It is thought that goats were the first animals to be domesticated by man. Ancient skeletal remains and cave drawings in many parts of the world support this belief. Goats are mentioned in the bible and there are numerous myths and legends about them.
There are many varieties of goat distributed throughout the world. Some are valued for their milk, some for meat and others for their fibre. Goat-skins have been used for centuries for a variety of applications ranging from floor coverings to water-carriers in the desert. Fat from the goat’s body can be made into candles or soap. Even their bones and horns have been utilised by man.
All goats are herd animals and must never be kept singly. They love company and can become very tame, or strike up friendships with the most unlikely companions. They are intelligent and can work as a team. They are curious and can get into trouble. They have a sense of humour and can get into mischief. Many people are surprised to learn that they can have strong and very different individual personalities.
But within even a small herd there is always a pecking order and the goat keeper should watch carefully to ensure that any bullying doesn't become excessive - he must be prepared to intervene and give individual attention where necessary.
Goats are ruminants, like cattle and sheep. But, although domestication has enabled them to adapt to a grazing habit, they show a strong preference for browsing when they have unrestricted freedom to forage. The management of domesticated goats should take account of this, with further details dependent on the variety of goat in question.
Happiness is... the freedom to choose what to eat