Did you know you can now raise goats in your back yard in Fort Collins? Back in July the Fort Collins City Council  adopted revisions to an ordinance governing urban agriculture, which allows beekeeping and ownership of backyard ducks and chickens. For the first time, the ordinance also allows city folk to raise goats as pets or for milk or fiber production.

The Colorado State University Veterinary Extension team wants to help.  They have published a nine-page booklet, titled “Healthy Living with Goats: An Overview of Health Issues for the Backyard Farmer.” It is available online for free! The booklet, authored by CSU veterinarians Ragan Adams and David Van Metre, is meant to help backyard farmers understand the risks and responsibilities of raising goats.

Some of the important issues include:

  • City of Fort Collins residents must receive permits from the Larimer Humane Society in order to raise goats.
  • Permits are issued after residents have demonstrated knowledge of proper management, have proof of rabies vaccination, and have undergone site inspections, providing goat housing according to ordinance specifications.
  • Only female or castrated male goats will be permitted in city limits.
  • The goats must be kept in pairs, and they must be either Nigerian Dwarf or African Pygmy breeds.
  • The pamphlet also provides information about veterinary concerns, including zoonotic diseases, or those that can be passed from animals to humans and vice versa.

City of Fort Collins Ordinance No. 097, 2013, is available online.