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Colorado Springs changes pet ordinance to allow mini milking goats

By: monica mendoza Monica.Mendoza@gazette.com
May 14, 2014 Updated: May 14, 2014 at 6:35 pm
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photo - Penelope the mini goat visited City Hall with owner Monycka Snowbird in April when the Colorado Springs City Council first heard the proposed ordinance that would allow mini goats as pets. The ordinance was unanimously approved Tuesday. Photo by Monica Mendoza
Penelope the mini goat visited City Hall with owner Monycka Snowbird in April when the Colorado Springs City Council first heard the proposed ordinance that would allow mini goats as pets. The ordinance was unanimously approved Tuesday. Photo by Monica Mendoza 

Miniature goats now are considered pets in Colorado Springs.

And a homeowner can have two of them.

Colorado Springs City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to change the city's pet ordinance to include miniature goats, which must weigh less than 100 pounds.

The change was sponsored by council member Jill Gaebler, who said there is a growing interest in urban gardening and farming.

Her original proposal would have allowed four mini goats per household. But council member Don Knight wanted to be fair and match the change with the pot-bellied pig ordinance, which allows only two per household.

"I'm OK with that," said Monycka Snowbird, a goat owner who urged council to approve the changes. "It's a compromise, but still a win."

In fact, she said, most states and cities that allow mini goats in urban areas allow two per household.

Residents in Gaebler's District 5 asked that the city allow mini milking goats, saying they were interested in urban agriculture. Prior to the change, residents only could have hoofed animals if their property was close to 1 acre in size or they were approved for a special permit, which could cost more than $600 and was not always guaranteed.

"There are a lot of people who want a dairy goat for personal purposes and their own consumption," she said.

Mini goat owners say the little goats are smaller than some dogs, weighing about 50 pounds. Under the rule change, mini goat owners must register them with the city's animal control services. And one household can have up to two miniature goats, or a combination of four cats, dogs and mini goats. Unaltered male mini goats over 2 months old are not allowed.

Snowbird said anyone interested in miniature milking goats should study up on goats' diets and needs.

"People think they eat everything, but they are picky eaters," she said.

The trade off, she said, is that her little goats produce about 14 gallons of milk each month, which if she purchased in the grocery store would cost her $224.

"People not just in Colorado Springs, but nationwide, are really starting to pay attention to food . . . You can produce goat milk, cheese on your own property and control a portion of your family's food source."

The addition of miniature goat to the pet ordinance was approved on first reading and the ordinance will be voted on a second time May 27. The item will be on the consent agenda.

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