Why goats are the cool kids of the animal playground

We know that goats are great little animals – useful, friendly, and intelligent. But there’s always more to be learnt about goats – especially these things that you might not know…

  • The domestication of goats can be traced back 9000 years, making them one of the oldest animals to be tamed by humans.
  • Goats are quite similar to dogs. They can recognise their name and will come when called.
  • They also have a similar lifespan to that of a dog – more like our favourite furry companies than we first thought.
  • Goats have an average of 2 kids a year, and each one has its own unique call and scent – which is how its mother recognises it.
  • More impressively, these kids can stand and start walking within minutes of being born.
  • Although you may think of goats as eating anything – they’re actually incredibly picky eaters. They usually test things with their lips before eating, and they won’t eat anything dirty or something that’s been lying around for a day or two.
  • Most people think of goats as grazers, but they’re actually more like foragers. In their natural habitat, goats will reach up as high as possible in order to pick out the nicest bits of foliage they can find.
  • Goats are family animals and very social. If you only own one goat you might find them getting very depressed. If you own a goat then it’s best to own at least a few of them so they don’t get lonely.
  • They have FOUR stomachs. Their food starts in the rumen, then to the reticulum, the omasum and finally the abomasum. Each stomach has its own function and allows goats to digest things that humans aren’t able to.
  • Goats have great eyesight! Their pupils are rectangular which makes their field of vision a whopping 340 degrees. Compare this to our own measly 160-210 degrees and you’ll see just how impressive this is.
  • They’re also thought to have excellent night vision – perfect for traversing tricky mountain terrain at night.
  • Talking of mountain terrain – goats are excellent climbers. But because they are mountain animals they love to climb, and people have even spotted goats at the top of trees, and even at the top of dams!
  • Last, but definitely not least, goats are amazing at belching! This is because of one of their stomachs – the rumen. In an adult goat, the rumen can hold up to five gallons of plant material. The rumen breaks down the cellulose and almost ferments the plant material. For those who don’t know, fermentation produces gas which manifests in the form of a big burp. So, if you ever fancy a burping competition, head on down to the barn and give them a go. But we’re not sure you’ll win!