Think you need to live on 200 acres out in the country to enjoy the benefits of homesteading?
If you do your research, follow the ordinances of your location and take adequate precautions before bringing your first livestock home you will not only start out right with your goats but you will start out right with your neighbors too.
Goat Guide Checklist - What you need to do before you bring your "kids" home.
Have adequate shelter from the weather.
If you live in a four-season area you will want a good sturdy building to house your goats in during heavy rain or snow. Luckily goats don't require anything too elaborate. In most cases, a shed or other sturdy outbuilding will work well as a makeshift barn.
If, however, you live in a warmer climate then a lean-to will work great as well. Know the direction of the winds in your area and face your lean-to away from the wind. This will help to keep your goats a bit more sheltered from any storms.
As long as your goats are warm and dry they will do just fine.
Have good solid fencing in place.
This might be the most important step from your neighbor's viewpoint and for good reason. Goats love to eat things that grow. This includes hay, grass, trees, and yes flowers too. Be sure you select the right fencing so your goats stay put and out of trouble.
Your goal when picking out your goat fence is to select an option that will keep your goats in and predators out. My favorite fencing choice is electric netting. We have used this type of fence for 8 years now with great success. It is easy to install, works great at containing our goats, and keeps other animals out and away from the herd.
Keep the number small.
If you are brand new to goats I suggest you keep the number on the small side until you find your footing. Goats are herd animals so you will need to have at least 2 to start out. And to be honest 2 might just be more than enough especially if your family is small.
A dairy goat, for example, can produce up to 2 gallons a day of milk depending on the breed. Again, you will want to do your research before buying so you know just exactly what you are getting and why.
Train your goats to behave.
This always surprises people when I suggest it, but goats are amazingly intelligent animals and if given a chance will do just about anything you ask for a handful of food.
Use this to your advantage and teach your goats to come when called. To do this call your goats every time you feed them so they learn to associate the call with food. As they understand the word's relationship to eating, they will come running every time you call.
The benefits of a trained goat is the ability to call them back quickly if they ever do get out of their fenced-in area.
Give a heads up.
When we first decided to get goats we took a walk and let our neighbors know what our plans were. This really helped to alleviate their concerns since they saw right off that we wanted to do things right. By letting folks know what you have in mind you might be surprised at how accepting they will be to your new venture.
With just a little prep work you really can enjoy all the wonderful benefits of having goats and still keep the peace with your closest neighbors.