FARM ANIMAL COALITION
Learn about goats
Goats are another species that are kept for milk and meat at various intensive farms today. Like cows, pigs and chickens, they are seen as commodities to meet the demands of humans. However, if we take away the viewpoint of goats as a commodity, they can be seen as one amazing species. Do you know that goats are excellent at climbing? Do you know there are different names between a female goat and a male goat? Find out more about goats with us below.
Let's get scientific about goats!
a) General characteristics
Goats can live for as long as 12-14 years or even longer. They are natural climbers who love to climb and should be provided with a hilly area.
Goats are ruminants, which means that they are multi-stomached animals. As a matter of fact, they have one stomach with 4 chambers, namely rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. They have curious minds, which propels them to investigate everything, mostly using their mouths.
While a female goat can be referred to as a doe or nanny, a male goat can be called a buck, a billy goat or he-goat. They are very hierarchy-oriented animals and could fight to decide the dominant one. Their most important behaviors are:
1. Feeding and drinking: This maintains their health and proper functiong.
2. Grazing and ruminating: These activities are also essential for their well-being
3. Grooming: This significantly helps reduce disease and parasites.
Goats experience stress when faced with unusual experiences. They prefer a gentle approach. Therefore, it is ill-advised to move suddenly when dealing with them.
b) Goats' well-being
Goats are social animals. They can experience great distress upon being isolated. They need company like they need fresh and clean water (never frozen).
They are prey animals who may not show clear signs of pain or diseases. However, these can be a good indication of goats being in distress:
1. Being less active/social than typical
2. Self-imposed isolation from the rest of its group
3. Having its tail down and a its back hunched
4. Consuming less food and water than usual
5. Grooming less than usual
6. Hair coat looks dull and rough
7. Signs of injuries/limping
8. Discharge from the eyes, noses or other organs
9. Swollen or discolored udder
10. Loss in weight or more vulnerable to attacks from other animals
12. Labored breathing
13. Abnormal body temperature
Fun facts about goats!
1. Marisa Erasmus, "Quick Goat Facts". Animal well-being: Goats. Purdue Extension. https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/AS/AS-658-W.pdf
2. Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Goat Fact Sheet. https://casanctuary.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Goat-Fact-Sheet.pdf
In order of appearance in the fun fact section:
* Click on the pictures to learn about other farm animals