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Growing Urban Goat Movement

Courtesy of Castle Rock Farm
 

Courtesy of Castle Rock Farm

On the heels of the urban chicken movement, some West Coast cities have made it legal to keep backyard goats. But it doesn't look like that'll happen anytime soon in the Sacramento area.

Sarah Hawkins breeds and sells a specific variety of miniature goats.

"The Nigerian Dwarf can be for pets and for milk," says Hawkins, "and for eating weeds - they'll eat yellow star thistle."

Hawkins owns Castle Rock Farm in Vacaville. Most of her customers live in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland where it's legal to keep goats in backyards.

Other cities throughout the country are adopting similar ordinances. National numbers show a 30 percent jump in registered goats compared to last year. 

"Chickens are sort of that gateway livestock," says Hawkins. People get into the chickens and they're like 'oh, hey having a a little farm thing is kind of fun.' And then goats are the next most logical thing."

But within Sacramento city limits and in residential areas of Sacramento County, owning a goat is illegal. It is allowed in areas zoned for agriculture in Sacramento County or residential lots with 20-thousand square feet.

Four years ago, the Sacramento City Council approved a backyard chicken ordinance.