BRIGHTON, Colo. — Let's hope this isn't a "baaaaad" idea.
The Brighton City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a new pilot program that will allow some residents to keep miniature goats on their properties, according to a release.
Those who participate will have to meet certain terms:
- Only disbudded female miniature goats will be allowed (The size limit is 24.5 inches tall at the withers (that's the ridge between the animal's shoulder blades, in case you were wondering).
- There must be exactly two goats per property.
- Goats would be considered household pets and count towards the maximum of four allowed per property.
- Rabies vaccinations would be required.
- No on-site breeding or slaughter allowed.
- Goats are only allowed on single-family detached properties with landowner permission.
- Permits are required.
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In addition, the release said, the minimum lot size on which to keep the goats is 7,500 square feet.
The Brighton Police Department's Community Service Officer Division will enforce the program, according to the release.
The vote by City Council was not made without research. Last summer, the release said, city staff conducted a community survey on goats that sought input from the Brighton community. Many of the public concerns from the survey were taken into account in developing the program, according to the release.
"This goat pilot program is a great way to address not only growing interest in the area when it comes to goats for residential properties, but also tapping into the urban agricultural trend in the state that we already see in other cities like Denver, Arvada and Fort Collins," Brighton Mayor Gregory Mills said. "By starting this as a fairly small pilot program, we can see how the guidelines work and what can be improved for the benefit of the goat owners and nearby residents."
Not everyone who wants to participate in the program will be able to. Only 10 permits will be offered. The release said interested residents will be required to enter a lottery by the end of February on the city's Goat Keeping Pilot Program web page. The web page also has goat-keeping educational documents for reference, the release said.
The release said the lottery drawing will take place on March 2 at 10 a.m. and will be streamed live on the city's Facebook page.
Extension of the two-year program will require action by City Council, the release said.
Anyone with questions should contact Shannon McDowell, City of Brighton Long Range Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-655-2015.
Benefits of urban goat keeping include small space requirements, production of fresh milk, natural property maintenance and support and the comparable nature to family pets. Some concerns include noise and smell, as well as the proper training and care of goats, the city said in a release when it was soliciting comments from residents.
A quick web search revealed the following fun facts about goats, as shared by Interlaken, NY-based goat dairy Lively Run:
- Goats were one of the first animals to be tamed by humans and were being herded 9,000 years ago.
- Goat meat is the most consumed meat per capita worldwide.
- Goats can be taught their name and to come when called.
- The life span of a goat is about that of a dog.
- Baby goats (kids) are standing and taking their first steps within minutes of being born.
- Each kid has a unique call, and along with its scent, that is how its mother recognizes it from birth – not by sight.
- Counter to the dominant stereotype about goats being willing to eat anything, they are actually very picky eaters. They have very sensitive lips, which they use to “mouth” things in search of clean and tasty food. They will often refuse to eat hay that has been walked on or lying around loose for a day.
- Goats are herd animals and will become depressed if kept without any goat companions. So, it is unhealthy for a goat if a family just owns one as a pet.
One final goat fact: The Colorado Rockies' AA minor league affiliate in Hartford, CT is called the Yard Goats. In 2016, Sports Illustrated ranked it the second-weirdest team name in minor league baseball (first place went to the Batavia Muckdogs out of New York). So now you know.
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