Seven years ago, Diana Niver, now 60, was running an animal rescue farm in central New York and wanted a way to keep her rescue goats warm. But there wasn’t much available on the market to suit her needs. “I was looking for coats for my own goats,” says Niver, “and I had tried different brands and none of them seemed to stay on or there was some flaw with them. So I just made up my own pattern, and went from there.”
‘The older farmers, they don’t put clothes on their livestock. But I think it’s becoming more and more acceptable.
Niver now sells around 800 goat coats a season at Goat Coat Shop, sewed to fit your particular goat. “Just measure from the beck of the neck to the tail,” she says, “and a get your belly girth measurement — usually the widest part — and that’s that.” Send in measurements, pick from 14 different colors, and the Goat Coat Shop will hand-stitch a windproof, waterproof covering for your livestock, no matter the size. “Anywhere from little kids to ponies, really,” says Niver.
And they’re more than just a fashion statement. “It helps keeps the herd healthy,” says Niver. “If they’re warm ,they don’t get diseases and infections. If they’re out there shivering, it lowers their resistance.”
Of course, any new business faces some skepticism. “The older farmers, they don’t put clothes on their livestock,” says Niver. “But I think it’s becoming more and more acceptable.” Older goats, sick goats, and especially goats that have just had surgery can all benefit from a Goat Coat, says Niver. “It keeps them from licking their wounds.”
Goat coats can be used for more than just goats — Niver also sells coats for pigs, dogs, and other livestock.
So if you’ve got an animal and you want to keep ’em looking warm — and stylish — you might give Niver a call.