Goats are active, curious animals that are fairly easy to maintain. Like all animals, goats have some basic needs that must be met to ensure their health and happiness. But they have few special needs involved with their care. In general, they need a sufficient amount of space, a quality diet and plenty of exercise.
Provide a safe space for goats to live. An ideal space is in a dry area that drains well, does not allow for standing water and provides some form of shade from the sun. The amount of space will be determined by how many goats are kept in the area. For adults, each animal should have 200 square feet of room at a minimum. The area should also have a strong, sturdy fence at least four feet high to keep goats contained.2
Protect goats from the elements by providing a shelter. Goats are extremely adaptable, so any sort of animal-safe housing with three walls and a roof will suffice. They simply need an area to go to if they want to get out of the rain, wind or snow. Consider repurposing large dog houses or provide a shed with the door or front wall removed. Ensure all structures are dry and well-ventilated before using them to shelter goats.3
Feed goats a quality diet. Goats are browsers and will naturally graze on grasses, bushes and other low-growing plants. Supplement fresh grasses and weeds with good alfalfa hay. While pasture and plants are often enough to maintain goats that are not used for dairy production, additional foods may need to be provided if the animals do not have access to vegetation in their environment. A ration of goat feed, a concentrate of various grains, should be fed two to three times per day. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on determining the amount to feed daily. A mineral block and salt lick should always be provided.4
Encourage goats to get plenty of exercise by giving them lots of room to move, run and play. Add pasture toys for goats to climb. Old tires from tractors or cars, wooden structures with ramps and an assortment of different-sized rocks can all make good toys for goats to interact with.5
Trim the goats' hooves regularly as they grow out. Use hoof trimmers to clip off overgrown hooves, or have a veterinarian or farrier trim the hooves. Providing rocks and other rough surfaces for goats to walk on and climb over will help keep hooves filed naturally.6
Keep goats healthy by scheduling yearly veterinary visits. Have a vet give a regular exam to each goat and make sure they are current on all vaccinations.