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June 3, 2009

GOATS IN THE CITY

Posted by Anais Dervaes

It's been three years since we brought Lady Fairlight and Blackberry home with us on the bus  (read New Kids on the Block).  Yeah, you read right - baby goats on a bus!

They've certainly earned their stay here on the urban homestead offering us countless hours of entertainment, loyal companionship and are the best composting systems (along with their poultry and wriggler counterparts)  Actually animals are a vital part and element when it comes to homesteading in the city and we've certianly learned a lot since we started keeping citified farm animals back in 2002 when we first got a batch of baby chicks.

However, I know seeing our cutie pies may tempt you to go out and get your own.  But wait!  Before jumping into small stockholding you need to do a lot of research.  In fact before we purchased our goats Jordanne spent about 6 months reading about housing, caring and raising goats.  Taking on such animals is a serious undertaking and you'll need to weigh ALL the factors that come with raising animals especially when it comes down to sick animals.  Living in the city you may be the only person able to treat your animals.

One thing that I find most people don't quite understand - if you want milk from the goats you'll need to bred them and that means you have to deal with heat issues, mating,  pregnancy and finding really, really good homes for the baby kids (that is if you don't have the room)   It's funny how many people don't realize that about milk production and when you tell them, they get this strange sorta look on their face as if they've finally realized that the milk they get in the store has consequences.

Over the years we've touched on raising goats here at LHITC and you can browse thru the posts so I won't repeat what's already been writ!

Raising Animals in the City

Goat FAQ

Here's some goat photos snapped this week. Enjoy.

Lady Fairlight likes to sit on laps.  Here she is trying to sit on Jordanne's one morning.

When we let the goats out Lady Fairlight likes to park herself at the backdoor - like some sort of guard goat.  Actually goats are pretty darn smart and I think she know that if we walk over her enough we'll end up letting her in to her favorite place here on the urban homestead - the kitchen!

Blackberry with her head in the feed bag

Goats out for their weekly walk

On the ride home Lady Fairlight checks to see if we are home yet.


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13 Comments: "GOATS IN THE CITY" »

  1. How big is your animal enclosure? How much room is required per goat? Thank you very much for a wonderful website.

  2. They are wonderful!

    I wish we could have goats in the city we live in.. we can't even have chickens but people are trying to change that.

  3. Thank you for all your hard work and time in just taking and posting all your pictures! I am sure you don't hear it enough, but your work is really important! You all are doing such great things and sharing what you do is a vital part of that! And you do it well I might add!! Keep it up!!! Thanks to you! ;)

  4. My Portuguese grandfather used to call goats Portuguese police dogs...but I don't think he meant it as a compliment!

    They are so adorable!

  5. What a marvelous website. I will visit again soon. I love what I saw.

  6. I loved looking at their baby pictures (when they came home on the bus). Sweet. And I appreciate your caution that adopting any animals requires good research and preparation.

  7. I'm so glad you post these type of post. I hate to see good animal end up in horrible homes, or worst abandon some place. That is how I got 1/2 my chickens, people either dropping them off at my house or I found them at parks after they where "set free"

    It always amazes me how many people don't know the whole "where milk comes from" thing. I guess when we are little we are taught, milk comes from cows, end of story. They never really say the mama cow has to have a baby, and the baby becomes your Veil....Sorry I'm rambling.

    Keep up the good posts and I love the cute pictures!

  8. I live in Portland oregon on an half an acre and we just got two lamancha goats. We milk them twice a day. Keeping goats in the city is huge. You have to worry about noise, smell,flys , breeding, cleaning the barn however the milk is just divine. We are saving 550 dollars a month on food bills b/c of milk, eggs, lettuce , other veggies and duck eggs. Lamancha are lovely urban goats their calm, mellow, and very dairy. Love your site and can't wait to recieve my natural goat book. Take care, Julie

  9. Don't tell the ladies this, but they appear to be becoming portly!

    Nancy

  10. I am petitioning the city of Long Beach, California to relax the city’s chicken laws and goat laws to make it easier for people to raise city chickens and city goats in Long Beach, with fewer restrictions than are currently imposed. If a neighbor can have one or more large dogs in their back yard, without a setback restriction from the fence [note that some dogs are enormous (like Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, Great Danes) and others can be mean (Pitbulls)], then why can’t I have the same number of goats as dog owners can have dogs (goats are friendly, quiet, clean, and harbor fewer pathogens of concern to people than do dogs and cats) and why must my goats be 100 feet from the neighbors if their dogs can be right up against the fence and their cats can visit my yard whenever they like? Plus goats are useful animals, providing milk, fertilizer, and more! Please visit the LONG BEACH GROWS website (www.longbeachgrows.org) , and also the Goat Justice League (founded by Jennie Grant in the above article), to learn more about the benefits of raising goats in the city, as part of a healthy, sustainable, animal-friendly and eco-friendly lifestyle.

    • Just today I head into court in support of keeping our goat Momo (think "mow, mow") in Honolulu. While there is only one complainant, we've got almost 50 supporters & volunteer lawyer(s) for our friendly, multi-functional, four legger~ companion, composter, mower & gaurd goat. At the very least, she's helped mow down some of our 10 foot grass. .. "YES!" to changing laws to permit these four leggers to be 'legal' town dwellers too! Look at progressive Portland, Oregon's laws~ they even host goat care classes!

  11. i want to use goats for control of vegetation in retention areas, etc. and am getting some "pushback" from my city zoning department. Any ideas or suggested ammunition appreciated!! Thanks, Jeff

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