10 Must-Have Items for Goats

Two brown and white goat kids trotting through the pasture.

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. This time I knew what I wanted and needed: the basics first.


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


This post was updated in 2022


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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. Use spring clips (scroll down to see them) to hold the buckets on your fence.


Buckets and feed scoops sitting on the grass


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!)


A pink collar and leash on a chippy white board.


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 cattle panel (fencing panel) to another fencing panel to make temporary pens. 


A wire basket from the hardware store attached to the fence with spring clips, holding various buckets and scoops.


I used them in my barn to hold wire baskets to a fence panel in my feed room. 


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


A metal clip sitting on a wooden board


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A way to tie your goats to the fence


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.


A double-snap ties made of two snaps and a length of yellow and brown rope.



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.


A goat weigh tape and a dressmaker's tape on a wooden board


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. 


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 syringe apart in three pieces: the metal nozzle, the outer syringe and the plunger. I 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.


A yellow drench syringe on a wooden surface


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!


Trust me, you'll be buying another one after using it on your goats anyway.


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


Check out this post for the items I recommend you keep in your livestock first aid kit.


A basic digital 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 into two cavities, one for mineral, the other for baking soda.


Not all goat minerals are made equal. To learn what kind is best for your goats, check out these six supplies you'll need for your goats.


A red plastic mineral feeder hanging on a wooden fence made of pallets.


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.


Plus your goats are less likely to suffer from internal parasites if they don't eat their hay on the ground.


This steel hay rack clips to the fence with spring clips, or you can screw it into a wooden wall. It 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!)


A feeder full of hay, hanging on the wire fence with spring clips.


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.


A green plastic fan rake leaning against a fence.



Are you planning to milk your dairy goat? You'll need these six must have items for milking goats. 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


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