Ever seen a cute baby goat and thought, "I want one!"? Are you sure exactly what is involved in owning a goat? It turns out goats are actually quite easy to take care of. They just need an area to run in, a covered shelter, food and water. However, there is a little more to it than that.

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    Food and Care

    In addition to de-worming and annual vaccinations (same with a dog or cat), they need a diet consisting of mostly hay with loose minerals (or a mineral block) and grain added in occasionally.

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    Poisonous Plants

    Goats will also eat just about anything, but there are certain plants such as Rhododendron, Yew, and Milkweed, that are poisonous to goats. You'll want to make sure your yard is free of poisonous plants, and also that there's nothing the goat can injure itself on.

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    Hoof Trimming

    Depending on where you are keeping your goat, she may also need her hooves trimmed. Hoof trimmers are relatively easy to find, but the trimming can be difficult, and you will need to work with her so she is comfortable with it. It may be helpful to watch a few how-to videos or have someone show you before you try it yourself.

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    Know Your Breeds

    When it comes time to pick out what breed of goat you want, that depends on what you are going to use your goat for, and what size of goat you want.

    Smaller goats, like the Nigerian Dwarf or the Mini Oberhasli, are great for a smaller yard. However, if you're looking for a full-size goat and have a bigger yard, an Alpine or a Nubian may be better. Each breed has a different temperament, and the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Oberhasli are great pets. The Alpine and the Nubian can be good pets; Nubians tend to be a little shy and often require a little more handling than other breeds. They are all great for milk, if you are looking for a good quality goat milk.

    A few other breeds include the LaMancha, the Saanan, the Boer, the Toggenburg, and of course there are many more great breeds. Whether you're looking for an addition to your farm or just a pet to keep in your backyard, goats are a great animal to have!

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