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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Goats

//5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Goats


5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Goats

1. Goats Do Not Eat Everything: Now I know goats typically get the bad rep of eating everything including a tin can, but that statement is actually false. When they chew on a tin can, they aren’t actually chewing on the metal but eating the label and the glue on that label. The label is like eating leaves off a tree and the glue is like a sweet treat to them. When it comes to normal forage, they can be rather meticulous on what type of weeds, grasses, and hay that they eat. They can be rather fussy eaters and will not just eat anything.

2. Social Animals/Good Companions: Say you own one horse, but that horse is lonely and you cannot afford another horse. Maybe a person in your life is struggling. Both of these situations can be solved by one thing, a goat! Goats can be companion animals to both human and animals, keeping them occupied and happy. Goats promote a bond of physical, emotional and psychological improvements of those they that serve.

3. Goat Meat and Milk Population Growing in the USA. I know that it may seem strange to eat goat meat or drink goat’s milk. You typically think of meat and milk coming from cattle; however, the number of goat by-product consumption has increased and has been on the rise in the US since 1999. In addition to these statistics, there are other health-based reasons. Goat milk has higher protein content and contains less lactose, making it easier to digest and easier on sensitive stomachs. Goat meat is also a leaner option when compared against beef, pork, and chicken.

4. Goats are browsers, not grazers. When driving by fields with goats, you will usually see their heads down grazing on the grass. This would tend to make you think they graze similar to cows. This is not the case. Goats like to browse, meaning, they like to eat what is up high rather than what is on the ground. They have a preference to stand up and stretch out to eat leaves and berries off trees before going to the ground. Consequently, ‘browsing’ helps them to build muscle. 

Goats vs Cows. When I meet people and explain to them that I have goats, they always ask if I have either fainting or milking goats. The answer is no. I own South African Boer goats. Boer goats are specifically for meat production, not dairy production. While being ruminant animals is obviously the number one similarity, goats and cattle share this quality of breed-specific purpose. For each species, you have a wide variety of breeds to choose from for production purposes. In beef production? Angus and Hereford. Dairy productions? Jersey and Holstein. Similarly, some common breeds in goats for dairy production are Alpine and LaMancha. For meat production, the top spot goes to Boer with the runner-up being Texmaster.


Brittany Couch

Brittany Couch

Durvet Summer Intern


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