Why Choose a Goat instead of a Cow?
I like cows, so this is not an anti-cow post in any way, just a listing of why I choose to raise goats instead of raising cows.
I keep goats for many reasons. I think they are THE perfect small farm all-purpose animal. They can provide milk and meat and even keep your property clear of brush and over growth.
They are much easier to handle then cows. Goats can be “man-handled” by me, a 40-something female, my teenage daughters as well as my 12 year old son. Cows may not be as accommodating! ~smile~
They have done a fantastic job of clearing brush and overgrown blackberries from our property. When we moved to our farm we had lots of blackberries everywhere. Now for some folks in some areas this may be looked at as a good thing, but in my part of the world (western Washington state), they could be considered a noxious weed! The goats however love them, and this is how I keep the blackberries from taking over my property!
They are not nearly has hard on the land as cows. I can have several goats in one area and you would not really know it by looking at the ground. They don’t do the damage to the ground that bigger animals do.
In comparison they are inexpensive to feed. I have read it is 5 goats that equal 1 cow in feed. I think it may be higher than that, but I am not sure.
Their milk tastes great if you know how to feed them. If fed properly you can't tell the difference in taste between goat and cow milk. Some may argue with this point, but that has been my experience from tasting both.
Goats produce a nice reasonable amount of milk for a family. Cows can give a lot of milk in a day. And it is possible to find uses for all that milk. But if you are just interested in simply providing milk for your family, a goat will give a half gallon to a gallon a day. That is much more manageable for many people.
They are trainable, and have great personalities. Goats are said to be seven times smarter than a dog and I believe it! They have fantastic personalities and I dare anyone not to succumb to their ways! ~smile~
They are darn cute!!! Especially the kids! Oh my there is nothing sweeter than a little goat kid!
They are much less expensive to purchase. In my area I can purchase dairy goats for under $100. That is not a bad deal! I bought one last year that was a purebred Nubian in milk for $75.
I can haul goats around in the back of my little Mazda pickup with a canopy, something that would never happen with a cow!
I can keep bucks to make breeding season simpler. I guess I am personally rather intimidated by a big ol’ bull. My neighbors had one and I was happy that I was not the one dealing with him! I have two bucks and yes the can be smelly during breeding season, but at times, like right now, they are not that bad.
You don't have to keep bucks at all, if you know someone locally who has one it is easy to load your doe(s) up in the back of the pickup (or the back of your mini-van as a friend of mine did for quite some time!) and take them to the buck when they go into heat. I have done this.
I like the ease of having my bucks on site, plus I make a little extra money during breeding season buy letting others use my bucks for service.
I can also use them for meat. Something I will be doing for the first time this year. I am excited about being able to raise our own meat for my family.
All of the above reasons are what make my little herd of goats very worthwhile for our family and why we have chose to raise goats instead of cows.
On The Homestead
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