WHAT YOU NEED
Miniature Goat Buying Guide
So you have decided to buy some miniature goats! Here are our top tips and all things to consider so you can make an informed purchase. Also, check out our past blogs for more helpful information about owning miniature goats. There is a wealth of information available about the various miniature goat breeds (including right here!), and keeping goats in general. We recommend you do your research, and make key decisions about which breed, gender, age, and purpose of the goats you are looking for before you start contacting breeders. And of course, what you will need to prepare at your place before you bring your goats home.
Ensure you are buying registered miniature goats! Buying registered goats from a current MGBA breeder means that you have peace of mind that you are getting what you pay for. When looking at Australian Miniatures or Nuwby goats, familiarise yourself with the grading system, be sure to check the current height for the goats you are considering, and their parents grades. Pygmy or Dwarf goats for breeding or showing will need DNA parental verification. Find out more about that below. Understand your own obligations in terms of owning goats on your property too. Once you are ready, visit our Miniature Goats For Sale page to find out what is available in your area.
The 5-W’s approach will get you started to purchase your very own miniature goats – WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY. Plus, we have added a HOW MUCH.
One of the first decisions to make is why you are interested in buying miniature goats. Of course, they are super cute, adorable, wonderful little creatures – that is a given! But deciding why will give you a direction and help you with finding the right breeder and animals to meet you needs.
Click below to discover more about buying for your area of interest.
Where will you keep your goats? Do you have sufficient space, is it secure? How about a permanent shelter? Are you able to lock up babies at night when required? Reducing risks from predators and possible toxic plants. Access to food and fresh water, do you have a PIC number? These are all questions to answer before you purchase your goats.
A pair of baby goats will not need much space to start with, they should not be tethered or kept in cages for long periods of time. Enough space to run around and play. How many adults per acre will depend, and animals that are hand fed every day with hay, grains as well as some tree branches for example will require less space. Small backyards in built up areas are not recommended for two goats long term. Bottle babies can be quite noisy when weaning or just happy to see you.
Many different fence types are suitable – normal farm fencing with sheep mesh/dog mesh/chain wire/chicken wire all work. Solid regular wood or metal fencing also work well. Babies may be able to get through the fence for a few months depending on their size so you may need a temporary solution for that. Adult miniature goats are not likely to go over say 1.2 metre fence, however, they will go under if there are any holes or gaps around the gate so you need to check your boundary regularly. Secure fencing will protect your goats from toxic plants and other hazards outside your designated area.
Goats need a permanent shelter from the hot sun, rain and wind. Baby goats can use a large dog kennel, and adults need a draft-free, roomy shelter. When breeding you will need to consider safe and warm areas for kidding. Stables, sheds of all types, calf hutches, old cubby houses and water tanks can all be suitable for miniature goats.
Where you will feed them is also important. Your goats will need access to clean drinking water at all times and any feeding stations should be elevated off the ground. Mini Goats will eat grass, weeds, branches along with hard food that you give them. Ask your breeder for all the short and long-term feeding requirements for your animals. Goats also require minerals to be healthy and you can purchase a goat mineral block from your local farm shop from around $8. They should have access to this every day.
Every property in Australia must have a PIC (Property Identification Code) Number in order to own livestock. They are easy to obtain, and your property may already have a number that you can transfer over.
When will you be ready to pick up your goats? Timing to have their paddock or area ready. Are you going on any extended trips or holidays? Planning a good time to pick up babies when you will be home for a few days to settle them in to their new home and possibly routine.
If you are buying breeding stock or pregnant does when will they kid – is that suitable time wise and climate wise for kidding at your place. When should you join your does. When do they need vaccination and checking for worm burden. Another when to consider is when breeding animals are old enough to breed, and when they last kidded. If you have purchased doe kids you will need to keep them separate from any intact males until they are breeding age. We have more information about breeding ages on the breed pages. Breeding does need to have a reasonable break between kidding so check when they had their last kids.
When were they last drenched or vaccinated, or when should they be? Ask you breeder what drenches and vaccinations are suitable and work well in your area. They will be able to show you some ways you can check your goats for worms, or you can take a sample to your local vet for a worm count – usually very affordable, and your vet will recommend a suitable drench.
Waiting for your PIC number can sometimes delay pick up, so get that started once you have decided to get some goats.
What breed is right for you? Which breed appeals the most. What is the purpose of the animal – are you looking for a dairy or mini-milker type, if so that will influence what breed you will choose. It may not be a huge factor if you are looking for family pets, size and colour may be more important to you, than specific breed type. Price may also be a factor as animals carrying the new imported genetics may be more expensive than the original Aussie breeds. Our current breeder listing will show you which breeds each stud has so you can narrow down your search once you have decided on what breed/s you like.
Who will you buy your goats from? Well of course we recommend buying MGBA registered goats from our current breeders and members. Consider the location of the breeders in conjunction with what breed and purpose. Sometimes you may have a travel a little further for specific animals – particularly breeding and show goats. There are reasonably priced, reliable road and air options to transport goats. Factor this into your budget.
If you have never owned goats before it will be beneficial to pick up the goats yourself, this way you can learn all about their food, health and general husbandry in person from the breeder. A great chance to ask any questions and understand anything you are unsure about.
Check out the breeders own facebook or website pages to find out how and what they sell. Not everyone offers bottle babies for example, some breeders focus on one breed, others have several. You will be able to see other helpful info like how long they have been breeding, their show results, whether or not they test for Johnes and CAE, etc.
How much should you expect to pay?
Many factors determine price – gender, age, breed type, grade or % imported genetics, size, udder, availability to name a few and this also varies by breed.
Wethers will generally fall between $250 and $500 for disbudded, MGBA registered miniature bred animals. You can also potentially buy doe kids or older does that are ‘pet quality’ around this pricing. The breeder will identify that they are not suitable for breeding, sometimes due to fault, or possibly some past birthing issues.
Here is where the price will vary significantly between the breed, and then the grade/potential grade for Aussies/Nuwby and the % genetics for Pygmy/Nigerian Dwarf. Other factors here will include potential show goats, or those carrying a permanent title, and other specific qualities you may be seeking. Check out our price guides for each breed on the main breed page – this will give you an idea of what to expect. You can also see prices across our for sale page for the breed/s you are interested in.
So now you have some more information to help you decide which minis will be right for you, and what to find out before you commit.
The next step is to purchase your first goats, and our checklist will help you along each step of the way.