Keeping goats has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. They provide entertainment, companionship, milk and more. My life truly changed for the better when I got my first goats.
But let’s face it, goats can be expensive to keep, especially if you have more than just a few. Figuring out hot to make money with your goats can be a challenge, but there are quite a few options out there if you want to explore making your goat keeping more self-sustainable.
Make Money with Goats Milk
Goats milk is becoming more and more popular in the US. Worldwide, goats milk is more popular than cows milk hands down. Goats milk is more easily digested by people with lactose intolerance issues, and has more nutritional value overall. More retailers are carrying goats milk, and more people are looking for it.
Selling milk can be a sticky issue in many states, as the dairy industry has very strict regulations regarding the handling and processing of milk. Make sure to research your state and town laws regarding the selling of milk. As a work around, a lot of farms are offering herd share programs, which seems to be working for some farms. In some states, you can sell milk without a license if it’s labeled “not for human consumption”.
Selling milk can be a very sustainable way for your goat’s to earn an income. Many times you can sell it in bulk to cheese makers, or wholesale to retail locations.
Making money with goats milk gets you an even higher profit margin than just selling milk. Simple soft cheeses, cajeta, keifer, and pudding are all easy ways to make more of your milk. Once again, state laws apply when selling milk products.
In order to produce milk, you need to make babies. If you want to keep goats for dairy, then you will inevitably end up with more kids than you keep yourself. Selling good quality goat kids can be a great way to cover some of the expenses of keeping your goats. In order to sell your kids for a good price, consider investing in registered goats of good quality, so your producing marketable kids.
Along with goats milk, goat meat is gaining in popularity. Raising goats for meat is more cost effective than raising beef cows when comparing out grow out time vs. meat yield. Boer goats are the “go to” meat breed, but many goat keepers find that selling their culls for meat can help to defray their costs. Processing your own culls can also help to fill your own freezer, saving you money on your grocery bill.
Cashmere goats yield a fabulous fiber that is highly sought after and brings a great price. These goats are also known to be easy keepers with gentle personalities.
Goats milk soap is a great way to utilize goats milk if dairy licensing isn’t a viable option for you. It’s not too difficult to make, and gives you a great products that won’t go bad while you work to find steady buyers.
If you have goats, you have skills! Skills other people are willing to pay to learn. Disbudding clinics, hoof trimming demos, blood drawing lessons and most basic goat care will draw an interest. Know how to make cheese or soap? Classes in basic cheese and soap making are always VERY popular.
This is an up and coming business for goat keepers. Many cities and towns are hiring traveling goat herds to maintain landscapes by removing brush and weeds such as poison ivy. There are a lot of logistics to consider (transport, portable fencing, security/safety, etc.) but if you can pull it off, it can be a very lucrative venture.
Goat Care Services
Most people who keep livestock are always looking for someone to care for animals when they have to be away from the farm. This can be incredibly lucrative if you can provide good, reliable care. Knowing how to milk would make you a hot commodity for any dairy farmers that need a break.
A lot of folks, especially pet goat owners, are always looking for people who can trim hooves for them. Clippings goats during show season is also something people often look for assistance with.
Be careful when agreeing to provide any services that can be considered “medical”, such as blood drawing, administering injections, or providing prescription medications as these tend to be regulated by the state vet, and you could be reported.