If you’re looking to make money from your goats, and meat or milk aren’t your things, you might want to think about renting out your goat herd.
Goats are now called upon for more than just milk, fiber, meat, or companionship, they are also used for brush control and even fire control.
During the California wildfires, goats were brought in to control the brush and prevent the fire from growing. Yes, our goats are also superhero firefighters! Amazing.
So, how do you go about renting your goats to others? Well, here’s a few tips to get started.
Find A Need to Fill
Whenever you decide to move into a new market, you need to validate your idea. A goat renting business is no different. Take a look around and decide whether there is a need for goats for their ranging abilities.
Two things to look for:
1. Cities Who Need A Trim
Some cities just don’t have the manpower to keep the landscaping under control. Some have turned to goat farmers to bring their herds in to clean things up a bit.
You can make a few calls to cities nearby to see if they would like help with their overgrown areas of town. If they are interested in a natural way to remove weeds you might be able to offer your goats for hire.
2. Fire Risk Areas
California, for example, is often plagued with wildfires. The goats who were brought to clear the scrub and brush actually saved The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library from the path of the fire.
If you live in an area where wildfires are frequent, consider advertising your services online and in the communities you live to see if anyone is interested in hiring your goats.
3. Neighbors Who Burn Weeds
If your neighbor burns their grasses frequently, offer your goats for hire instead.
The Logistics of Goat Renting
Let’s say you’ve validated your goat rental business and it’s time to get the trailer on the road. There’s still a lot to consider before riding into town with your herd. Here’s what you need:
If you’re like me, your goats love you enough to follow you to the ends of the earth. But, in most goat rental scenarios, you’ll be traveling a fair distance. You’ll need a road-safe stock trailer to deliver your goat workforce to location.
Chances are, if someone is renting your goats, they don’t have fencing for them. Fencing is important to keep your goats contained, and keep predators out of their way while they work.
Your best option is a lightweight electric solar fencing. You’ll need something easy to move, so netted electric wire is often best. Just make sure your goats respect it before you use it for the first time.
If you live nearby, you may be able to truck your goats home at night or in bad weather. If not, a portable shelter will be necessary to keep your herd safe and give them relief from the hot sun if needed.
Your goats will be busy foraging amongst the brush, and they’ll need water breaks. Portable tanks and plenty of water is extremely important for the work your goats will be doing.
As you can see, in addition to your goat trailer, you’ll need a second form of transportation to bring the equipment needed if you cannot fit it all into your current method of transport. Water will take up a lot of space if you have a large herd.
If your goats are to be brought into the city, it’s wise to either have a security system in place or to bring them indoors during the night. You can consider boarding goats at a nearby location, but goat rental businesses typically leave their goats with either a human or a livestock guardian dog (or both).
6. Emergency Plan
Always have a plan in place in case your goats need to be vacated quickly, or if they escape. Know how to round them up, train them to do so, or have an action plan if removal is necessary for whatever reason.
7. Traveling Distance
Determine in advance how far you are willing to travel with a herd of goats. Set up a reasonable distance for you and your goats and stick to it!
The temptation will arise to go beyond that distance but consider the impact on your goats for being stuck in a trailer for that long, the transport cost of getting them there, and additional logistics such as accommodation, food, and water for guards and helpers.
8. Vandals and Thieves
Let’s face it, there are some people out there who won’t appreciate your beloved herd as much as you do. They may try to harm, harass, or even steal your goats. This is where extra security comes into play.
9. Wild Animals
Goats are at the lower end of the food chain. There are many predators in all areas of the country that might see a tasty meal when they hear the bleating of your goats as they happily chew their brush. This is why electric fencing and a livestock guardian dog is almost non-negotiable.
Staying ahead of the weather is extremely important. You’d never want to strand your goats in bad weather. In this business, the weather dictates the workweek.
Oh, of course, there will be legal red tape to cross. All counties, townships, states, and cities will have different sets of rules. So, always make sure that you know exactly what permission is needed before bringing your herd into any new area.
Here is where you need to talk to an attorney to get the necessary protection in case something bad happens. Imagine if your goats are chased out of their pen, get hit on the road, and cause a fatal accident. You’ll need to have your bases covered in case of any accidents.
13. The Health of Your Goats
Your goats need to be healthy before you can rent them out. The spread of disease from animal to animal is always a risk factor when taking your goats off your farm. So get annual checkups, and ensure your goats have the proper health certifications for wherever they are headed.
14. Toxic Plants
Brush up on your knowledge of toxic plants and always scour the job site for anything that might make your goats sick. While goats are picky eaters, they make mistakes and may eat something bad for them if you haven’t done a walkthrough first.
What to Charge for Goat Rentals
Check competitors in your area and try to dial in on the market. What you charge depends on the following factors:
- Number of goats needed
- Distance to location
- Length of time it will take your goats to complete their work
Currently goat rental starts at around $250 a day for about 30-100 goats.
Goats are good for a great many things from milk, meat, fiber, as pack animals and companions. Luckily more and more people are recognizing the benefits of these lovable critters. They are more than just stars of viral videos and goat yoga sessions, they are firemen and landscapers as well!