10 Fun Things You May Not Know About Goats

Friday, March 4, 2016
Hi - From Indian Ladder Farms

So, when I'm not writing about destinations, my posts can get a little on the serious side.  Well, it's Friday and weekends are about fun so today I'm going to write a post just for the FUN of it!  

One of my winter projects (the only one I've actually gotten around to) was to clean out and organize my digital files.  In doing so, I realized I have a lot of goat photos. It appears I love goats!  So, today I'm going to share some of my goat collection with you along with some fun facts about goats  - hopefully a few that you may not know about.  Sit back, relax and enjoy a little visit with my friends, the goats.

This first series of goats (including the one above) live at St. Mary's of Cashmere in Greenwich, NY.  St. Mary's is the oldest American monastic foundation in the Anglican/Episcopal Church.  The sisters at St. Mary's raise award winning cashmere goats to sell as breeding stock as well as to produce cashmere for roving and yarn.

Interesting Fact #1 - in 1994 China had a population of 123 million cashmere goats and is the largest producer of cashmere down.  You can meet the beautiful goats of St. Mary's this spring during the Washington County Fiber Tour.

The next couple of goats are residents of the Rowland Agricultural Center at Hildene in Manchester, VT.  Goats at Hildene are raised using a rotational grazing system.  Goats graze on a small section of land for two or three days and are then rotated to another section every two or three days to an area with fresh grass.  These goats are raised for their milk which is used in cheese production.  A visit to the Rowland Agricultural Center is part of a visitor's tour at Hildene.  You even have the opportunity to see the daily milking process!

Interesting Fact #2 - Goats are herding animals and will become depressed if kept without any other goats..
Here's a couple of the coats who live at Hildene:

I'm pretty sure this tired babe is a Nubian.

Interesting Fact #3 - Goat's pupils (like any hooved animals) are rectangular.  This gives them vision for 320-340 degrees, compared to humans with 160-210.  They are also thought to have excellent night vision. 

We couldn't talk about goats without talking about the Beekman 1802 goats.  Pictured below is Farmer John, the official Beekman 1802 Goat Whisperer and Papa Extraordaire - or as we all know, the guy who raises all of the goats on the Beekman Farm.  

Interesting Fact #4 - Farmer John names each and every goat born on the farm using a system he created.  If I remember correctly, if a mamma goat begins with a letter D, all of her babies will have a name that begins with a letter D.   That's pretty ambitious considering there are currently over 200 baby goats born on the farm each spring!  To see more of the Beekman goats, check out their live goat cam using this link: http://shop.beekman1802.com/blogs/news/12748233-live-baby-goat-cam-win-a-dropcam-of-your-own

Interesting Fact #5 - Contrary to popular belief, goats will not eat anything and everything.  In fact, they are actually picky eaters.  Goats have very sensitive lips which they use to mouth "things" in search of clean food.  They often refuse to eat hay that has been walked on or has been lying around for a day.  This brings me to my next goats............

These goats above live on the farm that produces Alabu Skin Care products locally - some of my favorite goat's milk soap, in fact.  According to my friends at Alabu, goats love raspberries, blueberries and roses but won't touch their treats if resident pony, Caddy, has touched them!  So much for those old cartoons showing goats eating tin cans! Although, if you stand a little too close they might be inclined to nibble on your clothing, as we learned when visiting the Beekman farm.

I met these next two babies at Faddegon's Nursery Spring Petting Event.  Just look at these beautiful blue eyes.
Interesting fact #6 - Like their human counterparts, goat 'kids' love to snuggle and if bottle raised will bond with their caregivers.  

Interesting fact #7 - Some goats are born with 'wattles', fleshy dangly things on their necks. They are also sometimes called 'bells' or 'skin tags'.  They serve no purpose and are thought to be a genetic trait left over from evolution.  (Thank you  Redwood Hill Farm for the photo below and fact #7)

Interesting fact #8 - Kids commonly arrive in twins, but sometimes singles and triplets are born too.

This goat resides at the local Bowman's Orchard.  

Interesting fact #8 - Goats have four stomachs. Their food first moves to the rumen from which it is periodically regurgitated for more cud chewing, then to the reticulum, later to the omasum, and finally the abomasum.

Interesting fact #9 -  Goats are burpers!  This stems from the role of the rumen.  In a mature goat, the rumen holds 4-5 gallons of plant material.  The rumen breaks down cellulose and acts as a fermentation vat.  Fermentation produces gas and this gas escapes in the form of loud burps.  Next time you're visiting a goat farm, listen for the burps.  Excuse me! (Thank you Lively Run Goat Dairy for this fact.)

Here's a few more goats from St. Mary's of Cashmere ......

Interesting fact #10 - The goat is one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals.  It represents introversion, creativity, shyness and being a perfectionist.  Hmmm......I think I'm married to an old goat! LOL

If you've never visited the animals on the farm at Indian Ladder Farms, make it a point to do so.  In addition to goats, they have cattle, turkeys, bunnies and chickens.  But here's a couple more resident goats...........

Well, I told you I had a lot of photos of goats!!  I didn't lie.   I hope this post gave you something to smile about today and that maybe you learned at least one new thing about goats.  If you are an animal lover like me and want to see these goats up close and in person, check out the links I've included below.  For more fun facts, check out the links immediately below where I collected my facts.  

http://stmaryseast.org/ (St. Mary's on the Hill)

For more fun Animal Stories, check out my Blog Directory or click on the Animal Friends category at the top of this blog!

To visit this year's Washington County Fiber Tour:

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