How Much Does a Goat Cost?

Last Updated on March 11, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Goats can be a fun and useful animal to raise, but before jumping in, it’s important to understand how much goats cost. From the initial purchase price to feed, housing, and medical expenses, goats do have associated costs. However, they can also provide milk, meat, and more to help offset their care.

With some budgeting and preparation, raising goats can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. This guide breaks down all the costs you need to consider before bringing home your herd.


  • The cost of a goat ranges between $50 and $300, based on breed, pedigree, quality, age, location
  • Plan for first year costs of $500-$800 per goat including purchase price, shelter, fencing, and supplies.
  • Ongoing annual care costs average $400-$500 per goat for food, healthcare, etc.
  • Check local zoning laws – some prohibit livestock or limit the number of goats allowed.
  • Start with at least two goats, as they are herd animals. Three to five goats is an ideal starter herd.
  • Be ready to invest time into caring for your goats daily – they can’t simply be left alone.
  • Pasture access can significantly reduce annual feed costs for goats.

How Much Does a Goat Cost?

The cost of a goat ranges between $50 and $300, based on breed, pedigree, quality, age, location, and whether you’re purchasing males, females, or babies.

  • Meat & Pet Goats – $50-$150 per goat. Common meat breeds are Boer, Kiko, and Spanish.
  • Dairy Goats – $200-$300 for registered purebred females. Top dairy breeds are Nubian, Saanen, and Nigerian Dwarf.
  • Baby Goats – Called kids – $75-$250 each. Cheaper but require extra care.
  • Wethers – Castrated males cost $50-$100 as pets or pack goats.

Look for reputable breeders to ensure healthy animals. Avoid livestock auctions for first-time goat buyers.

According to A-Z Animals, typically, a single non-heritage goat runs between $50-$300. The monthly expenses for keeping goats can range from $40 to $500, including food, shelter, and other miscellaneous costs.

Fauna Advice notes that meat goats that are grown up can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,500, depending on their breeding line and species.

Weed ’em & Reap writes that a goat, whether it’s a baby or an adult, can cost anywhere from $100-$800 depending on the breed and gender. Purebred goats are usually more expensive.

An article on the Life of Heritage website says that a goat can cost anywhere between $75 and $200 or more, depending on the breed, breeding, and location. Meat goats can be sold for $500 to $1500 per goat.

According to Selina Wamucii, the approximate wholesale price range for live goats in the United States is between $2.20 and $5.13 per kilogram or between $1.00 and $2.33 per pound. The price of breeding goats ranges from $150 to $200 per goat, while meat goats can cost $500 to $1500 per goat.

Is Raising Goats Expensive?

Owning goats is really inexpensive compared to other livestock like horses or cattle. Initial costs range from $50-$300 per goat, and yearly care costs around $400 per goat. There are some upfront investments in housing and fencing, but overall goats are considered one of the most cost-efficient farm animals.

Some things to factor in when calculating total goat ownership costs include:

  • Purchase price of the goats
  • Shelter and fencing
  • Feed
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Miscellaneous supplies

Expenses can also vary based on the breed, if you have dairy goats or meat goats, and the size of your herd. Goats naturally live in groups so it’s ideal to have at least two goats.

Shelter Costs

Goats require a draft-free barn or shed with adequate space for the size of your herd. Basic shelter can cost $500-$2,000 depending on materials and size.

You’ll also need proper fencing like woven wire or electric fencing. For a basic perimeter fence and cross-fencing for rotational grazing, plan on $1,500-$5,000 in fencing costs.

Feed Expenses

Goats are efficient grazers, but you’ll need supplemental hay. Plan on providing each goat with 800-900 lbs of hay annually at a cost of $300-$500 per goat.

Grain, pellets, minerals, baking soda, and salt licks add another $50-$100 in yearly feed per goat. Higher quality feed for lactating dairy goats may be more.

You might also like our articles about the cost of pygmy goats, fainting goats, and vet farm visits.

Good pasture can provide ample feed in some climates and reduce costs. You’ll need 2-4 acres of pasture per goat.

Health Care & Supplies

  • Vaccines & Tests – $40-$60 annually for CDT and other routine vaccines. Plus costs for testing for diseases like CAE, CL, and Johne’s.
  • Parasite Control – $50+ per goat yearly for dewormers, delousers, and fly control products.
  • Hoof Care – About $30 per goat annually for hoof trimming tools and supplies.
  • Birthing Supplies – For dairy does having kids, supplies like iodine, towels, feeding tubes, and scale to weigh newborns.
  • Other Supplies – Brushes, disinfectant, balms, collars, transport cages, etc. can all add up.
  • Vet Visits – $100-$300 annually per goat for check-ups, illnesses, emergencies.

Total Yearly Goat Care Costs

Goat FaceBased on all these expenses, plan on your annual cost of care for one goat to run approximately $400-$500 per year. Costs are slightly less per goat when you have a larger herd.

For a small homestead herd of say 5-8 goats, estimate total annual costs of $2,000-$4,000 a year. Goat expenses are very manageable compared to other livestock.

Ways to Save on Goat Care Costs

For hobby farmers or homesteaders looking to pinch pennies, here are some tips for reducing goat expenses:

  • Buy from local farms instead of specialized breeders to save on purchase price.
  • Construct basic shelter and fencing yourself using cost-effective materials.
  • Allow goats to browse and graze pasture as much as possible to reduce hay needs.
  • Grow your own feed and supplements like hay, alfalfa, and grains.
  • Join forces with neighboring goat owners to buy supplies in bulk quantities.
  • Learn basic hoof trimming to avoid hiring a professional.
  • Only buy registered purebreds if you plan to breed and sell kids.
  • Focus on naturally disease-resistant breeds that require less vet care.
  • Wait to buy goats until at least after 8 weeks old so they require less delicate care.

Making Money from Goats

A great way to offset the costs of raising goats is to sell milk, meat, and kids. Here are some of the ways goats can turn a profit:

  • Meat Goats – Meat breeds can be sold at 12-24 months old for $150-$300 each.
  • Milk Sales – Dairy goats can produce milk valued at $600-$800 per year that can be sold.
  • Breeding – Registered does can earn $200-$500 per kid. Offer stud services for $50-$150 per breeding.
  • 4-H & Show Goats – Kids can earn money selling trained 4-H and show project goats.
  • Manure – Goat manure can be composted and sold as organic fertilizer.

With proper care, the income from dairy and meat production can effectively cancel out the cost of feeding and housing your herd.

Final Words

While goats do require an investment, their many benefits and relatively low cost of care make them a great choice for small farms and homesteads. With proper budgeting and facilities, you’ll soon discover the joy and rewards of raising your own herd.

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