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Pet Goat Facts Tips | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Pet Goat Facts and Tips

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Baby Nigerian Dwarf Goat loves her picture taken…as you can see.

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Cheryl Wing
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Are you thinking about getting a goat? Here are some interesting facts you might not know about our friends who were once known as “the poor man’s cow.”

If there were wisdom in beards, all goats would be prophets.

The myth that goats eat anything, from tin cans to noxious weeds is false. In fact, goats are notoriously persnickety.

  • Worldwide more people drink goat milk than any other variety.
  • Goats belong to the genus Capra, an offshoot of the cattle family, and like cows, camels, and giraffes, they are ruminants, which means they are cud chewing and hoofed.
  • The Egyptians worshiped goats and the Greeks sacrificed them, making them “scape-goats” that took on the sins of the community.
  • During the Middle Ages, Christians feared that goats were Satan’s associates because of their cloven hooves and their lecherous ways when in heat.
  • In the traditional zodiac, the sign of Capricorn, represented by the goat, is noted for creativity.
  • In Latin, the word for goat, capre gives us capricious for “lighthearted,” or “impulsive.”
  • Many have found goats to be charming, whimsical, endearing, and quite possibly the precursor to the dog being “man’s best friend.”

Goats as Pets

  • Goats hate to get wet and need protection from the cold. Plan to keep the stalls clean and draft-free.
  • Well-fed, content goats with good fencing stay contained. If they’re being poorly fed and poorly fenced they will find a way out.
  • Goats need a balanced grain nutrition. They should be fed from two to six times a day for high-yield production.
  • Anything spoiled or soiled repels them.
  • Trimming hooves, dehorning, castrating, shots, grooming equipment, feed, and fencing are chores and expenses required for keeping goats.
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