Goat health, husbandry and licensing requirements for city ownership will be the focus of a daylong symposium designed largely for new backyard goat farmers and hosted by the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital on April 19.

The Community Goat Symposium is free and open to the public. It will be in the CSU Diagnostic Medicine Center, off Drake Road just north of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and is sponsored by the CSU student chapter of the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners.

The event will include a dozen presentations provided by CSU veterinarians, veterinary interns and students who are experts in small-ruminant medicine.

The symposium is designed in part to provide important information for people interested in raising backyard goats; established farmers also will be interested in detailed information about veterinary concerns in goats.

In summer 2013, the Fort Collins City Council adopted a local ordinance that allows city dwellers to raise Nigerian Dwarf or African Pygmy goats as pets or for production of milk or fiber. The city of Denver also allows backyard goat farming as part of a blossoming national trend in urban agriculture.

The CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences published an online booklet, called “Healthy Living with Goats,” to give goat owners key information about the commitment required for backyard farming.

The goat symposium will offer even more: Morning talks will address goat breeds, housing, nutrition, waste management and city of Fort Collins regulations. Afternoon presentations will delve into veterinary care and costs, milking goats, life expectancy and diseases of concern to goat owners.

For a full schedule, registration, and to read or download the “Healthy Living with Goats” booklet, visit csuvth.colostate.edu.

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