[easyreview title=”Raising Goats for Dummies, by Cheryl K. Smith” cat1title=”Books” cat1detail=”The go-to reference for anyone who has decided to raise goats – not just for newbies, either. ” cat1rating=”5″]
When we made the decision to bring goats into our lives, I did quite a lot of reading prior to actually looking for a breeder from whom to purchase. I’m one of those people – you know, the ones who have a near-obsessive need to research things before taking action on them. I ended up re-reading the same book about three times before we brought our first doelings home, and to be honest, I still didn’t feel quite as prepared as I would have liked. I really wish that this book had been available at the time, because WOW does it give a comprehensive overview of everything you’re going to need to know to get started!
The author has kept goats since 1998, making her seem like a “newcomer” to some who have been at it for several decades, but let me tell you, she knows her stuff, and having “fresh eyes” on the subject is a good thing – especially for those of us who truly are newbies to the wonderful world of goats. It is readily apparent that Ms. Smith could still remember the sort of questions that someone new to goats will have, and address them thoughtfully and effectively.
A unique aspect of this book is that it covers both dairy and meat breeds, so anyone who might be thinking about either would only need to read one book to get a good basic introduction to both. She introduces common breeds here in the U.S. and provides criteria that will help the reader decide which one is right for them. Chapters on readying your property for goats, providing them shelter, and what to feed them are full of great information and tips, as are those on healthcare, breeding, and pregnancy. Ms. Smith provides not just factual data, but personal experiences interspersed throughout the text as well – valuable insights both to those just considering goats as a possibility, as well as those of us who have already taken the plunge.
Because this is a “For Dummies” book, it has the very readable format, with several step-by-step instructionals with illustrations – some of those I know I will use again and again are the how-to’s on giving injections, hoof trimming, drawing blood for tests, and tube-feeding a kid. It’s going to be easy to quickly reference those instructions, too – the index and table of contents are excellent, and very descriptive and complete.
Will this be the only reference you will ever need on goats? No, and I’m sure the author would agree. But I think it is the choice for a first book on goats that you are likely to refer to again and again. I know that we will! If you’d like to get your own copy, you can purchase it from Amazon.com by clicking on the book image above, and our farm will receive a credit from Amazon from your purchase, which will be used to build our farm library (and allow us to review more books.) We thank you kindly for supporting our site!