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  • Writer's pictureBrowns' Family Farmstead

What Is a Wether Goat? 7 Benefits to Raising Them

Are you considering adding Wether goats to your farm or homestead? Find out why these friendly, low-maintenance animals are a great choice for many people.

Two Nigerian Dwarf goats standing on spools

Table of Contents

What is a Wether Goat?

Wether goats are castrated (fixed/neutered) male goats. Unlike bucks (intact males that can breed), wethers are not able to breed does.

Why Neuter a Buck?

There are a few common reasons why bucks are neutered. First and foremost, not all bucks will create quality offspring. If your buck has a medical condition or undesirable traits / characteristics, they are not considered ideal for breeding. Castration ensures that a specific goat will not reproduce (especially accidentally).

Since they are unable to breed, it also means that wethers are able to live in the same space as a doe year-round. This can be cost effective compared to a second shelter and pen.

When Should You Neuter a Buck?

It is best and easiest (for you and your goat) to neuter young, between 8 and 12 weeks old. However, it can be done at any time after that point with increased difficulty.

Less Likely to Escape Their Enclosure

Bucks will often get anxious during breeding season and try to escape their pen to breed with female goats. Even a small breed like Nigerian Dwarf goats can clear a 6-foot fence to get to a female. This is particularly problematic as Nigerians can breed year-round.

Luckily wethers do not experience this anxiety and will likely stay separated during mating season.

Determine if a Doe is in Heat

While wethers can’t physically breed, they will still try to reproduce when a doe is in heat. This acts as a good gauge for when your doe is ready to breed, even if you did not detect the signs.

Wethers Live Longer

An average buck lives 9 to 12 years, while wethers can live up to 16! This is because they are neutered and no longer experiencing a strain from their reproductive system.

Cheaper To Obtain

On average, wethers are 20% of the cost of a buck, making them a budget friendly option.

Two Nigerian dwarf goats standing on top of spools

Friendly, Quiet, Easy to Handle Making Them Ideal Pets

Wethers are less aggressive than bucks due to the decrease in hormones. Most even consider them to be friendly and a pleasure to be around.

They also tend to be quieter than bucks during breeding time, which can be very desirable. Not to mention they are less smelly as they do not urinate on their beards.

Due to this many consider wethers to make great pets, even for families with children.

Great for Brush Clearing and Land Management

As an omnivore, they will clear a variety of terrains including bushes, grass, sticks, weeds, and other various plants. Many consider them to be extraordinary lawnmowers.

Learn more in our article about how to use goats for weed control (Goatscaping).

Can be Raised for Meat or Fiber

Much like does and bucks wethers can be raised for other purposes such as fiber (cashmere) or even meat. For more ideas on how to monetize your wether goats, we have created a comprehensive guide for making income.

Final Thoughts

Many farmers add wethers to their herd to reap a variety of benefits. Not only are they an affordable option to obtain but they are able to live with does without risk of breeding, making them ideal for many goat owners.

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