Miniature Goats


In July 2021, the City of San Marcos amended its Municipal Code to allow residents of single family homes to keep and maintain two miniature goats.  The specific regulations are in Section 6.079.

Miniature goats are herding animals and need companionship. For that reason, the City requires that you keep and maintain two goats and not just one. The regulations require that a goat shed be provided and located no less than 20 feet from an adjacent residence of business.  The regulations also require that the goats have a secured outdoor area that is at least 400 square feet and requires a 5-foot fence.


  • Goats can provide fresh milk and cheese. It is important to keep in mind the regulations require that any goat's milk or cheeses produced be for personal consumption only.
  • Goat milk and cheese may be consumed by individuals who are allergic to cow's milk. The American Dairy Goat Association states the fat globules in goats are smaller than those in cow's milk and that the curd is softer and smaller which eases digestion.
  • On average two goats can provide as much as a half-gallon of milk per day.
  • Goat manure, unlike that of dogs, can be added to compost piles or used directly as a fertilizer when tilled into the soil.
  • Many goat owners boast of the companionship and enjoyment goats provide to their owners. 


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. Young children and those with immune impairment are especially at risk. The following information provides ways to reduce the risks:

  • Pasteurize all goat milk. The National Dairy Council says to heat the strained milk to a minimum of 145⁰F for 30 minutes or to 161⁰F for more than 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching the goats or anything in the area where they occupy. Avoid touching your mouth before washing your hands. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle or touch goats without supervision.
  • Adults should supervise hand washing for young children. 
  • Do not eat or drink in the area the goats occupy.

Summary of Regulations

  • Only miniature, pygmy, or dwarf goats may be kept.
  • Males must be neutered.
  • Two goats must be kept, except that offspring may be kept for up to 12 weeks from birth. 
  • The goat shed shall be no less than 10 square feet and designed to be predator proof, vented, waterproof, and easily accessed for cleaning.
  • The goat shed must be located no less than 20 feet from adjacent resident or business.
  • The shed shall provide direct access to an outdoor enclosure that is a minimum of 400 square feet, surrounded by a 5-foot-tall fence that is secured from outside of the pen, free of objects that would allow the goat to climb out of the enclosure. The enclosure must be accessed for cleaning. 
  • Goat's milk, cheeses, and similar food products are for personal consumption only. Sale of these is prohibited.

More Information

Additional information regarding keeping and maintaining goats can be found at the following websites: