IS THAT A GOAT IN YOUR BACKYARD?—Jennie Grant Shares Tips For Creating A Goat Friendly Space

City Goats

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CLICK HERE to download the chapter called "Legalizing Goats In Your City" from City Goats

Do you love fresh milk and goat cheese? Are you an animal lover who finds joy in spending time outside every day? Is your backyard big enough to accommodate two adorable farm animals, say 400 square feet or more? If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions then it sounds to me like you might enjoy backyard goat keeping. Jennie Grant, the author of City Goats: The Goat Justice League’s Guide To Backyard Goat Keeping, not only raises goats in the city, but she also wrote a very helpful and entertaining guide so you too can keep goats in your backyard.

To become a bonafied backyard goat keeper all you really need are three things: a goat yard, a goat barn, and of course, goats! To guarantee your goats good health and happiness follow these simple guidelines laid out by Jennie Grant in her book City Goats.

The Goat Yard

  • Space, space, space! The ideal goat yard would have plenty of room for your goats to frolic and play without feeling too squished by their roommates. If you have two goats (and Jennie recommends a minimum of two goats), 400 square feet will do the trick for your backyard goat oasis and even offer enough room for one set of kids.

Keep in mind, if you have two goats you will want to plan kidding to ensure that you wont have more than one set of kids in your goat yard at a time.

  • Along with square footage, the layout of your goat yard is also important when it comes to keeping goats. Like all other animals, goats need daily feeding and watering. Make sure your goat yard is within range of a hose so you can easily change your goats water every day. Speaking of water, make sure your goat yard drains properly! Mud in excess is a goat’s worst enemy; the damp ground causes a bacterial disease called hoof rot and it’s no fun for you or your goat.  To keep the mud to a minimum cover your goat yard with a layer of wood chips or shavings.

Goat Barn Plans

  1. Keeping goats in your backyard requires shade and shelter from the elements as well as something for your goats to climb and play on. Luckily, a solid goat barn plan can kill two birds with one stone and provide your goats with excellent shelter as well as a super fun play structure.
  2. Goat barn plans come in many shapes and sizes but it is up to you to choose which goat barn plan is right for your goat yard. If you know you’ll be raising goats and kidding them, make sure your goat barn plan provides a small area inside the barn that can be closed off for the privacy of the goat and her kids.
  3. Jennie Grant combined the needs of shelter and play into one by designing a goat barn plan to rule them all. To fit the needs of her goats and her compact urban yard Jennie’s goat barn plan is a state-of-the-art goat shed providing shelter, a milking area, a chicken coop, storage AND room for her goats to jump, frolic and explore. See her diagram of the ultimate goat barn below:
Goat Shed Plans from City Goats by Jennie Grant


Keeping goats in your backyard can be very enjoyable for people with the time and space to do so. If you are interested in finding out if your city allows raising goats in your backyard, Jennie gives you every step needed to becoming an urban goat farmer in her helpful yet amusing book, City Goats: The Goat Justice League’s Guide To Backyard Goat Keeping.

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