10 Must-Have Items for Goats

If you don't yet have goats but are planning to bring a couple home soon, you can start now to gather these supplies that every goat owner needs.


The basics you need for goats


After having goats for over a decade, I lost most of my equipment in a barn fire and I had to start over again. I knew what I wanted and needed: the basics first.


Here are my top ten must-have basics for goats, in no particular order.


This post was updated in 2021.


This post contains affiliate links. If you follow one of these links and then make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.


Buckets and feed scoops


Buckets were the first thing I bought for our first two weanling goats. Buckets hold grain and water plus they're great for storing smaller pieces of equipment in the feed room, and for mixing soapy water for goat baths.


I use margarine tubs to scoop feed out of feed bags, and a coffee can to carry feed to the animals. These aren't the only items that can be used for this purpose of course. See what you have around that can work for you.


You can buy round buckets from Amazon in nearly any color of the rainbow, or flat-back buckets that fit flat against a wall or fence.


Buckets and feed scoops


Collars and leashes


Collars and leashes help you to control your goats. For safety reasons I don't keep collars on my goats all the time, but I have them handy to grab when I need them, in several places in the barn and tack room.


Dog collars work fine if you can find them with a metal buckle - I've found that the plastic buckles such as the one in the image below don't last as long.


If you plan to leave collars on your goats all the time, you can buy plastic chain collars that will break easily if the goat gets caught on a fence or a branch. 


Chain collars aren't recommended for use when tying a goat.


To clean nylon collars and leashes, throw them in the washing machine with a load of towels. They'll come out miraculously clean. (I need to do that to the collar in this photo below!)


Must have items: collars and leashes



Spring clips


Spring clips are also known as snap hooks or carabiners. These are handy for so very many things. 


They hold my buckets on the fence, and I use them to hold my hay rack against the fence as well.


A goat-owning friend put one on the end of each of her leashes so she could loop the handle end around a tree or a fence and snap it back onto the leash, without letting her goat off the leash to do it.


You can also use snap clips to attach a fencing panel to another fencing panel to make non-permanent pens. I used them in my barn to hold wire baskets to a fence panel. 


I never have enough of these useful clips. You'll find a set of four spring clips at Amazon.


Must have items: spring clips or snap hooks



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Double-snap ties


I made my first double-snap ties from a dog tie-out chain cut into pieces about eight inches long with a spring clip on each end. I cut the chain with a bolt cutter.


Later, a local man made more for me (pictured below) from rope, a rope clamp and two snap clips. If you want to make some of your own, Amazon carries an assortment of rope clamps


These are handy in all kinds of ways: you can clip a goat to a fence while she eats or to have her hooves trimmed. 


I snap each goat to the fence at milking time with these so that they won't rush the milk room gate. I've also used one to hold a gate closed in my goat barn.


Must have items: double-snap ties



Goat hoof trimmers


It isn't hard to trim your goats' hooves; the secret is to use sharp hoof trimmers. This pair of hoof trimmers by Zenport from Amazon is my favorite.





Weight tape


You need to know how much your goat weighs so you can figure out dosage amounts of medications, wormer, etc., and to make sure your goat kids are growing well. 


This weight tape for goats will give you that information easily - or you can use a dressmaker's tape and a chart that will convert inches to weight.


Must-have item: weight tape or dressmakers tape with weight chart



Drench syringe


Drench syringe is the easiest way to give a goat any liquid medicine, vitamins, NutriDrench, electrolytes, and so on. Your goat won't break the metal nozzle by biting down with her back teeth (or split your finger open like a grape). 


The drench syringe comes apart for easy cleaning, but eventually the rubber ring inside gets sticky or  grippy instead of easy-to-push. 


To fix this, I take mine apart and run a tiny amount of olive oil around the rubber ring on the plunger with my finger. It slides easily again when I put it back together.


Must-have item: drench syringe



What should you keep in your goat first aid kit?
Take a look inside mine and see what supplies I have on hand at all times.



Thermometer


You'll need to know your goat's temperature someday, trust me on this. It's best to have a thermometer on hand when you need it, so you don't have to use the one in your family's first aid kit!


You'll find a good basic thermometer for your goats here on Amazon.


Must-have item: thermometer



Mineral feeder


Goats need minerals that are available free-choice, so get a mineral feeder to hold them. This is also what I use to feed grain to my milking does on the milk stand.


This particular feeder hangs over a fence; others attach to the wall with screws. If possible, position your mineral feeder under a roof to keep the minerals dry.


Some mineral feeders are divided with two cavities, one for mineral, the other for baking soda.


Must-have item: mineral feeder



Hay feeder


Goats love to strew hay around, sleep in it, poop on it... in other words, they like to waste hay. And once their hay hits the ground, they're not going to touch it.


This steel hay rack that clips to the fence with spring clips - or you can screw it into a wooden wall - holds two flakes of hay up off the ground. It was a great investment!


This steel hay rack clips to your goats' fence or you can screw it into a wall. It keeps hay off the ground.


The image below shows a similar hay rack attached to my fence with spring clips. (They really are very handy!)





How to clean the goat barn


Obviously a pitchfork isn't going to pick up goat manure, the tines are too far apart to hold those little "berries."


Here's what works best for me when cleaning the dirt-floored goat shed or barn: a fan rake or leaf rake from the garden department of the hardware store. 


I just rake the straw and manure into a pile and shovel them up into a wheelbarrow, then add it all to the compost pile.


Must-have item: fan rake



Are you planning to milk your dairy goat? You'll need these six must have items. These supplies will help you keep goat milk clean, safe to drink and delicious.


Looking for more goat keeping information? You'll find everything you want to know about dairy goats here. 



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Here's what you need when you bring home your first goats: the ten must-have basic items goat owners need.


Top ten basic equipment items for new goat owners.

Related Posts:
Five Must-Have Consumable Items for Goatkeepers
6 Must-Have Items to Milk a Goat
Goat Fencing - What Works and Doesn't Work


The images below contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.






This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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40 comments

  1. Love reading about homesteading. Hope to do it one day. (gonna tweet and pin this) Have a lovely day!

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  2. Thank you so much for passing this along! I hope you can grasp your dream one day.

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  3. I hope to have goats too someday. Until then, it's fun just reading and dreaming about them. Thanks for the great post!

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  4. Thank you, Leslie. I you can get goats some day, and until then you are smart to read as much as you can about them. You'll have a headstart when you do bring them home. :-)

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  5. Great list! I only have two goats, but I have most of the items. Only thing I would add is a brush, because mine like a little personal attention during the day :-)

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  6. That's a good addition to the list, Joan. That was one of the ways I tamed down my first two weanlings, by brushing them. Hope especially really liked being brushed.

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    1. Love your articles! I used to have a goat named Hope, too. It's been years since then, but I'm hoping to get some goats this coming year, just can't decide what breed yet.

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    2. Cyn, thank you. I hope the info has been helpful. I can recommend the Nubian breed. :-)

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  7. This is good info to know! I've been watching Craigslist, etc to find a couple of pygmy or dwarf Nigerian goats to add to my homestead. If I can ever find some, I'll need to get busy with this list!

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  8. What a great list. I will be saving this for later and sharing it now :-) We participated in a goat share for several months and it was a great learning for us! We hope to have our own goats (on more land) some day in the future, so a list like this is perfect! Thanks!

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  9. Great list!
    My list would include clippers. The girls have to clip for 4-H, but I like to clip before we start milking in Spring.

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  10. For dairy goats I would add udder wash, teat dip and clippers (like Sandra). Visiting from the Home Acre Hop today. :-)

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  11. I've had goats for almost 2 years and I still managed to get some good tips here! It's always nice to see how other people do things and get ideas! Thanks!

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  12. Great and informative post! I'd love to have goats one day and this will help me get started. Now, will you come over and convince my husband? Hahaha! I've got to get him on track! :)

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  13. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I will be featuring you this week, so please feel free to come grab a Featured button!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  14. Thank you so much for featuring my post, Kathy!

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  15. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Congrats on the feature!

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  16. Kathi, as we prepare for goats come spring, I've been reading and pinning several of your goat posts- thank you for all of this wonderful information! From one blogger to another, I know how much time and love go into these articles that help our fellow homesteaders. It's a beautiful thing- thank you!!

    Erin
    www.yellowbirchhobbyfarm.com

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  17. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead8:12 AM

    Thank you, Erin, I'm glad the posts have been helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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  18. chelsey8:09 AM

    Absolutely love my drench syringe, changes everything

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  19. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead8:18 AM

    I agree, Chelsey!

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  20. This is great! My husband got me 2 goats for my birthday, they arrive in May and we are starting to get their pen together.

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  21. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:34 PM

    Happy birthday, Anna! You are about to begin a great adventure!

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  22. I had no idea that goats needed leashes, ha! They are on my wish list, so this was a very educational post! Thanks! (Found this via the Our Simple Homestead blog hop!)

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  23. Hello Karissa, I'm glad you stopped by and found this post helpful!

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  24. Such simple things that make life so much easier.

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  25. What a helpful post for anyone who is looking to raise goats, Kathi! I've pinned it to my Sustainable Living board on Pinterest and will share it on Twitter. Thank you so much for sharing it with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

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  26. Thank you so much for sharing, April!

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  27. Great ideas! Thankfully, I have most of these items of necessity for my trio of Nigerian dwarf goats!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, LLLadybug. I think they're the basics. :-)

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  28. for the thermometer I just use a baby rectal thermometer its cheap and works faster

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    1. Yes, that works just as well!

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  29. I have 2 goats and 1 lamb my husband and I take for a walk in the evenings around our village. Thet have a buffet of food from varios trees and bushes. We collect some for them so they can have a feed up when they get home too. They have collars on but no leads are necessary they just follow us. Goats and the lamb are better than any dogs they never stray away when we go walking and are as quiet as church mice.

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    1. Yours are very well-behaved, Sheila. :-) Mine would go off in someone's garden and start eating the fruit trees if they weren't on leashes, but they ARE fun to take on walks and my husband has compared them to dogs too.

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  30. Vaughn11:11 PM

    I'm so sorry about your barn burning . My daughter lost 4 does and three kids . She saved her Billy and one kid.she really took it hard.
    Have a few addition for your list . A hoof pick sure are handy for goats hoof and horse,donkey hoofs .a cheap pocket knife because you will lose them .

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's fire, Vaughn. Fire is so horrible and tragic. A friend of mine lost her goats and barn just this week too. It's a hard "club" to be in.

      A hoof pick and pocket knife are great additions to the list of "must haves." Thank you.

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  31. I just read your post on essentials to have for goats. I love the double snap ties for goats when tying them up
    For milking . We usually have a mob scene 😜 I’d love to make some but have never seen that piece of metal that is crimped in the middle to hold the spring snaps together. Can you provide me with a link to purchase these? Thanks and love your blog 🌞

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  32. If you google "double rope clamps" you'll find a variety of options. I bought mine from a friend who made them for me. You might enjoy reading my post How Changing My Milking Routine Changed My Life! to see how I use them.

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  33. Someday I hope to have goats of my own (the rationale behind my blog name). This looks great and comprehensive, thank you!

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