With National Pet Day taking place on April 11, it might be time to consider adopting a new furry (or feathered, or scaly) friend. If you’ve been on the lookout for something a little less common than your run-of-the-mill cat or dog, maybe consider a miniature goat!
Jasmine Boucher of the miniature goat farm, Ferme Coco & Sabot, loves her goats and breeds them for other families and farms to adopt. “We have opted for a free-range breeding of our miniature goats,” she explains. “Our goat companions enter and leave the barn freely during the four seasons, and they reproduce when they want and choose their partners. We offer them a living environment that resembles their natural environment.” At 12 weeks old, the baby goats are weaned and put up for adoption.
Boucher highlights that goats cannot be adopted alone. “It is important to know that goats are prey animals so they must live in a herd to thrive. So, to adopt one, you will need a minimum of two. Goats make excellent pets. They are like little dogs if you take care of them every day.”
They also work really well with other animals, especially horses. “They are also good paddock companions for the horses, since the goats eat what the horses should not, and vice versa.”
While goats make great pets, they’re better suited to be outdoor companions, rather than couch buddies. “They are difficult to train to be housebroken; they will eat your couch and slide all over the floor,” Boucher explains. She adds that this is not a fair way to raise them: “This is not a good living environment for them. They have to live outside on a farm.”
Boucher also points out that there is a stigma that goats have an off-putting smell. “This smell comes from a gland located on the top of the head between the horns. Bucks will rub their horns all over the place to mark their territory and attract females,” explains Boucher. For her, the smell isn’t too bad. “Personally, I compare it to the smell of cooked cauliflower. So, not pleasant, but not too unpleasant either.” It varies in strength, depending on what part of the breeding cycle the goats are in.
Just like any pet you may have; goats have their own personalities, and no two goats are alike. Getting to know your goats is all part of the fun. “All in all, goats make great entertainment and they all have their own particularities and characters. Some are fierce, others affectionate, but they are all adorable,” says Boucher.