Goat Marketing: The Ins and Outs

For some, goat marketing is a necessary evil but if you raise goats, marketing is a necessity. Your ability to get your goats in front of the right people is a major part of determining how successful your goat operation will be.

The following tips and pointers are designed to help you streamline the process of goat marketing and identify how and when to focus your efforts so you can not only find buyers for your goats but also establish the foundation of a solid, thriving brand – your goat farm.

Goat Marketing 101: Be Willing to Spend the Time

I often read comments online from goat breeders saying things like, “I don’t have time to take pictures,” or “I’m too busy to answer a million questions about my goats.” While I think it’s true, it’s also a matter of priorities.  Additionally, if you’re pricing your goats properly, that time spent marketing goats is paid time.

The folks who can get away with little to no pictures or communication are the ones spending their time building up show wins and accolades that do the selling for them. One way or another, you need to commit yourself to spending the time to market your goats, whether directly through talking with buyers or indirectly through participating in shows and performance programs.

With that said, marketing doesn’t have to be a tedious, time consuming process that sucks the joy out of goat ownership.  During kidding season, my time spent on goat marketing breaks down roughly like this: Continue reading “Goat Marketing: The Ins and Outs”

Costs of Raising Goats 2020

Every year, I like to write up a current breakdown of how much it costs us to raise goats. In 2018, the cost of raising goats came out to $480 per doe per year. The 2019 cost changed little, coming in at $483 per doe per year. This coming year, 2020, our numbers have increased, so let’s walk through the costs of raising goats again and see how we compared to the last two years.

First off, we plan to winter 21 does and 2 bucks, or 23 total, up from 19 for 2019. (Wait til you see the 2021 numbers we’re planning, that’ll change things!). Let’s look at the costs per category now.
Continue reading “Costs of Raising Goats 2020”

Costs of Raising Goats in 2019

About a year ago, I worked up what it was costing us to raise our registered Nigerian Dwarf goats.  It was a fun exploration and I thought I’d do it again this year since a number of things have changed – surprise!  The original Costs of Raising Goats concluded that our total annual cost per doe is $415 and $390 per buck. Let’s see how those numbers compare to 2019.


We changed suppliers this year at a vastly increased cost.  We were paying $70/ton for hay from a family member.  We switched to a no-spray supplier and, with the cost of hiring a semi for delivery and a couple kids to help unload and stack, we paid $200/ton.  Sure was nice to have it all in, stacked and put away in a single day though!

To offset that, we made some silage and tree hay.  This accounts for only a small amount of their feed for this season, but we’ve had great results so far and plan to increase both silage and tree hay at a cost of almost zero to us outside of labor costs.  I’ll have to work that out this year when we do the next batch. Continue reading “Costs of Raising Goats in 2019”

How Much Does It Cost to Produce Goat Milk at Home?

Among the many reasons for raising your own milk at home is the expected cost savings.  I see remarks in various goat groups about how much more home raised goat milk is costing people, so this article is an attempt to break down the costs of raising your own goat milk to see where the money goes, which allows us all to make educated decisions on how to better manage our goats from a cost perspective.

I wrote an in-depth breakdown of our personal costs to raise goats.  The end result is that we need to sell about $480 worth of kids per doe per year to break even.  This includes total operating costs, such as labor, farm insurance, fencing, feeds, etc.  Rats!  There go my dreams of being a professional goat breeder! 😀
Continue reading “How Much Does It Cost to Produce Goat Milk at Home?”

Cost of Making Homemade Dog Food

We’re still in the early stages of being 100% kibble free and making our own dog food, so I’ll continue to update this post as the details become clearer.

Prior to making the switch, we were spending $4.55 per day for dog food, which gives us quite a bit of cost to work with.  If we pay the same amount but feed them homemade food instead, I’d count it a win for the health benefits.

How Much To Feed Per Day?

Juliette de Bairacli Levy says a healthy collie adult should eat 2 pounds per day with this method.  Collies average 60 pounds full grown.  Our four dogs average 66 pounds, but LGDs eat less for their weight than other dogs their size.  We’ve been averaging about 6 pounds of kibble per day (fed free choice) before switching so I’m basing our current rations on that and will adjust both the ration and this article if things change considerably.  Levy also mentions dogs eat less on this diet than on an “unnatural diet.”
Continue reading “Cost of Making Homemade Dog Food”

Calculating Grain Costs for Goats

We buy grain in bulk from local feed mills. It saves a lot over retail at the feed store, but the tradeoff is that we spend more time handling the grain and drive longer distances to get it. We have been going twice a year now, but I’d love to get bigger storage bins to allow us to make one trip per year. That the peas are in one town and the oats/barley are in another just complicates things.

The current mix, which changes based on availability and sometimes our whims, is 3 parts barley, 1 part field peas and 1 part black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS).

Our most recent purchase put the prices as follows:
Continue reading “Calculating Grain Costs for Goats”