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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

Dwarf Goats in Wheat Ridge: Noise and Odor Questions

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The City of Wheat Ridge is in the process of considering a dwarf dairy goat ordinance (a draft version is not currently available, but we will link to it as soon as it is).  One of the Wheat Ridge City Councilmembers asked about noise and smell issues associated with dwarf goats. These are important issues to consider when looking at any animal ordinance.

Goats bleat occasionally, but the average goat bleat is quieter than the average dog bark. Also, remember that some dogs bark when a person walks by, or if they see a squirrel, or if they’re defending their territory, or if they’re bored. Goats don’t bleat in any of these situations. Goats are a “prey” species. Their natural response to a threat or unusual situation is to become very still and quiet.

Female (doe) and neutered male (wether) goats do not smell. The “goaty” smell associated with goats is emitted by un-neutered male goats (bucks). Bucks do smell tremendously bad, and they’re not suitable for the city. The proposed ordinance will not allow the keeping of buck goats in back yards. Goat urine is less odorous than cat urine, and it is easily absorbed into the ground or straw bedding. Goat manure is “dispensed” in small, compact pellets (similar to deer droppings). Goat manure does not smell or attract flies the way that cow and horse manure does. Plus, goat manure can be safely added to compost piles or dug into gardens!

This document provides a brief overview of Wheat Ridge’s current laws regarding goats, the basic facts about dwarf goats, the benefits of back yard dwarf goats, and dwarf goat laws in other cities. I look forward to having many conversations with citizens, elected officials, and city staff throughout the process of advocating for a dwarf goat ordinance. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about these animals, or about the keeping of them in back yards.

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One Comment

  1. Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the great work.

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