Homesteaders & Goats Survey: the results are in!

In late December I sent out a survey to several Facebook groups, pages, and Kijiji.

The response was amazing and I loved reading through the answers! A HUGE thank you to all who participated.

Many of you answered one of two things: why are you doing this and can you please share the results?

First – why am I doing this?

When I began, I was looking to find out what things homesteaders were looking for in goats, what they struggled with, etc.

It’s ended up being something I think many goat producers can benefit from which leads to question #2.

Can you please share the results?

Here they are! I did ask all open-ended questions, as I did not want to limit anyone in what first came to mind after reading the question. To get these results, I combined similar phrases, words, and meanings.

Some of the results surprised me, and I think it may surprise you too.

Homesteaders & Goats Survey Results

homestead & goats survey results

Pretty self-explanatory. What surprised me about this one is what ended up in column #1.

homesteaders & goats

Again, temperament is #1.

Other words included in the breed standards column were beauty, good feet, structure.

In the hardy category, people mentioned independent, good mothers, productive.

No surprise there. Nigerian Dwarf popularity is on the rise, with Boers right behind them.

What I did find interesting is that Kikos are in 4th place. Yay for Kikos!

Disease included – vet availability and worms. Minerals included – deficiencies & proper nutrition. The knowledge included – fear of not being taken seriously & not enough knowledge. Bad food included – eating stuff they shouldn’t, getting into flower beds. Good genetics included – finding closed herds with good genetics.

price range for breeding stock

The next two are HUGE for anyone who has a website or social media

Info on parents – they want to see a detailed description, pictures, production records (milk, kids’ growth rates, appraisals, etc. Whatever applies to your breed)

Pictures – well-taken pictures of the front, back, side. Pictures should be taken from the goat’s level, not shooting down at them.

Prices – reasonable prices and goats worth their price. List the price.

Good description – they want to see a detailed description, including health records/status, and a little blurb about their personality.

Info – they would like to see lots of helpful info on your site – not words for the sake of words – info on your health regime, diet, etc.

Need help with your site or setting one up? Get in touch with me.

Poor conditions include – unhappy, unhealthy goats, kept in dirty pens, un-thrifty. Pictures include – bad angles, dirty goats, poor lighting, not showing off the goat properly. Overpriced includes – huge prices for registered goats, and goats not worth their price. Very little info – about their goats, farm, and breeder.

Not up to date – this applies to pretty much any social media account and website. If they are not kept up-to-date, they are useless to a buyer and the buyer won’t take that breeder seriously. Buyers also want easy-to-navigate websites. False claims – claims that are not backed up by facts and data. Anyone can say anything about their goat…but hard facts are what makes it true. We’re talking production records – milk, weight gains, etc.

No knowledge – people who obviously know nothing about goats, use wrong terms, don’t care, etc. I do think this should be taken with a grain of salt and grace given to newbies. They have a fear of not being taken seriously, as noted farther along on the graph “no faith in newbies”. How can we encourage more people to be interested in goats if we don’t take them seriously? They want/need mentorship and for us to take them seriously.

No records – of anything. Health, milk, weight gains, etc. No testing – of any diseases. What I found interesting is this particular one is at only 5%.

Cheap – selling for colours and markings. Underpricing animals. Too many words mean nothing. Refusal to answer questions about herd testing and diseases. Phone only – people who only answer via phone, not email or text. No info on money – lack of info on how payment and deposits work.

Final Thoughts

The last question on the survey was “would you like to add anything?” Here are a few of those responses:

More vets locally.

It was nice to be asked. You take beautiful goat photos.

I’m fairly new to goats and have found that they are amazing additions to any farm or homestead. They are very useful and provide a lot but are also such funny characters. I don’t think I’ll ever not have goats now!

I wish goats were more popular here in Canada. I think promoting goats and goat products can only help the growth of goat farming here!

More people, breeders, farmers, homesteaders need to test their herds so we can eradicate some horrible diseases in our goat herds.

Goats are great additions to any homestead. They are great bush hogs.

Prices for does and bucks are increasing markedly in eastern Canada. I feel that if you are going to charge as much as $800 or $1000 for a doe or buck, then all the supporting information should be available. I don’t believe you should be charging a lot of money when this information is not available. (info = records, production records, health tests, etc)

Goats can be the most pleasant animals to have but if you don’t know what you are going they can be the most aggravating animals to raise.

I am also a chef who would like to see more effort by a national or provincial marketing board on educating the Canadian populace about the healthy and environmental benefits of eating goat meat.

The goats help me clear a little more land every year with their diverse eating habits.

Buy from responsible, clean, tested, herds.

Need more market for goat meat.

Different breeds and different management work on different farms, but if a person doesn’t start with healthy animals, nothing anything else matters.

Goat breeders need to unite not compete, or we never will be recognized as a true livestock sector.

It seems like right now there are people with either super high-end, expensive stock OR really crumby, poorly manage stock. Not very many decently kept herds of healthy goats that aren’t hoity-toity expensive.

Don’t buy, invest.

If someone with a website could have ‘small herd necessities’ listed for how to set up a barn, stall, and herd yard.

There you have it! The Homesteaders & Goats Survey Results

A glimpse into the minds of potential customers, goat friends, and clients.

I hope this information helps you to better understand your customers, give your website & social media some TLC, and maybe give you that push to get goats if you don’t already have them.

One thing to remember, this was a small survey focused on Ontario.

What are your thoughts on it? Comment below and don’t forget to share!


Homesteaders & Goats Survey: the results are in!

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