If you are after an animal that is curious and intelligent yet still useful, the humble goat may be perfect for you. Goats can be kept as pets or livestock and they are one of the world’s oldest domesticated animals. Read on for more.
Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species known to man, tied with sheep for being the second ever domesticated animal (it is unknown which came first). There are over three hundred distinct species of goat that come in different sizes, shapes and colours. Goats are commonly used for their milk, meat, hair and skin but they are also becoming more popular as pets. Most goats have horns that are made from living bone and other proteins, and they use their horns for defence and dominance.
Goats are actually quite fun animals to keep as they have their own distinct personalities and habits. They are also surprisingly affectionate, liking to be around people and to get a pet or just be near them. Goats are also very curious, intelligent animals and they are well known for their ability to escape their pens. Goats are also good climbers and can even climb trees. Because of their natural curiosity, goats will explore anything new or unfamiliar that they see.
Goats are quite an easy animal to care for. As far as feeding goes, you can feed your goats daily or twice daily on hay and a supplemental grain mixture. Of course, goats will also graze happily and will eat plants, shrubbery, grass and other similar foods quite happily. You may even find that you have to keep certain things out of reach of your goat so that they don’t gobble them down! This is because goats are browsing animals and will chew on and taste just about anything to see if it is food. Finally, you can give your goats either a loose mineral mix or a mineral lick to make sure that they are getting all the minerals they need. Water is also vital and you should make sure that your goats have fresh, clean water available at all times.
Caring For Goats
You will need to provide your goat with shelter and protection. This could be as simple as a roof over their head or you can use a stable or pen. Your goat may also need to have its hooves trimmed, and if it is a breed that grows hair, such as the Angora goat, it will need to be shorn regularly.
Goats are very hardy animals but they can become subject to parasites, foot rot, feed toxicity, pneumonia, pinkeye, and foot and mouth disease. Generally speaking however, goats require little in the way of medical care and live for around 15 to 18 years on average.