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I live in a town in Arizona and was wondering if it was appropriate if we were to have a packgoat in our community? This would be a typical suburban neighborhood with a home on a 1/4 acre lot, with a back yard about 60' wide by 40' deep. All my neighbors have similar lots backing up to ours, which are sourounded by a 5' block wall.

Would you see any problems having one on this size of a backyard? Would the neighbors have any potential issues with one? Such as smell and are they noisy in the night time? Any thoughts and opinions would be helpful.
 

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Hello,

I write from Germany so I can't give you 100% fail-proof information but from what I read in other posts you should first check with the local authorities if keeping stock - goats are considered stock - is allowed in your area.

Next: goats are herd animals so you should keep at least two of them. And then you need not only a yard, but a place for a barn/shelter, a secure fence (goats are fantastic jumpers and dogs are a real danger for goats), a place that will stay dry in rain, snow and mudd (maybe not so much an issue for you) and a barn/shed where you can keep the feed for the goats as your yard will not provide enough food for them for the whole year.

You also need to think about what will happen with the droppings, the wasted hay, the bedding - this will amount to a large pile over the months.

you will also have to think about issues with worm overload (intestinal parasites).
 

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Maybe you could keep your goat close to home, but at a stable or other boarding facility?

I live less than 5 min by car or within walking distance of my horses and goat, and they are boarded at a small farm in the "industrial" part of town. There are several pockets of land in our city that are more-or-less rural, or undeveloped and there are small farms on them.

My ranch landlord is mostly into holding rodeos and boarding for people who don't have "fancy" turnouts. It's a wonderful place that is more working farm than stable. We found it by stopping and talking with people after we saw the longhorns grazing off in the trees behind houses. He doesn't advertize because word of mouth keeps his land full.

Board here for horses is generally cheap if you want to do your own care (and to me, that is the most satisfying part of having a horse). Ask around. It's not as convenient as having them "at home", but you'd hate to be at odds with the city or the neighbors after-the-fact. Board for goats should be a lot cheaper.

My goat is a hand raised pet who ended up at the sale barn. There is also a little boer here who is wearing a kitten collar. The girls say she was a pet that kids from school couldn't keep because of zoning. She's ending up as a pet here, too, but she's a lucky little goat.
 

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Very good advice from Sabine and the others. I will add a couple of things. Where are you going to take your 2+ packgoats for hikes and campouts? Having recently moved from the mountains near Albuquerque I have some experiences that will be similar to yours, except that we had much more room around the house than you do. In order for your goats to be healty and good companions and minimal trouble you will need to take them out at least for day hikes once a week or more. They really need this to maintain their physical and mental health. Do you have the time for this? Where we lived there was a lot of National Forest land and the goats really liked it. But on the more popular trails there were lots of people and their dogs. This became a big problem because dogs and goats have an ancient prey-predator relationship that can only be barely controlled. I found that I had to avoid these trails on weekends to avoid all the dogs. So I just bushwhacked off the trails and most of these problems disappeared. Goats love rough desert canyons and hills so you may be in a good place, especially if you are close to BLM or National Forest land where you can hike off trail. Another thing is your goats will need some shade from the hot sun and shelter from the cold wind. A good roof on your shed and walls on the north, east and west sides would be needed. 2 goats would be very comfortable in a 10 x 10 shed with a 20 x 20 pen outside that. While you are at it, add a nother 10 x 20 area to the shed, that's separate from the goat room, for hay storage. A good shade tree close by (that is safe from the goats) especially on the west would be big help. Roll a big wooden cable spool into the pen and lay it over on its side. The boys will love to jump around on it. And what are you going to haul the goats in to and from your hikes? Do you have a pickup truck or a van or a trailer that can be made to safely contain them? I have seen a couple of goats hauled around in the back of a Subaru, but I wouldn't recommend it. Oh, and last but certainly not least is goat noise. Some goats make a lot of racket. That would be a real bummer in a close neighborhood. Fortunately my goats are very quiet, except when they are hungry or there is something weird going on nearby. In both cases, my attention is needed anyway, so it's not a problem. But some goats just like to make noise. I think (but may be wrong) that Nubians are the worst about this.
 

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I live in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley, and though technically goats are not allowed, the code enforcement people don't bother me. The neighbors love the goats, they are less annoying than the rooster (that's another story) and they keep my weeds down, which were more annoying to the code guys.

So if you ask them ahead of time, they may say something like, "as long as their are no health code violations or complaints..."
 
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