a goat. Some factors include gender, age, breed, medical record, and of course location. Many people don’t purchase goats just because they’re looking for a source of milk, meat, leather or even work that goats can perform in the mountain areas.
The best way to get informed about the price of different goats is by looking at the table we provided below. Here you’ll be able to see a price range for all adult, miniature, dairy, or meat goats regardless of the breed.
|Type of Goat
If you’re looking to buy a baby goat, also known as a young buckling which is a goat that is a few months old, you should be prepared to give as little as $50 to $100. They can be bought on sale barns, as well as some websites that we’ll list below.
However, if you want to buy a baby goat that is going to be guaranteed to be breed-certified, you are expected to pay anywhere from $200 to $800. Keep in mind that some people only keep goats for pets, so you can also get a wether – adult male castrated goat for as little as $50 to $100.
Also, goats are not animals that should be on their own. They’re usually in herds and quite good at socializing with other goats. That’s why you should always consider getting more goats so they wouldn’t get lonely and depressed.
Goats are most commonly kept for their milk and in that case, they’re known as dairy goats. If you’re looking for a purebred goat, you should always visit certified goat breeders for the best quality dairy goats. However, those will always be more expensive, depending on the race.
If you’re looking for certified purebred Nubian goats, you can expect to pay up to $1,000 for a goat that is in breeding age. However, you may pay as little as $250 to $500 if you’re looking to buy a weeks-old baby goat.
The best part of buying at professional breeders is that you can tell them why you want a goat, whether it’s only for milk or cheese or soaps, and they’ll offer you the best breeds for the appropriate price, which can usually be quite high.
Professional breeders will also know how to find the best purebred for your needs that will produce the most milk for less feed without compromising health.
If you’re buying meat goats, always keep in mind that males will grow larger than females, and as such, they are not only more expensive, but they will also pay out more on the market if you’re looking to sell meat.
Some breeders will reject baby goats because they can’t catch up to feed them all, but they can cost anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on how purebred it is. Savanna and Boer’s goats are the most common breeds for meat, but others that we mentioned earlier in the article are also quite popular.
They are popular mainly because of the fact they grow fast, and have year-round heat cycles, which is ideal for growing meat. Meat goats that are grown up can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,500 depending on their breeding line, as well as whether it’s among the species we mentioned earlier.
Pygmy goats are extremely popular in the UK and USA, among farmers who have enough space to host a pet goat for themselves or their children. Pygmy goat is among the smallest goat breeds, but don’t let that trick you because they can cost as much as any grown-up dairy goat.
If you’re looking for a registered miniature goat that is also coming from a good breeding line or is purebred, expect to pay at least $500.
Pack goats are pretty common in the narrow mountain terrains, among nomadic communities that use goats for transport of their weight, as well as their belonging. Among those goats are usually the Alpine breeds because of their peaceful temperament as well as how much weight they can carry.
However, getting one that is not a castaway dairy alpine goat can be quite difficult, which is why you should expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500.
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Other Expenses Associated with Goats
Buying a goat is only the first step. There are other costs associated with goats. Make sure to read about them below.
You have to take fencing and shelter into consideration. Usually, people dedicate a portion of their farm and build up the shelter as a barn on their own. However, depending on which materials you use, building or purchasing a portable one can cost you anywhere from $200 to $1,000.
There are many things to be taken into consideration, like the door and strong fences that the goats won’t jump over, as well as protection from rain, snow, winds, and heat.
Goats mostly eat grass or hay. Keep in mind that they are herbivores so their diet will be plant-based. You will have to have a great supply of hay, as it makes up about 90% of all food that the goat will eat. This will cost anywhere from $20 to $50 per month.
There will likely be additional costs on salt licks, barley, pellets, and grains, so make sure to add that to the monthly expenses too.
Depending on what regulations are required in the state you live in, healthcare for goats can cost anywhere from $10 to $50 per month. You will have to fulfill their veterinary needs, especially if you’re growing goats for meat.
Although goats are healthy animals, you will have to regularly treat them for lice and ensure that they’re up to date with their vaccinations.
Editor’s notes: This expense will not always be monthly, but it’s of utmost importance to ensure your goats are healthy and up to date with all the health regulations.
Just like sheep, goats can also be used for wool. However, their hair is straight and much shorter compared to the sheep. However, it’s also easier to take care of it. You will need to visit a groomer for hoof trimming every 8 weeks, which can cost anywhere from free to $40 a month.
Editor’s notes: This is not always a necessary expense, sheep are trimmed and groomed once or twice a year, but for goats, the hair is straight and grows much faster.
Where to Buy Goats?
Buying a goat locally will be more inexpensive compared to buying it online, as shipping expenses, as well as other tiny fees, may make it seem more expensive than it is. But, it’s hard to find a local farmer that will sell you a purebred goat, or find you exactly what you’re looking for.
That’s why buying online seems like a viable option. But, where to buy goats? Some of the most popular websites include sellmylivestock.com, Blue Sky Organic Farm, and Goatzz. If you’re looking to purchase a specific breed, these online platforms can turn out to be the most helpful.