Goats are incredible animals. They have a weird inclination to stand on cows, they don’t graze they browse, they are often considered devils but their milk is better than that of cows! Let us today learn 20 crazy goat facts and find out more about this incredible mammal. Let us see how many of you actually knew about these!
Crazy Goat Facts 1-5
1. Goats don’t graze on grass. Get a goat to clean up the grass of your beautiful lawn and it will devour all the shrubs but grass! This is because they are browsers and they prefer eating fruits, shoots, leaves, shrubs and plants.
2. Never call goats by the names Billy (for males) and Nanny (for females). They have their different names. Buck is the name used for adult males and Doe is for adult females. Male baby goats less than a year old are known as ‘Bucklings’ and ‘Doelings’ is the name used to refer to female baby goats less than a year old.
3. ‘Kids’ is the term used to collectively refer to baby goats. Did you know that the term ‘kids’ was used to refer to baby goats since 1200s? ‘Kids’ was used in a more generalized sense to refer to ‘children’ only in 1599.
4. These folks literally stand on the back of cows! Not just cows. They can stand on almost everything including humans, horses and everything they can lay their feet on and they don’t lose their balance. Why? That’s because they originated in Anatolia’s Zagros Mountains and were habituated climbing cliffs and rocks. So, if you see a bunch of goats standing on a tree don’t get surprised!
5. Researchers based in London figured out that goats have accents! They figured out in a research that goats can change their accents when they move to a different group or when they grow up. Well, this discovery makes them the 4th mammal to be able to pick up accents. The other three are dolphins, elephants and of course, humans.
Crazy Goat Facts 6-10
6. Do you know that goats are very much capable of scaring people? Thanks to their weirdly rectangular pupils with horizontal slits and pale irises that make this possible. From evolutionary point of view, this helps the goats to keep an eye on predators over a wide range. Most hoofed animals (a classic example being cow) have similar eyes but not as prominent as goats because their irises are not pale.
7. It is a popular belief that goats eat tin cans. That’s not true. Because they are browsers, they end up chewing anything that distantly looking like wooden vegetation and plants and these include labels on tin cans, paper and cardboard boxes.
8. Goats have the uncanny ability to yell like humans. Their calls are known as bleating.
9. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goats in this world. You can find the entire list here: List of all goat breeds.
10. Goat milk is better than cow milk! This is because of the fact that goat milk is naturally homogenized. As a result, goat milk has 5 times fewer fat molecules that cow milk. This is the reason why goat milk can be easily digested.
Crazy Goat Facts 11-15
11. It is not really easy to distinguish between cow milk and goat milk. Those with extreme sense of taste often say that goat milk tastes milder than cow milk.
12. Cabrito or Chevon is the official name for goat meat. Even goat meat is better than chicken, pork or beef because of low cholesterol and fat content.
13. Goats do not prefer to stay alone. They prefer at least one other goat as a companion but they readily accept the companionship of other animals too, specifically horses. It is because of this reason why racing horses are kept with companion goats. Usually one horse gets one companion goat. Goats seem to have a calming effect on the racing horses.
14. Goats are pretty good swimmers!
15. It is being said that goats were responsible for discovering coffee. According to popular belief, an Ethiopian goat herder found his goats displaying energetic and active behavior after browsing from a specific bush. The person decided to try it and felt the same uplifting effect and that’s how coffee was discovered.
Crazy Goat Facts 16-20
16. Cashmere goat produces cashmere and Angora goat produces mohair. In one year, one Cashmere goat produces 1 lb of cashmere fleece while an Angora goat produces 4 lb of mohair fleece.
17. If trained properly, goats are capable of pulling carts and they can be put to work as pack animals. As pack animals they are better than horses and/or donkeys because of ease of maneuverability as they can move through thick bushes with ease.
18. Goats lack upper front teeth. Instead of teeth they have a very hard gum pad.
19. Male goats are capable of breeding when they are just 4 months old and female goats are capable of breeding when they are just 7 months old but they should usually be kept from breeding until they reach the age of 1 year. Goats have a lifespan of up to 12 years with 8 being the average lifespan.
20. Male goats of the Pygmy Goats are usually not allowed to get close to the females because milk of females can get a weird ‘goaty’ flavor due to the strong odor of the bucks.
Well, that concludes our 20 crazy goat facts but we will love to give you a few more weird facts related to goats. So, let us get started!
Weird Goat Facts:
There is a church in Spain where goats are thrown off of a 50-foot high belfry as a part of their annual festival of San Vicente de Martir in honor of Saint Vincent. People standing below try to catch the goats using blankets. Some are fortunate and are saved but most are not that fortunate.
In Lajitas – a border town in Texas, 3 generations of goats were selected as mayor of the town. The first one was a goat named Clay Henry who became mayor in 80s. The position was then taken by Clay Henry’s son named Clay Henry Jr. and then it was his grandson Clay Henry III. Well, Clay Henry had a habit of drinking 40 beers a day. The final mayor i.e. Clay Henry III was not really a fortunate fellow and had to face an attack from a local man named Jim Bob Hargrove. Hargrove was literally pissed off because the Mayor Goat got to drink beer while alcohol sale was absolutely prohibited in the town. Hargrove castrated Clay Henry III.
In Afghanistan, the national sport is Buzkashi which in English translates into ‘Goat-Grabbing’. Men riding on horse compete against each other to grab a goat carcass (the carcass is without a head) and carry it to the scoring area. Whoever manages to do that, wins the game. Unfortunately, too much grabbing and pulling can cause the carcass to disintegrate.
Have you heard of fainting goats? Well, they don’t really faint. In panicky situations, their muscles suddenly paralyze for some time because of a medical condition known as Congenital Myotonia which is actually a central nervous system condition. Because the muscles paralyze, they fall appearing as if they faint. The senior goats who are actually pretty experienced with this condition try to brace themselves against a wall or a fence so that they don’t fall! Intelligent, huh?