What's a 'vegetarian dog?' That new 'pet' term refers to goats for several reasons? For years, goats have been used by humans to clear lawns and unwanted vegetation. However that's just one of a goat's current distinctions. Of recent date, according to the American Goat Society, Nigerian Dwarf goats are just one breed that have been bred as pets.
If you're considering adopting a goat as a pet, be aware they need an abundance of high quality vegetables in their diet, supplemented with hay and fruits. So, their fenced living space should be separate from landscaped areas and free of any poisonous plants.
However, if you need a section of your weed-laden yard mowed, your new pet loves to eat the toughest of weeds – even brambles or poison oak.
In additional to their mowing skills, there's at least three additional benefits. First, as goats work on their vegetation, they leave fresh fertilizer in their wake, which is excellent for lawns and/or gardens. Secondly, they can scramble over rocks and into ruts to chew weeds, that a lawnmower is unable to access. And third their sharp hooves aerate and churn the soil, making it easier for water and nutrients to penetrate the roots for plants and other vegetation.
Baby Goat Yoga
The current craze of 'goat yoga' has added to this pet phenomenon. It began when folks YouTube'd themselves doing yoga with their barnyard goats. This exercise is also known as 'caprine vinyasa' or 'baby goat yoga.'
A caprine vinyasa session is meant to be a relaxed form of yoga, consisting of various asanas (poses), primarily at beginner level. Adding goats to the mix adds a bit of challenge to the activity, when the goats start climbing on you, while you're trying to maintain a pose. By asserting themselves, baby goats - similar to dogs - will attempt to break your concentration and get you to engage in play, instead.
According to Whole Life Challenge's Miriam Cihodariu thinks this is a good thing. Her theory is based on the fact that "it's pretty hard to take yourself or life too seriously when there are baby goats involved. It's a great way to break from your normal mindset and relieve stress."
One additional benefit of goats is their production of milk. Goat’s milk has been hailed as one of the most complete, natural food sources known to man. It’s full of vital nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, electrolytes and more – all while being more digestible than cow’s milk and lacking the complex proteins that are often associated with allergies.
However, if you're thinking of raising goats as pets for milk production, you need to obtain at least two of them. Nigerian dwarf and Pygmy goats are perfect for this purpose. They are smaller in size which makes them more desirable as pets and their milk production is exceptional.
According to Wide Open Pets, the cost a goat varies depending on the quality. To obtain a pedigree, or those with unique or rare coloring, the selling price can range from $200 to $500. On the lower end, a pet-quality Nigerian Dwarf goat will range between $50 and $100.
Should you be a goat owner, please comment below as to your experience in raising goats.