Environment for goats kept as pets

  • Goats need plenty of space and suitable facilities to allow them to browse, exercise, climb, investigate, explore and play in safety.
  • Their environment needs to be clean, comfortable, offer suitable protection and be interesting.
  • Goats cannot tolerate wet conditions and will always try to seek out a dry shelter in bad weather.
  • Goats are inquisitive animals whose curiosity can result in accidents and/or injury. Safety must be considered in terms of the design of buildings, doors, gates and fences.


  • Goats need 24 hours-a-day access to housing, whatever the season.
  • The house and everything inside should be cleaned frequently and disinfected to remove parasites.

Housing should:

  • be warm, dry, draught-free and well-ventilated
  • be of sufficient size, suitable construction and contain suitable facilities
  • allow all goats to rest and feed comfortably
  • allow the owner to inspect, handle and manage goats easily


  • Allow at least 2.0 to 2.5 square metres of space per goat.

Outdoor area

  • Goats need exercise and require access to a fenced area.
  • Care should be taken that the area does not contain hazards such as poisonous plants.


  • Fields and paddocks must be effectively fenced, as goats are very good at escaping.

Fences should:

  • be well maintained and provide protection against wild animals
  • be very strong, safe and durable
  • high and secure enough to prevent the goats escaping
  • be of a type that ensures goats cannot become trapped/injured.

Tethering goats

  • Goats must not be tethered.
  • There is a danger that tethered goats might become tangled/strangled and they cannot escape from bad weather /dogs / children, etc.
  • Goats need to be kept in a secure fenced area.

For more information on keeping goats download our booklet: An introduction to goat welfare and ownership (PDF 1.3MB).

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