Category: Goats

The Five Freedoms for Goats

Goats EatingBack in 1965, when most livestock in the UK were farmed intensively – barns filled with thousands of pigs, so they were unable to move, or stacked high with cages of chickens forced to stand up their whole lives and lay multiple eggs a day – a guy called Roger Brambell led an investigation into the welfare of such animals. The result of this investigation was the Five Freedoms listed below. Let’s face it, a child with a pet rabbit could come up with this list with hardly any prompting, but it took an official ‘investigation’ to make any real … Read More

Housing Goats on a Microholding

My First Goat Shed

My First Goat Shed

The principle for housing goats on a microholding is that same as that for pigs: they don’t need much space, but they do need entertainment. And when I say ‘entertainment’, I’m referring to company, playthings and general stimulation, rather than plasma TVs or board games. Or clowns. I hate clowns almost as much as spiders!

Company is the most important stimulation of all, which is why you should never buy a single goat, unless it’s going to be put with similar creatures (cows, sheep, that sort of thing) or kept in your house. With you. Both … Read More

Golden Guernsey Goats – Made for Microholding

I feel I should start with a confession: my experience of other breeds is limited. Although I helped to look after an Anglo-Nubian and a British Alpine goat at prep school (Floppy and Clemmie, as I recall), my relationship with them was somewhat distant – mostly due to Floppy being a psycho who butted boys into the pond – so I can’t really comment on them as potential breeds for the microholding.

That said, before getting the Golden Guernseys, I did a fair bit of research into four popular goat breeds and I came up with the following stats:

british-toggenburg-01British

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The Legal Requirements For Goat-Keeping

Waiting for me to get out of their house!

Waiting for me to get out of their house!

£8,000,000,000. That’s how much the UK Foot & Mouth outbreak of 2001 cost. Eight billion pounds! Since then the regulations on keeping livestock like pigs, sheep, cows and goats have been tightened up and carry hefty fines if broken. It’s all pretty straightforward though, especially if you only have a handful of animals.

To keep up to date, it’s worth checking the DEFRA website.

As of today (10th July 2014 – ten days before my 38th birthday, in case you’re interested), these are the regs:

  1. Get a holding number. Known
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Why Keep Goats?

Emma & Piper - Goat in the Garden

Emma & Piper – Goats in the Garden

Why not keep goats?

In truth, I didn’t actually want to get a goat at first. There seemed to be so many reason not to that I never really considered it an option. Goats smell like… goats. Their milk also smells like goats. And goat cheese has the same goaty taste – a taste that lingers indefinitely. Goat meat probably tastes like goat. They have weird eyes with letterbox pupils, something they only share with octopi (which are proper creepy) – it makes them look evil. They eat everything, especially all the … Read More

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