Owning a goat is a serious commitment – they live about as long as a large dog.
Goat projects of many kinds are available to New York youth ages 5-19 through the Cornell Cooperative Extension program. For more information, contact your county CCE office or the address at the end of this page.
- If your family likes dairy products, dairy goats may be the perfect animals for you.
- Though smaller than cows, they give family-sized amounts of milk daily.
- They cost less to house and feed, are very affectionate and make great companions.
- Like cows, they need to be milked twice a day.
- Goat meat is one of the most commonly eaten meats in the world.
- Goat meat tastes similar to venison and beef.
- Meat goats do not need to be milked every day.
- Check out our: Fact Sheet Series on Meat Goat Herd Management Practices
Working Goat Projects (Driving & Pack)
- Goats make wonderful companions. Female goats (does) and especially castrated male goats (wethers) can be trained to pull carts or carry packs to help you with chores or provide recreational enjoyment.
- Owning a working goat is a long term project. Working goats have approximately the same life span as a dog and require regular training and exercise.
- Basic training can start as early as 2 to 3 months of age. However, they will not be ready to carry or pull substantial weight until mature.
- Some of the equipment can be fairly expensive to purchase. The NYS 4-H Working Goat Committee offers a lending program which allows 4-Hers to borrow goat packs or harnesses for up to 3 months to see if these activities are for you!
Fiber Goat Projects
- A fiber goat project is perfect for someone who likes goats, wants to learn how to spin, and likes to knit, crochet or weave.
- The fleece of a sheep is made up of a fiber called wool. The fleece of a goat is made up of either cashmere or mohair fiber.
- All goats with the exception of Angora goats produce a fuzzy undercoat of soft fiber in the winter to help keep them warm. This fiber is called cashmere.
- Angora goats produce lots of long, curly fiber. However, this fiber is not called angora. Instead, it is called mohair. Only Angora rabbits produce Angora!
- Some goats produce so much cashmere that it is worth the time and effort to harvest the cashmere by combing or shearing to make it into yarn.
- You can use either does or wethers for a fiber goat project.
- A fiber goat’s fleece must be kept clean all winter and harvested every year.
- Michigan State University offers an Angora Goat Project record book and a 22pg booklet entitled “Your Angora Goat Project”.
Contact: tatiana Stanton