Are you ready for the kids? Mini-goat breeders share tips for taking them as pets

Goats are adorable and their antics have made them stars of social media, but are you ready for your own kids?

Carl and Jan Roberts raise miniature goats in Ellendale, in the highlands of central Tasmania.

The popularity of the cute goats on social media has helped spark interest in their farm, they said.

Don’t rush to have kids until you’re ready. Do you have a goat shed for them?(

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

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“Social media has been phenomenal for us. We don’t have to advertise,” Ms. Roberts told Helen Shield on ABC Radio Hobart.

Australian miniature goats were bred to be about half the size of regular goat breeds.

While you can still milk a mini goat, or use its fleece or meat, their main attraction is being a different pet.

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However, Mr Roberts said that regardless of the size of the goat, their needs were the same as those of their larger ancestors.

“They are not pets, they are cattle, so they have different needs [to cats and dogs],” he said.

A single goat is a miserable goat

While a cat or dog can fend for itself, a goat without a herd will be alone and far from happy.

“We only sell them in pairs, at least in pairs, they are herding animals,” Mr. Roberts said.

Not only do goats have to be with other goats to be happy, but they can also live long lives.

“The reality is that they will be with you for 12 to 15 years,” Mr. Roberts said.

A white goat with horns standing next to a brown goat without horns
A solo goat is a sad goat. They need other goat buddies to be truly happy.(

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

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“[They also] need a variety of pastures and a variety of food.

“Even though they are miniatures, they are very small, you cannot put [them] in a quarter of an acre and leave them there. “

Play time for goats a must

You should also be prepared to spend time with your goats each day; it is not an animal to be regulated and forgotten.

Studies have shown that goats have the same bonding ability with humans as dogs, and their intelligence is also roughly the same as their canine counterparts.

This means that they can get bored and become destructive if they are not mentally stimulated.

A man and a woman sitting and holding young goats
Carl and Jan Roberts have a custom built “Goat Palace” at the Willow Creek Farm.(

ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus

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Mr Roberts said goats behaving badly was usually a sign they weren’t interacting with enough.

Mr Roberts said he and his wife spent a lot of time with potential clients and would refuse to sell children if they felt people were unprepared for the responsibility.

“We spend a lot of time educating new owners [about] the needs of the goat, ”he said.

“At the end of the day, they’re our family, they’re Jan’s children.”


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