We got our goats initially because we thought they were absolutely adorable and couldn’t imagine a world without them. Shortly after we started to wonder, “Can you make money raising goats?”
Surely, it’s a possibility. I mean, other people raise goats and seem to be doing just fine. Why can’t we? So, we started to look into the breeds we would want, the cost to purchase more goats, and the costs to keep them healthy and happy.
It was starting to look, with ALL of the expenses, like there was no way to make money raising goats.
At first, this made us feel a bit of defeat. But we thought of the old adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” so we started brainstorming and came up with a good strategy so we could answer “Yes.” when someone asks, “Can you make money raising goats?”
It all comes down to one simple word: Diversification.
You can make your own homestead profitable with our work sheets.
If you bet the farm (pun intended) on just one revenue stream, then a single miscalculation can throw off your entire budget for the year. But if you set into motion several sources of income, then a single miscalculation becomes a bump in the road but isn’t catastrophic.
For example, in one of our past kidding seasons, we had estimated a certain amount of income based on a 50/50 split of baby boys and baby girls. The girls sell for about double (sometimes 3 times or more!!!) the cost of a baby boy, especially if the boy is going to be a wether and not a buck.
Well, in that particular season, the split was more 80/20 than 50/50 and we were overrun with baby boy goats. While it is an adorable problem to have, it could still have been a serious problem. Luckily (actually, strategically) we were able to avoid a financial catastrophe through the diversification of our income streams.
Get to the point already!
Okay, okay. I know you came here for some numbers While I can’t give you your specific numbers (that would be creepy if I knew that information), I can give you several ideas that are proven money makers!
How to make money goat farming
1. The first one is obvious; sell baby goats.
As I mentioned earlier, you can sell baby goats and make a decent amount of money but you can’t control nature. Sometimes, you end up with too many boys or you are growing your herd and you retain too many girls (this is a very real problem. You’ll see). Not sure all the details involved with breeding goats? Check out the Ultimate Planner for Breeding Goats which will help you get started!
Are you buying your first goats? Learn how to get started with them.
2. Sell adult goats
If you are trying to work on your herd genetics, it is important to retain doelings (plus they are super cute to raise from birth). But because no one has infinite space, you can sell adult goats for a profit and to free up some herd space.
The nice part of selling adult goats is they have a chance to prove themselves as having good genetics and thus can increase the selling price. Sometimes you can make some more extra cash if you sell a pregnant doe. Then the buyer is getting a doe, the promise of baby goats, AND a doe that will be in milk!
3. Sell a doe in milk
Maybe you want to sell the doe but want to keep the babies. If that’s the case, you can sell a doe that has recently kidded to anyone looking for a milking goat. They get a goat, the goat is in milk (added value), and you can charge a little extra! It’s win/win.
4. Charge a stud fee
I know what you’re thinking. No, this is not a Magic Mike reference.
Not everyone has the space (or desire) to have a buck of their own (let’s face it, they can get a little stinky). But these people still want to breed their does. Since this is the case, why not let them use your buck?
If you have a buck with quality genetics you can put the word out that you have an available stud. The buyer simply brings their doe to your farm, you meet them in your driveway with your buck and let nature take it’s course. In the goat farming business we call this “driveway breeding” (I know, not very creative).
5. Lease your buck
For the same reasons mentioned above (no space or aversion to stinkiness), some people are willing to lease a buck. This is usually when the breeder is not able to pay close enough attention to catch their does in heat. When they lease a buck they will likely put him in with their does for a specified period of time and he can breed any doe that comes into heat.
This can be pretty lucrative, I just caution that you are picky about where you let your buck go and make sure the leasing farm is up to date on their disease testing.
6. Brush goats
Sounds like a dream job, but this does not mean charging people to brush your goats (although you are welcome to give that revenue stream a try). A brush goat is one that someone will lease for a period of time to clear an area of overgrown brush.
Often times, this is someone who works a lot or is no longer physically capable of clearing land themselves. In these cases, a goat can be a great solution.
The same warning from buck leasing applies though it’s not as dangerous since the leaser likely won’t have goats to pass on any sicknesses. Additionally, they will need to lease at least two goats so they won’t get lonely and sick.
7. Start a petting zoo
Maybe not a full blown petting zoo (unless you want to do that, of course). But there are plenty of kids out there who would L-O-V-E – LOVE to have some goats at their birthday party. Bonus points if you can take some bottle babies for them to feed.
8. 5 Second Pose
For the benefit of those with flash photography (or just a phone camera) you can charge to have pictures taken with your goats. Who wouldn’t want to make their own calendar with 12 months of cute baby goats?
Another option is to rent your goats out to photographers to use as props in their photo shoots.
9. Teacher’s Pet
Since you are an expert on how you raise your goats, you can offer your advice and experience to others that want to follow in your footsteps. You can do this through on farm education classes. Plan a few things you would like to teach (basic goat care, herd maintenance, how to milk, how to trim goat hooves, etc) and put the word out. You can hang flyers at your local farm store or announce it online (Facebook groups are great for this sort of thing).
10. Share the wealth (or milk)
One way that a lot of goat farmers earn extra income is through something called herd sharing. Essentially, a herd share is when someone makes a monthly payment and purchases a share of your herd. The size of the share they purchase then entitles them to a specified amount of the goat’s milk.
This is a way that some people are able to sell raw milk without being a registered dairy. You will want to check your local laws for any restrictions.
11. Keep it clean
If you have excess milk you can use it for hobby type projects. A great idea for the artistic crowd is soap making. You can get creative with the designs and have a wonderful, natural soap product to use yourself or sell for profit.
12. Clean the world
If you happen to have a flair for soap making, take one of the options above and teach classes on soap making. You can even sell milk for soap making purposes (again, check local laws for milk selling restrictions).
13. Feed the world
Or at least the animals of the world. If you sell goat babies, you usually have to wait until their mother weens them. But if you sell bottle babies, they can go as early as two weeks old (but only to experienced goat farmers, for the baby’s safety).
Since the baby will need milk and the buyer will have to buy milk, why not sell it directly to them? The baby will be happier because it will be milk, likely from it’s own mother. The customer will be happy because it is way more convenient than buying and mixing formula. And you will be happy because you are making the money!
The possibilities are seemingly endless
These are just a couple of the ways on how to make money from goats. I’m sure there are many other ways I didn’t mention (goat yoga anyone). What revenue streams are you using? Let us know in the comments below.