There are countless reasons why people sell goats; maintaining herd size, personality quarks, age, low milk production, failure to conform to breed standards, and as always those who simply breed to sell. There are also numerous options when it comes to marketing goats. However, before marketing goats choose your rules. Rules? Yes, will you require deposits or simply a wait list? A wait list works well in most cases if a goat becomes available and meets the interested party’s criteria; doe, buck, doeling, buckling, color, or age the buyers are contacted in order of the list. Although special consideration is often given to past clients. Other possible rules may consist of strict day rules on babies. Want a bottle baby? Then the baby needs to be picked up within three days of birth. Do you want the horns left on? Then pick up is required by five-days-old or full asking price is paid upfront. This method also applies to those who typically keep horned goats and someone wants them disbudded. Now, what are some of the choices for selling livestock?
Word of mouth
This is my favorite way to sell an animal. There is nothing better than when someone you know can vouch for a possible buyer. I become extremely attached to every goat we have, therefore making the choice to sell hard enough, let alone trusting people you don’t know.
As your name gets out there, the possibility of a buyer coming directly to you increases. Keeping a page with available animals is a wonderful way to get buyers. Nice photos of each animal and copies of their lineage are great additions. Make sure to have your contact information available for potential buyers. Having both a contact phone number and email address is ideal.
Facebook has a few different methods for possibly rehoming livestock. Share on a personal page or a business/ farm page the availability of the animal. There are also great groups that allow the sharing of available livestock. Let’s say you raise Oberhasli goats, you would find groups that are directed towards that breed also location-based livestock pages can be great. Though I believe animal sales are not openly allowed on Facebook.
Getting ready for a complete crap show on this one. You will get many scam calls and people looking to get a quality animal for a penny. Go ahead write firm on your post it does not even phase people from throwing out demeaning offers. The worst part is out of the thirty people who set up appointments two will show up.
This relatively small site shows potential for marketing goats and other livestock. I have placed a few animals on there over the years and even found and purchased a cow once off Hoobly. It’s a free service but you will need an account.
This is one method I have never personally used. Not for any reason other than I do not want to accidentally bring home disease or illness. Just being around all the animals and possibly stepping in feces goes against our bio-security plan. I have had friends who have both bought and sold animals at these auctions and they have had great luck and not so great luck. That ten-dollar doe may end up costing you a few hundred in vet bills or worse a herd kill-off. Cae, Cl, and Johnes is no joke in the goat world some farmers have had to cull their entire herds due to these infections.
While I am not sure that there are “right and wrong ways” to sell an animal, I do believe there are some ways that are better. One thing we do differently than many is we require a veterinarian recommendation letter if we do not personally know the buyer. Why? We raise amazing healthy goats that routinely see their veterinarian, we strive for them to receive the same quality care when they leave our farm. While this may seem extreme for some, it helps us to sleep at night, knowing if an emergency arises the buyer has the means to get appropriate health care. Oh and we do check out the vet and call and ask about the client, anyone can type out a letter now adays.