Goats have been domesticated by humans for centuries and there are a number of reasons to keep these ruminants that go far beyond simple economics. Anyone who has kept goats can attest that they have a calming effect and they will make you smile. On top of this goats are simply fun!
Butting is inherent within their nature and they will playfully butt another goat and nip at each other. Goats are social animals and thrive better in herds and it is essential to keep with at least one other goat, so they are never kept alone. Butting and biting humans must not be permitted though and it is sensible not to turn your back to a goat. Remember, that cute little goat kid will grow into an adult. They can then injure humans, especially if they still have horns. If you do need to walk in a field of goats, take a piece of flexible piping with you and wave it like you have a tail and this will mean they will be more likely that they will leave you alone.
Watch goats play and interact between each other and you will see that they enjoy life. They even play games with each other and you! If you provide them with tyres and pallets in their outside area they will play such games as “King-Of-The-Castle” with each other. They like playing “Hide-And-Seek” with you as well, so are good to be around children. Just watching goats is great fun and they will make you laugh.
Goats need a lot of mental stimulation and they will greatly enjoy playing with toys such as tyres on long, sturdy fine-linked chains, large logs for standing on and climbing, and large robust balls, normally for horses. Additionally, by putting rubber horse mats on the ground they will roll on them to groom themselves. Goats are very curious and can get into all sorts of mischief.
Goats are highly intelligent creatures, great escapologists and very agile. If there is a way out, they will find it, especially if they have nothing to do all day except plan a jailbreak. This includes chewing through the fence and stripping the bark off trees. Goats are herbivores and eat by browsing.
Goats can make great pets, especially for smallholders. You can play with them and they will show affection in their own way. This way, both your life as well as the goat’s lives will be better for each other’s company.
Goats have always been made fun of and my favourite goat joke is:
“Why couldn’t the company run by goats get anything done?”
… “Everyone kept passing the buck!”
Interesting titbits about goats:
Goat Island was named because an early pioneer kept goats on the island, which is part of the Niagara Reservation State Park.
It is now possible for goats to produce silk protein within their milk and once refined produces a material like silk spun by spiders, however spinning it in to a silk suitable for fabric is still proving challenging.