Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Oct 20, 2015
We got two Alpine-Nubian cross goats, male and female siblings, when they were six months old. Since we owned a large property, the idea was to have them as a cross between pets and brush control. It was more entertaining than having a lawnmower.
As pets, they were similar to dogs. They followed us around the property and even rode in the cab of my father's truck to get the mail (we had a long driveway).
They were also easy to care for! They lived on grass, leaves, and occasionally my mother's indoor plants. We had a shelter for them outside, with big fluffy hay beds, and they didn't seem at all fazed by the cold of winter, nor the heat of summer. In fact, they weren't fazed by much.
They pooped everywhere and all the time. That was the only problem; they would rush into the house to attack my mom's plants and leave a trail of perfect poop pellets. On the upside, they were incredibly easy to track.
Personality-wise, our two goats couldn't have been more different. The male, Lovey, was exactly what his name implied. He was affectionate and careful when being hand fed. He loved being scratched between his horns.
His sister, Cowhoon, was not friendly. She seemed generally more irritated with the world than her brother, but she tolerated us. She even submitted to scratches until it occurred to her to be annoyed.
One thing I can say, based on eye-witness experience, do not tease an irritable goat by offering and then cruelly denying her a leafy branch. She will impale your thigh.
So, if you have small children, be careful to teach them respectful handling of your goats. But they are fun to own responsibly, with a shelter and plenty of room to roam!