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Prospective goat owner here...I used to raise goats when I was younger and now I'm considering getting pack goats. My question is a basic one - according to NAPgA, a goat needs 100 square feet of space. To me that seems pretty small, however, that's just about what I can provide on my lot. Is 100 sq. ft. really sufficient?

I'd like to own three pack goats and I can realistically only provide them with about 300 sq. ft. of space total, plus a shelter. There's nothing I hate more than seeing animals crammed into tight quarters, so if I can't provide goats with sufficient space then I won't get them. So I'd sure appreciate any feedback to help me make a responsible decision here. Thanks.
 

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I have an area about 300 sq. ft. that ajoins a "larger" 1,000 sq. ft. pen and have four goats. Sometimes I enclose two of the boys in the smaller pen so they can eat in peace without the big boys bossing them around. It is hard to imagine 3 goats in that small of an area long term. Even the 1,300 sq. ft. area with four goats seems small to me at times. The only way it works for me is to get them out for a hike every day even through the rainy winter. Then they are happy to go back to their pen and relax the rest of the day. They go bonkers if a hiking day is missed. Another factor might be how well the goats get along. The goat lowest in herd order sometimes needs room to get out of the way of those more dominant.
 

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I agree. Our lowest goat is being seriously bullied by the other two. In an open area that is basically 16x32 (cattle panels) with another 8x16 (L shaped setup) in front of the shelter and loafing area, he has no escape. He "escaped" the pen the other day, presumably from getting launched by one of his brothers. If he could jump it, I believe he would all the time to escape, so he must have had a leg between horns and decided to push off and hope for the best. When our crazy weather clears up it will get enlarged, but in the mean time, just a couple of days without a hike or at least a pasture walk and they are all fired up. I worry every day I am going to come home to a broken leg or worse. I think you will find such a small area difficult to keep clean, and if they aren't out every day, they will go nuts. I give them pine every morning in hopes of providing some boredom relief to reduce fighting, but they aren't like dogs that can play with toys in the house for a few days if they don't get walked. IceDog is right on about toys, but in a pen that small, any toys big enough for 200+lb wethers will take up valuable space and provide launch pads for escape.
 

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What about only getting two goats? Just because you want three doesn't mean you need three. ;)

Also, would it be possible to tether them out in a larger area for part of the day? I tethered our goat out for years without a problem. We just made sure not to tether him in an unfenced area when we were away from the house, and he was always tied in a place where we could watch him from the windows. We also made sure to walk Cuzco every day to keep him from getting bored and lazy. Daily walking has the added perk of keeping the hooves trimmed.
 

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We keep our goats in a normal backyard pen, and it can work, but the less space they have, the more stress you have. Like others said, if they are fighters, the little guy will end up in a corner getting beat up. If you get noisy goats, they'll drive you and the whole neighborhood crazy (our Oberhaslis rarely make a peep). You will also need plans for sanitation (where are you going to put the mountains of used bedding straw?), food storage, mud/dust control, and transportation or walking access to hiking areas. Potential 'issues' like mud, dust, odor, noise, fighting, all get compounded by smaller spaces and close neighbors.

This may not be a popular recommendation, but depending on other aspects of your situation, you might consider getting a wether and a doe. Our wether and doe get along like they're brother and sister--no fighting-just playing. Does can pack (although they tend to be smaller than wethers and will carry less as a result) and don't need to be bred. If you do breed them, you and yours get the experience of kidding, and the milk is the best if you feed them well. Just another option.

Getting backyard goats was a great decision for us. It's taken a while to work issues out, but it's been a lot of fun.

*Edit: I should mention that our backyard pen is approximately 30' x 60' but I think it's bigger than it needs to be for 2-3 goats. They have a small rock pile, a large picnic table, and a dog/kid house to climb on, and the chicken coup was built as a goat mountain but they never climb on it.
 

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I believe if you have multiple goats in a tighter space having something to climb on can also act as a object to aid in an escape from the more dominant goat.

Here is Hines climbing on the tires we haven't put in the goat pen yet.

[attachment=0:awq52f2v]DSC09108 Hines tires 6-3-11 PSEC8-500x400.jpg[/attachment:awq52f2v]
 

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