New here, in research phase for goat farm

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by goatzmcgoatz, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Hi all! I'm researching goat farms, like the title says.
    A little about me. I grew up working on my neighbor's cow dairy farm, and now that I've been working corporate jobs for the past decade, farm life has started to sound appealing. I realized I don't need to live in a city anymore. I want to be my own boss, not be stuck in an office, and build something. My goat farm would sell both meat and dairy.
    Question 1: What states are the cheapest/easiest for goat farms? Each state has different taxes, requirements, and hurdles on starting a farm.
    Question 2: How much of a factor is climate? I've read conflicting reports of goats doing better in dry/arid vs rainy climates.
    Question 3: What was the most important factor in site selection for your farm?
    Thanks for any insights you can give.
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Is the plan to quit your corporate job and do strictly goats?

  3. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    My job is remote and there is talk of staying remote after the pandemic is over, but it's just talk for now. I'm confident I could find a fully remote job if this one wants me to go back to the office. So I would keep some income coming in. But the goal is to eventually, after a number of years, quit my job and be able to live off the farm's small revenue. That's why I'm open to absolutely anywhere in the US.
    MadHouse likes this.
  4. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ohio isn't terribly expensive as far as land. I'm assuming you are talking about meat goats. Probably Boer breeders could give you a better idea for sales. @tothboergoats
    MadHouse likes this.
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Dairy I really can’t give advice.
    Except if you are wanting to sell the milk, it is a lot of hard work.

    Can’t tell you about what states are the cheapest.
    As I don’t live there.
    California is high taxed, but has drier and warmer climate.
    Less wet is easier on goats than a state which is always rainy and wet. Many more issues can arise.

    When buying a place make sure it has not had any sheep or goats on the land, because they may of had CL or other diseases.

    Pasture or good feed area’s are good.
    You don’t want a lot of trees or shrubs, it is not as good nutritional wise.
    You will have to still feed hay and if things are right, you may be able to grow your own hay.
    MadHouse and NigerianNewbie like this.
  6. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks for your response, it looks like the areas of Lima / Findlay / Sandusky have very few goat farms. I'll research it further, thanks.
    MadHouse likes this.
  7. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Thank you for the information! This is just what I'm looking for.
    As far as climate, I originally thought New Mexico and Southern Colorado would be a good area for goat farms since its dry and land isn't terribly expensive, but the native vegetation must not be a good enough source of nutrition. Or its an issue of water rights. For whatever reason, there's very few goat farms (goat ranches?) in that area. I'll continue my research, but yes the high taxes in California and New York are enough reason for me to cross them off my list.
  8. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Reasonably dry climate is better than wet for goats. Parasites love wet and goat hooves were not made to be standing in wetness. Now that's not to say it can't be done in wet climate. I live in western NC and it's a temperate rainforest here, but that does mean I have to do more hoof care and watch parasites a bit more closely.

    Something you might want to consider as well is the market for goats in the area you are looking for. Too many goat owners and you'll have market saturation. Not enough goat owners and there may not be enough of a market.

    I wish you good luck on your goat farm journey. It sure is nice to see people getting out of corporate lifestyle.
    toth boer goats likes this.
  9. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    Location location location.
    with in 50 mile radius you need one million people. Ok not realy but you need a lot of folks. that leaves Montana out. we had a wake when the state population went over one million.

    easy access. on a road that has traffic or is very near an interstate intersection.
    look in to the cost of hay.
    weather short winters 30 inches of rain a year. not too hot
    I like hills more that flat ground, you want rain to run off and leave the ground dry. flat ground the water sets and you have mud.
    look for a state that will let you sell raw milk. in Montana i cant even give raw milk away.
    think sales keep your place clean. if you sell milk even your fields need to look sanitary.

    I have been toying with relocating for years.
    To Maui
    toth boer goats and MellonFriend like this.
  10. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    Also goats are browser rather than an abundance and variety of browse will keep them eating up and not down..whichbhekos with parasite control and abundance also cuts of feed bill.
    Dairy are alot more work it seems than meat. Many states require a grade A to sell milk and soft milk products...some allow sales for hard cheeses without Grade A. But soap and other body products always sale well.
    Meat need to know when to breed to have a kid crop to sell during peek times of year. Decide if you will supply for certain holidays that require young goats and so forth. Got to know the market in your area of choice.
    Definitely a dryer location helps with parasite control. Keep in mind type of predators you will deal with. Type of fencing and shelter you need to protect them. (I would avoid rocky ground for easier fencing lol)
    Sounds like you not afraid of research. Hope some of these answers helps narrow things down and not complicate things further.

    Best wishes
  11. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    Usually folks concentrate on either meat or dairy. Dairy is labor intensive, you must dedicate your life to the milking 2x per day, get your dairy certified, licensed, milking equipment, and a host of other things. Visit a working dairy anywhere to get an idea as to what you need to do. Meat goats are usually a separate breed from dairy with a different body type and concentrate on carcass yield. If you plan to process your meat, that again is another government licensing requirement on it's own.
  12. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks for your response! It sounds like you have to be very steady in checking your herd if you're in a wet climate, but that climate isn't a deal breaker. And thats a good point about the market, I was narrowing down areas based on there not being any competition, but I need to keep in mind that I need a market to exist.
    MellonFriend likes this.
  13. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Thank you! States with raw milk sales from the farm or raw milk from a shop will really narrow down my list - AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, ID, IL, KS, KY, MA, ME, MN, MO, MS, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OR, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, and WI.
    I know Hawaii isn't on the list but maybe you could make up for it in t-shirt sales - a logo of a goat on a surfboard is a definite moneymaker, haha.
  14. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Thank you for your response, these are all great points! Would you recommend someone who is starting their farm to begin by producing meat only, and then if its successful (and the desire for more work is there) to add dairy?
  15. goatzmcgoatz

    goatzmcgoatz New Member

    Jan 22, 2021
    Denver, Colorado
    Good idea, I visited Haystack Mountain Creamery in Colorado a few years ago, and its such a big place, not the small farm I have in mind. I need to find a smaller one and visit soon. As for the meat processing, it's not something I want to do myself, but as a kid working on the dairy farm it did always bother me that the veal I'd been fattening up were loaded onto trucks and sent to the stockyards in a stressful manner. I know that I can butcher an animal without stressing it out and do it humanely. But the government regulations are something else I need to research when I'm looking at state licensing requirements.
  16. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    I would recommend starting out with a small herd and getting your feet wet before jumping into a large scale production operation. Goats are more delicate to raise than can be realized until experiencing first-hand.

    There are specific requirements for lactating, pregnancy, weaning, enclosures, housing, nutrition, pasture rotation, fencing, medical emergencies, deworming protocols, hoof trimming and the list goes on.

    To be successful, learn about their care and requirements first and start small. :2c: