I raised goats years ago on my farm in Rappahannock. Mine were meat goats. They paid for themselves the first year in sales. I had quality, not quantity (not enough land to sustain more than 30 head).
To make a profit, I researched the "in" breed, which happened to be Kiko at the time. I purchased a full blooded black male and some percentage does to add to the boar percentage does that I purchased initially. I crossed the boar crosses with Kiko and produced some decent breeder females to sell. The meat side, no profit there (males only). It was the breeders who paid the money back into the farm.
I always say quality or quantity if you are going small.
That is true with fads, breeders selling to breeders when the fad starts is where the money is, until there are more breeders than those wanting to get started in that fad.
Happened with friesians, gypsy vanners, ostriches, llamas and goats also, although goats themselves are not a fad, just some niches are, just as with horses.
The trick to make any of them become a profit center is to get in at the start and who has that good a crystal ball?
There was a time ostrich pairs were bringing tens of thousands.
as for goats making things, be sure to check the state's child labor laws as kids are not allowed to machinery in most states
They were not lose around here, but East of Dallas they sure were.
I have not heard of any such for a few years now.
Natural attrition is my guess, as they were not the smartest of birds or in the right environment to thrive there.
A neighbor many years ago was raising them, the empty pens are still standing behind his house.
He was really making good money with them for a while, then sold out just before the market broke and you could not give them away.
At one time, his were even slaughtered for specialty meats in restaurants.
There was such a run on boer goats for meat around here, but they never made close to the money ostriches did and meat goats do have an ethnic market around here.
Growing up, our neighbor had a few milking goats and the milk went to the pigs they were fattening.
Now, goat soap, I had never heard of it until this thread.
I had the best fried goat cheese appetizer at a restaurant lately. So making cheese and reselling might be profitable too. I think the biggest hurdle is the infrastructure, in the physical farm setup, and the hygienic and mechanical requirements for safe production and storage. And if you go into soap making or cheese making or other products there is equipment for that. If you are serious, then try an internship with someone else, or at least visit a few places that have the production methods you want.
Another thing people don't realize is goat milk can be used to make ANY cheese, not just the soft white cheese (chevre) you recognize at the store.
We make chedder, feta, mozzarella, gouda, brie, queso fresco...the list goes on.
Goat milk soap is great stuff. I have very sensitive skin, so it's all I use now. Most of the benefits are probably in my head, but that's okay. I will say the oatmeal kind I get for my little dog with terrible skin issues really helps.
If anyone is interested in trying goat milk soap, shoot me a PM and I'll point you to my supplier - she makes amazing soap that smells SO good. The Cherry Almond is my favorite...