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Goat Husbandry

Course CodeBAG223
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Study goat husbandry and care in the comfort of your own home with support from our excellent agricultural tutors.
If you are interested in keeping goats to start farming them or as a pet, you should do this course. Some of the topics in this course include the different types of goats for specific purposes, what you should feed and care for them and farming practices.

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Goat Production
    • Introduction and History
    • Biological Terminology
    • Uses of Goats and Goat Production
    • Goats Breeds Overview
    • Introduction to Farm Systems
    • Keeping a Buck
    • Truths and Myths about Goats
    • Goat Psychology
    • Social Structure
  2. Goat Breeds and Breeding
    • Dairy Goats
    • Saanen
    • Toggenburg
    • British Alpine
    • Anglo-Nubian
    • Fleece Goats
    • Angoras
    • Cashmere
    • Meat Goats
    • Boer Goats
    • Spanish Goats
    • Savannas
    • Kiko
    • Myotonic
    • Goat Skin
    • Black Bengal
    • Garganica
    • Pet Goats
    • Australian Miniature
    • Nigerian Dwarf
    • African Pygmy
    • Feral Goats
    • Selection and Breeding General Objectives
    • Reproductive System Anatomy
    • Puberty
    • Breeding Season
    • Flock Mating
    • Pen Mating
    • Hand Mating
    • Reproduction Control Methods
    • Synchronisation of Oestrus
    • Out of Breeding Season
    • Superovulation
    • Artificial Insemination
    • Genetics and Selection
    • Understanding Genes
  3. Feeds and Nutrition
    • Feeding
    • Forage
    • Hay
    • Haylage
    • Straw
    • Wild Plants
    • Concentrates
    • By-products
    • Minerals
    • Feeding Strategies
    • Feeding for milk production
    • Feeding for meat production
  4. Health Management
    • Health Problems
    • Ecopathology
    • Signs of Good Health
    • Bacterial and Viral Diseases
    • Clostridial Diseases
    • Johne’s Disease (Paratuberculosis)
    • Listeriosis
    • Soremouth
    • Slow viruses
    • Parasites
    • Accidents, Emergencies and First Aid
    • Control of Bleeding
    • Tear wounds or lacerations
    • Electric Shock
    • Snake bites
    • Fractures
    • Poisoning
    • Abortion and Genital Processes
    • Chlamidiosis
    • Q Fever
    • Listeriosis
    • Leptospirosis
    • Toxoplasmosis
    • Ketosis
    • Digestive Problems
    • Bloat
    • Choking
    • Acidosis
    • Respiratory problems
    • White Muscle Diseases
    • Pinkeye
    • Urinary Calculi
    • Mastitis
    • Metritis
    • Sanitary Policy of Infectious Goats
    • Choosing a Vet
  5. General Husbandry - Housing, Fencing, Grooming
    • Space Requirements
    • Housing and Fencing
    • Grazing and Pasture Management
    • Free Range
    • Intensive Confinement
    • Combination System
    • Grazing Methods
    • How Much Grazing
    • Other Areas That Can Be Utilised For Grazing
    • Hoof care
    • Disbudding
    • Dehorning
    • Tatooing
    • Vaccination
    • Worming
    • Grooming and Hair Care
  6. Kids and Kidding
    • Hygiene during delivery
    • The delivery
    • Parturition/Birth
    • Care of a neborn kid
    • Early feeding
    • Weaning
    • Castration
  7. Dairy Production
    • Milk Production
    • Lactation Curve
    • Quality and Composition
    • Compositions of goat's milk
    • Protein
    • Fat
    • Lactose
    • Ash
    • Vitamins
    • Factors of variation
    • Breeds and production systems
    • Age and lactation number
    • Different types of cheese
  8. Meat and Fibre Production
    • Fibre Production
    • Mohair
    • Annual Management of Angora Flock
    • Mohair Production
    • Cashmere
    • Annual Management of a cashmere flock
    • Cashmere Production
    • Meat Production
    • Management of meat flock
    • Slaughter terminology
    • Carcass quality and grading
    • Leather production
  9. Goat Farm Management
    • On the Farm - Buildings and Structures
    • Goat shelters
    • Farming production systems
    • Keeping records
    • Goat Management
    • Occupational Health and Safety Legislation
    • Farm Safety
    • Duty of care (employer and employer duties)
    • Lifting and manual handling
    • Protective Equipment
    • Dealing with chemicals
    • Storgae and disposal of chemicals
    • Handling tools and machinery
    • Safety Audit
    • Marketing your products
    • Advertising your stock
    • Where you can sell

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

What You Will Do

  • Discuss the significance of goats, the characteristics that differentiate them from other domesticated animals and the scope and nature of goat industries
  • Select appropriate Goat Breeds for specified purposes
  • Describe how goats are bred.
  • Determine and manage an appropriate diet for a goat
  • Identify a sick goat
  • Describe common health issues that can affect goats; their prevention and treatment
  • Determine facilities needed, and husbandry tasks that need to be undertaken for the management of a goat.
  • Describe Kidding and Raising Kids.
  • Explain the commercial farming goats for fibre, meat and other products (excluding dairy)
  • Determine viable plans for farming goats.


Goats are kept for many different reasons

The goat is a member of the family Bovidae. The goat specifically belongs to the subfamily Caprinae and is closely related to the sheep.

Goats are categorized as an herbivorous mammal and are one of the oldest domesticated species.

Neolithic farmers are known to have herded wild goats to provide them with milk and meat and also bone, sinew and hair for making tools, clothes and building.

The first area of captivity is known to be in the South-East Asia region about 8000BC. Before this time, goats were only known to be feral

Uses for Goat & Goat Products
Domestic goats are one of the most useful animals to have as they are easy to look after and feed.

As a domestic farm animal they can be used to produce a variety of products, such as:

  • Dairy (milk, butter, yoghurt)
  • Meat
  • Leather
  • Wool (fleece goats)
  • Soaps, body and hair care products

In Europe and North America, intensive, high-yielding dairy goat herds are common. In Afghanistan cashmere goats are kept on rangelands for their meat and fleeces.  In Africa, subsistence farmers commonly keep dual-purpose goats on their smallholdings for milk and meat. In Australia, goats are farmed and exported for meat in large volumes. Feral goats are commonly run alongside sheep and beef herds in New Zealand to help manage weeds and scrub in pasture. In the 1900’s goats have become very popular as pets, more commonly in Europe and North America.

Goat Breeds
Nowadays, there are over 300 different breeds of goats.  Goat breeds fall into a number of general categories. They are generally classified by their main use e.g. dairy, meat, fibre/fleece or companion animals.

Dairy goats may be of 4 different breeds:

  • Saanen
  • Toggenburg
  • British Alpine
  • Anglo-Nubian

Examples of specific meat breeds:

  • Spanish meat goat
  • South African Boer
  • New Zealand Kiko

Examples of specific fibre/fleece goats

  • Cashmere
  • Angora
  • Pygora

Examples of companion goat breeds

  • Pygmy
  • Kinder
There are also many cross breeds, including crosses between dairy goats and fleece goats.


Working with Animals Takes Real Commitment 

So before deciding if you want to work in a particular job, you should consider:

  • Are you more comfortable being with people, with animals, or alone (perhaps with a computer)?
  • Are you good with live animals?
  • Do you like physical activity?
  • Do you prefer being outside or inside?
  • Are you good with biological science?
  • Do you enjoy being with animals?
  • Do you enjoy being with people who like animals?
  • Are you uncomfortable standing in front of a group of people?
  • Are you able to talk to strangers or do you prefer working with people you know?
  • Do you prefer working one to one with people?
  • Do you like working in a group situation?
  • Do you like helping other people to learn and change?
  • Do you like giving people knowledge?
  • Do you like helping people to solve problems?

If you have a passion for herd animals, work with them, of for some other reason, need to learn more about them, this course is for you. You may be in any of the following situations:

  • A passionate amateur zoologist or conservationist

  • A volunteer or employee in a wildlife park, zoo or animal refuge

  • A student or researcher of biology, zoology or wildlife management

  • A veterinary or animal science professional

  • A agriculture student or establised farmer 

  • A small holding or hobby farm seeking to develop skills in yourself or your staff. 



Register to Study - scroll up and click on enrol now! 


Or if you have questions, or need some advice, you can call or email us.

Our friendly staff want to hear from you and help you work out the best options for you. 

call us on 01384 442 752 

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Meet some of our academics

Dr. Gareth PearceVeterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation. Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
Cheryl McLardySports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture and equine industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Cheryl has a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert.

Check out our eBooks

Animal PsychologyComparative Animal Psychology. This is an excellent reference for anyone interested in understanding animals better; students, animal owners and anyone who works with animals.
Animal HealthA book for anyone interested in animal health, from pet owners to farmers. Contents cover understanding health issues, disease and injury prevention, inspecting animals, differential diagnosis and common illnesses. Animals can suffer from injury, poisoning, hereditary conditions, nutritional problems and viral, bacterial and fungal infections. 77 pages.
Farm ManagementThis ebook covers tips to manage your own farm, or work for someone else. It also covers the farm site, production systems, managing livestock, pasture, crops, water, equipment, farm structures, finance, marketing, staff management, farm planning and more. 15 chapters, 129 pages
Profitable FarmingDiscover new ways to make money from farming and how farms may adapt to change. This ebook explores specialised crops and livestock, farm tourism, cost reduction, value adding, long term planning and more. 76 pages