The Basics Of Raising Goats ft Deborah of Thrifty Homesteader


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By Nicole Gennetta. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The basics of raising goats is our topic this week as join Nicole and Deborah Niemann of Thrifty Homesteader.

  • Goats are browsers, not grazers, and what that means to your homestead.
  • Why learning the basics of raising goats before you bring them home is essential to their health.
  • Steps to complete before you get goats.
  • What to look and tests that need to be performed on goats before you purchase.
  • The basics of raising goats will differ depending on your individual circumstances.
  • Why the vet you use for your pet cat or dog is not the best choice for your goats.


Deborah and her family moved to the country in 2002 to start growing their own food organically.

They have raised cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry, plus llamas, but ultimately have settled on sheep, goats and poultry as their livestock of choice! The family also have a garden and make their own maple syrup.

Raising goats did not come easy to Deborah. In fact, she found it was the hardest animal she has ever tried to raise. In the early years, her goats dying and nobody could really tell her why, but rather than give up, she set herself the task of figuring out what was wrong and learned more than just the basics of raising goats but enough to write three books! Two editions of Raising Goats Naturally, which are 300+ pages, and Goats Giving Birth – see resources below for a link to purchase.

Deborah doesn’t simply tell people to do what works for her goat herd because every farm is different, and every goat herd is different. What worked on Farm X may literally kill another farm’s goats. She tells people that there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for raising goats. The answer is almost always “it depends.”
She firmly believes in understanding the “Why” behind information given to goat owners and she explains the science behind various recommendations. This then enables people to understand why they see so many conflicting opinions and can then apply only what will work best for their herd’s specific needs.


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