Monday, May 24, 2010

Domestic Goats

Today I want to talk about domestic goats;
Do you have goats? If you do you'll know exactly what I am talking about! If you don't; you'll be amazed!!

A brief history;
Goats (Capra hircus)are a member of the Bovidae family; and is closley related to to sheep-(both are in the subfamily Caprinae). There are over 300 distinct breeds of goats!! That's alot of goat breeds to try to remember!! (There are only 200 distinct sheep breeds.) Goats are one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world. WAY back in the bible they're mentioned! Proverbs 27:27 You will have plenty of goats' milk to feed you and your family and to nourish your servant girls. And

Male (intact) is known as:  A Buck; during the fall; a buck "goes into rut". While in rut; bucks have their own special way of getting the ladies in the mood. As bucks mature and go into rut, (the male equivalent of heat (in the Fall)), they will start peeing on their front legs and faces. They have a kind of "spray attachment" on the penis and can really spray. He will spray his urine into his mouth and then curl up his lip to get a good whiff (it's rather amusing). His legs, face and beard will eventually be coated with a sticky layer of urine (irresistible to a doe). Once rut is over (in the Winter) he may, or may not, stop peeing on himself. (our buck has stopped; thank goodness!) As your buck grows he will develop a distinctive odor. Many people find it a bad smell, others don't find it that bad, they just find it strong (this is me; it's just a buck smell...kind of how a horse smells like a horse, and a ferret like a ferret). The odor will not be quite so bad the first year, and you may say, "This isn't so bad. My buck is not going to smell so much." But as he gets older, the smell will strengthen and eventually you may not want to touch your buck, because the smell will get on your hands and clothes (and everything else). A drawback to this is a friendly buck will want you to pet him and you will get the smell on you (Fubar is very friendly, you just get use to washing your hands with toothpaste (don't ask me why it works) and changing you clothing before going out.
Along with their smell and peeing habits they also have some certain behaviors that may seem odd, especially if you have never seen it before.

These traits are totally normal and the buck may try them on you as well as a doe. When a buck is "in the mood" he doesn't always care what sex or species he tries to breed. If a buck exhibits these traits at you, he may have a crush on you (our buck has a crush on Samantha; I find it funny; Samantha, not so much)and you should be careful that he doesn't try to mount you when you aren't looking.
Here are the traits;
Tongue flapping- The buck will lower his head and flap his tongue at the side of the doe (or you).
Leg pawing - The buck paws at the side of the doe with a straightened leg. This is usually done at the same time as tongue flapping.
Blubbering/ what sounds like a strange burp- This is done toward the doe (or you); it can can be done in conjunction with leg pawing and tongue flapping.
---I find bucks very amusing. I just don't sit down and love on them like I do our does or wethers.
Male (castrated) goat is called: Wether
Male under 1year of age is called: Buckling
Milking Female is called: Doe
Non-Milking Female is called: Dry Doe
Female under 1 year of age is called: Doeling
Goats vary in sizes and; in a way; shapes. You have the large goat breeds that weigh over 200 pounds; but then there are the small breeds that can weigh as light as 30 pounds. The ears can be straigh up; long and floppy or (my favorite) barely there-known as elf (1-2 inchs) or gopher ears (under an inch). These are a breed trait of the lamancha goat.
A baby goat of any gender is called: Kid

Unlike the unsightly goat's you see on old cartoons; goats are very clean, smart, animals. And though they may try to eat a tin can; the only part they might actually eat is the label.
Except for a few occaions goats are born with horns. Now; I feel (unless raising a meat herd) you should get goats that were disbudded when they were kids. (disbudding, or debudding, is where you have the 'nubs', where the horns will come in, burned witha special iron or cut out by the vet. IF a goat is born without horns it's known as polled.
Goats are used for milk, meat, hair and skin all over the world.

                        Now; here's the fun stuff
Did you know that goats wag there tails when they are happy? Yep; that's right! I'd decribe goats being just like dogs!! They love being around people; they'll follow you; they love love LOVE being pet (and fed for that matter); the only thing I can't fingure out is how to house train one...hmmmm, I wonder........just kidding (haha, no pun intended-when a doe starts having her baby it's called kidding).

Goats have no upper front teeth (same with sheep).

You can train a goat to be a pack goat or a cart goat;
Back "then" cart goat

Now cart goat

A pack goat

The Saanen is best known as the Holstein of the goat world, producing a high quantity of milk with somewhat low fat levels. At the other extreme is the Jersey of the goat world, the Nubian. This breed produces a lesser amount of milk with a high fat content. The Toggenburg, LaMancha, Oberhasli and Alpine fall somewhere in between.

More people drink goats milk than cow milk. Nutrient content of goat milk is slightly less than cow milk but goat milk is more digestible because the fat molecules are one-fifth the size of those from cow milk -- making it easily tolerated by those with compromised digestive systems. Goat milk is closer to human milk and is therefore easily accepted especially by those young or frail. Goat milk contains more chlorine, fluorine and silicon than any other domestic livestock. Chlorine and fluorine are natural germicides and fluorine assists in preventing diabetes. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized and it can be digested in less than 20 minutes where as cow’s milk can take almost all day.

The doe can have 1 to 6 kids per litter, however, 4 to 6 kids are

Both male and female goats can have beards.

Goats have two teats and cows have four.

Before coins were used for money, goats were traded for silver because they were so valuable.

There you have it; a piece of the pie; there is still so much more!!! I love goats; if I had to choose (ignore the fact I have both) between a dog and a goat, I'd have a hard time choosing!
Well, I hope you liked this brief topic on goats!
Gabrielle W.
"The Lord directs the steps of a christian. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." Psalms 37:23-24

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