So You Want to be a Goat Farmer – Selling Goats

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As a goat farmer you may find yourself in a position to sell goats from your herd, either as purebred breeding stock or because you may have extra milking goats or replacements to sell.  Whatever the reasons, there are points to consider when selling your goats.  As a seller of goats it is not your responsibility to screen potential buyers.  However, as a goat farmer you should ask some questions to ensure goat farming is for them.  People with little to no experience may become overwhelmed and come back to you for advice and guidance.  Are you prepared to support the buyer?

Outlined below are some points to help get you started as a seller:

  1. What is the health status of your goats? If you are selling goats as health status unknown (meaning you are not guaranteeing those animals are free of specific diseases) then let potential buyers know that.
  2. If you are selling goats as disease free then provide written proof from your herd veterinarian. A verbal statement does not constitute proof.
  3. Ensure the goats are moved well in advance of their freshening dates, if applicable. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations prohibit the transport of animals likely to give birth during transport.  Knowing that transport stress can induce labour, producers need to use caution during the last 10 per cent of gestation.
  4. When potential buyers come to your farm provide biosecurity wear, i.e. disposable boots or boots worn on your farm, to prevent new diseases being introduced to your farm.

Purchase agreement

Have a written agreement between you (the seller) and the buyer, clearly stating the conditions of the offer and have both parties sign the document. When the conditions of sale are clearly outlined less problems will occur.  Consider including the following points:

  • What is the agreed upon price? Is a deposit required to hold the goats?
  • If the potential buyer is unable to take the goats on the agreed upon date will the deposit be forfeited? Ensure there is a clear guideline if the goats do not move by the agreed upon date.  If the goats do not move by the agreed upon date, clearly state what happens to the goats, including if the owner is free to resell the goats.
  • If the seller and buyer agree the goats can stay past the original agreed upon date, are there additional costs associated with the goats staying longer (i.e. for feed, labour, etc. This could be a dollar amount per head per day.)?
  • State the disease status of the herd in the agreement, either health status unknown or provide a written report from your veterinarian stating the disease status and withdrawal dates for meat and milk for any goats receiving treatment or medicated feed. If any goats have broken needles in them, include a written statement identifying which goat and the approximate location of the broken needle.
  • If additional testing is required by the buyer who is responsible for the additional costs?
  • What is the health guarantee of the goats from the time of arrival to the new farm?
  • Who is responsible for the transfer of pedigrees for registered animals?
  • Who is responsible for trucking?

For more information on farming goats refer to:

Other Resources in this series:

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments.

This resource is for educational purposes only. Ontario Goat is not responsible for any business decisions made by consulting this resource.