“No Goats No Glory” was the rallying cry in 2014, when farmer and activist Monycka Snowbird and supporters successfully pressured Colorado Springs City Council to amend city code to allow mini milking goats in urban areas.
That means, unless your homeowners association prohibits it, you could be the proud owner of up to two “hoofed pets” weighing less than 100 pounds each at maturity—say, two 50-pound Kinders or Nigerian Dwarf goats producing around 14 gallons of milk per month. You would have to dehorn any goat older than 2 months, and city code explicitly prohibits ownership of “unaltered” male goats over the age of 2 months (because of the smell).
Be prepared to shell out $150 to $400 per baby goat. Then expect to spend about $1 a day per goat to feed it alfalfa hay or pellets, sweet feed and loose minerals, says Lindsey Aparicio, aka the Goat Cheese Lady. Vet bills vary, depending on how much health care you want to handle yourself. You will need to milk once or twice a day, harvesting between two cups and a quart of frothy goodness each time.
Why invest the time, money and effort? “Because you want your own milk,” Aparicio says. “If you have children, you want to raise them knowing where their milk, cheese, ice cream is coming from.” Of course, there’s also butter, soap, and lotion all just a backyard away. What’s more local than that?
Try one of these local classes to get the scoop on urban goats.
Raising Backyard Goats, Venetucci Farm:
Goat Cheese Making, The Goat Cheese Lady:
—by Bryce Crawford