How to Buy a Goat

Mercer Meadows Farm, Oklahoma

Buying livestock can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, so here are some instructions and tips.

In a nutshell, the process is:

1. Find some goats you might be interested in on our Baby Goats for Sale page

After you’ve read Goat Ownership FAQs and checked out our Baby Goats for Sale page, you might have a goat or two in mind.

You’ll notice that they’re identified by numbers like “L04” or “M12” instead of names.

That’s because you, the new owner, get to name the goats. So us breeders identify them by a Letter then a Number. The Letter indicates the year–L stands for 2019, M stands for 2020, and so on. Then the number is (roughly) the order they were born that year. “M03” will be the third goat born on our farm in 2020.

2. Email us through the Contact page.

The best thing to do then is to email us at [email protected] and see if the ones you’re looking at are still available.

Also, I’ll be honest–we are far more interested in sending our babies off to good homes than to just getting top dollar for them, so PLEASE include a few sentences about why you’re buying them and in general where they’re going to live. I really don’t want to sell our guys to someone who’s going to stick them in a little pen in a back yard and never let them out. Breaks my heart when that happens.

3. The babies spend the first 3-4 months of their life here nursing on their mom,

We sell WEANED goats, which means they’re pretty much finished up with nursing. That is a MINIMUM of 3 MONTHS after their birth, and sometimes they’re still nursing and getting a lot of nutrition at 4 months, so again, email me, and I’ll let you know where in the process your little one is. I post their Available Date in their descriptions as 3 months to the day after birth, but sometimes I check them, and they’re still very much nursing babies so I ask the prospective buyer if they could wait a few more weeks.

You CAN buy a bottle baby–an unweaned little baby goat IF you want to bottle feed them. BUT make sure you’re up to the task–a baby goat, like a baby human, needs frequent feedings (like every few hours all day and night) and it’s not a task for the fainthearted or for people who like to sleep. If you want a bottle baby, email me, and we can figure out if it’ll work. (It also sometimes means that I then have to milk the suddenly baby-less mother, which sometimes works for me, and other times doesn’t.)

(In my experience bottle-fed baby goats do much less well than mom-fed babies… I don’t think goat science has put as much work in developing Powdered Goat Formula as they have on human baby formula, so I think the babies get a significantly less amount of nutrition.)

4. I’ll vet, de-horn and vaccinate.

So okay, you’ve selected a goat, figured out a suitable Weaned Available date. While you’ve been doing that, I have been Vaccinating all the babies at about 7-10 days old, so they have their first year’s vaccination taken care of. (Check out Goat Health to learn about when you might want to get them re-vaccinated.)

Also, at that same vet visit, I have them disbudded. The vet uses gas to knock them out so they won’t feel it, then de-horns their little nubbins of horns with a hot iron tool. The goats wake up later and never felt a thing.

That way your goats won’t have horns. Horns on goats are never necessary and can cause a lot of problems. (Mostly by getting your goats’ heads stuck in fences.)

5. At 3-4 months they’re weaned, finished nursing, and almost ready to go to your place.

So, by the time you get your goat, it’s been Weaned (probably), Vaccinated, and Disbudded.

6. I (or you) castrate any males that you want as neutered wethers,

Just one thing left. If you want a wether, a neutered male, then we have to get them castrated. My vet recommends that we don’t do that until about the 3-4 month weaning date, as she feels that the young goat benefits from having it’s normal hormone flow for the first few months of its life, so it will begin to develop normally. At the 3-4 month mark, it’s back to the vet for more knock-out gas and surgical castration.

If you’re getting a girl or an un-neutered buck, then that step is skipped of course.

7. I deliver them to you, or you come to pick them up, or we meet in the middle,

8. I give you their Registration Paperwork

AND if they are breeding females or breeding bucks, I’ll give you the Transfer Paperwork so that you can name and register your new goat so that their offspring will be Registered Nigerian Dwarf goats as well. (You don’t need to register a wether since they will never produce offspring.)