Goats are a popular choice of livestock among new homesteaders. And with the variety of breeds available, there is a goat for every purpose!
When choosing a breed of goat, the first thing to consider is its future role on your farm. Do you want to raise goats for milk? Meat? Fiber? Weed control? Companionship for your horse? Also consider your scale and marketing plan—some goats were bred for commercial production, while others are better suited to small homesteads.
Once you have narrowed the field by purpose, compare your options to find the goat breed best adapted to your environmental conditions and any other requirements you may have, such as price or temperament.
As you do your research, peruse our guide to goat breeds to learn more about the uses, temperament, and health of each type of goat, as well as a summary of its pros and cons. A section on breed history is provided for additional insight on each goat’s genetic background and purpose, as well as the path that modern breeders are currently forging.