Male Goats As Pets
Male goats make excellent pets if you neuter them. A neutered male (a wether) is very tame and affectionate. Many people think that female goats (does) make the best pets. But females will still go in and out of heat even if there is no male to breed with.
A wether is normally very calm in nature as long as they are neutered at an early age. When a baby boy is born on our farm we try and decide if they are a breeder or a pet. Many times it is very obvious which one a baby is but sometimes I will let a buyer decide which they want.
There is the myth that male goats smell. This in only true with a breeding male who is around females at breeding season. A wether does not have that smell at all.
Pet BoysClick thumbnail to view full-size
These are some of the boys we have had over the years as pets. Ziggy went to live with relatives to be a boys pet along with Jagger.
Emmett was my son's pet. Bucky came to us as an adult when we rescued him and his mother.
Cute BoysClick thumbnail to view full-size
Why Neutering Males Are A Good Idea
Only a select few males should be used for breeding. You need to be picky when it comes to which males you want to breed. You want the best of the best. Our main breeding buck is Rambo. He is a registered Nigerian Dwarf. He has always been one of the healthiest goats I have ever had. He produces excellent babies. But not all males are breeders.
The main reason to neuter a male is if you want a pet. Neutered males are generally calm, sweet animals. And they do not have the famous "smell". Goats are becoming very popular as pets but unless you are prepared to deal with pregnant does and assisting in birthing if necessary and all the unexpected things that happen with pregnant does and newborn kids, do not put does and intact males together.
The second most common reason for keeping a neutered male is as companion goat. Many breeders only keep one breeding buck. But goats are herd animals and keeping a buck by himself except at breeding time is cruel. Goats do not do well by themselves. So many people keep one or two wethers with their buck to keep them company. The buck does not see them as competition since they do not have the male smell so they usually get along quite well.
Our Breeding Males
We currently have one breeding buck and two young bucks that will breed for the first time in November/December. We used one buck (Rambo) for a few years and he has produced awesome babies. But we have decided to bring in a few more males for several different reasons.
Tallahassee is a first generation Mini Lamancha. I had not planned on buying him, I had gone to family farm to buy his twin sister and half sister. His half sister is a first generation Mini Nubian. Nubian goats have those big floppy ears that many people love. My daughter is very fond of those big ears so I decided to go and buy this doe. All three were bottle babies and the owners gave me a great deal if I bought all three so they could stay together. So I brought home a new male I had not planned on.
Inky was born on our farm this past spring. His parents are related to 2 of our original goats so I decided to keep him for breeding to keep our original lines going.
The BoysClick thumbnail to view full-size
Keeping Breeding Bucks
Some people find it difficult to keep breeding bucks on their property. I know several people who no longer keep intact males on their property and send their girls out to breed. Keeping bucks can be a challenge and I had several that I could not keep.
They all have different temperments and I have been very lucky with my main buck Rambo. He is very gentle and I only keep him separated from the girls June through November. Once the breeding is done I leave him in with the herd and he is there for the birth of the babies. He is a great buck. He is excellent with the babies and very protective of the herd. When I put a young male in with him he is quick to let him know who is boss but never to aggressively. He is good at training our young bucks on how to behave. They learn very well from him.
I had one buck that my daughter played with when he was a baby. But when he got big he still wanted to play the same way but he was part Boer and hurt my daughter. We gave him to a friend. We learned to be careful how you play with male goats that will be breeders. When the hormones kick in they can get too aggressive.
We had sold one of Rambo's sons Caesar and his new owner also made the mistake of playing too much with him. He got very aggressive and hurt her knee. I ended up taking him back and he was very rough with the girls and people.He had lots of energy and started beating on his daddy Rambo. He was very rough with the younger bucks also. I had to make a choice between him and Rambo. I ended up selling him to someone who had tons of acreage and lots of room for him to run around.
Some people keep just one breeding buck and have a wether to keep him company. Sometimes intact bucks will fight and you cannot keep them together. That is why I watch for personality to see which bucks I keep for breeding.