In January 2012, the City of San Diego amended its Municipal Code to allow residents of single family homes to keep and maintain two miniature goats. The specific regulations are in Section 44.0307 and can be found by downloading the following provision: Chapter 04, Article 04, Division 03, Animals.
Miniature goats are herding animals and need companionship. For that reason, the City requires you keep and maintain two goats and not just one. The regulations require that a goat shed be provided and located outside of all required setbacks, which are based on the zoning of your property. Generally, most single-family homes in the city of San Diego would have to locate the goat shed 5 feet from side property lines, and 13 feet from the rear property line. The regulations also require that the goats have a secured outdoor area that is at least 400 square feet.
For specific information regarding the zone setback for your property, go to the Zoning Map application and type in your address. You will then receive the zone name for your property. A link to “More Info” takes you to another page that directs you to the regulations for your zone. When viewing the regulations, go to the Development Regulations Table for your zone and look up “Setback Requirements.”
You can also call the City’s Development Services Department at 619-446-5000, provide your address and request the name of your zone and the zoning setback information. Someone will return your call and provide you with the information.
There are certain health risks inherent in handling goats or anything in the areas they occupy. It is very important to understand that goat’s milk must be pasteurized before it is consumed or used for making cheese. Consuming raw, unpasteurized, milk can cause life threatening illnesses especially in young children and those with immune impairment are especially at risk. The following information provides ways to reduce the risks:
Miniature goats include dwarf and pygmy breed goats as well as miniature goats (a standard goat bred to a dwarf or pygmy goat).
Goats bleat occasionally, but the average bleat is quieter than the average dog bark. Unlike dogs which tend to bark if they see or hear another animal, goats are a “prey” species that stays still and quiet in response to a perceived threat or unusual situation.
Breeding goats has similarities to breeding dogs. There are professional goat breeders in the region that provide breeding services for a fee.
Unneutered male goats emit a very foul odor and are not suitable in an urban setting.
Goats can be very playful, even rambunctious, especially in a confined urban setting. They are required to be dehorned to protect them. With horns intact, goats can get stuck in fencing and other objects and potentially injure themselves. Goats should be dehorned (disbudded) when they are young, typically within three weeks of birth.
It makes excellent compost. In fact, goats provide a simple way of recycling vegetarian food scraps. The goats will eat any vegetable scraps.
Additional information regarding keeping and maintaining goats can be found at the following websites: