goatxing

What are the goats names?

Thunder, Pony and Luna.

How did they come into your life?

My mom heard from a friend that there were 3 goats on the news who have been wandering around an apartment complex for about 4 months, and animal control was just then trying to catch them. My mom called animal control telling them we could foster the goats if no one else offered to keep them. A few days later at 11:00 we get an unexpected call from AC telling us they were bringing the goats to our house! One of the goats was killed by dogs, so only two goats arrived at our house, a shy male and a pregnant female. They were both skinny and very shy.

We had the two goats for only about 5 days  until male goat died of unknown causes. We were very worried about the female goat, who we named Pony. After the male goat died, she began to walk up to us and let us pet her. We were surprised at how friendly she was!
A few months later she gave birth to two female kids on a full moon while it was thundering. (The July moon is called the ‘Thunder moon’) So, we named the brown kid Thunder, and the pure white kid Luna.
The kids grew up quickly, and learned how to misbehave from their mother. One day I was outside filming my dog doing agility when I suddenly heard a banging noise outside by the driveway… The goats had escaped through a small gap in the fence and were jumping on my dad’s car!! I was so lucky he was out of state with the reserves. (I can’t remember the exact cost of damage they did, but I can find out) I recorded the goats jumping on the car and made a YouTube video.

How did you end up getting featured on Animal Planet?

The local news did an update about our goats, and featured my video of them on the car. This is the original video of the goats jumping on the car

I also received a message from a producer of the show ‘Bad Dog’ wanting to use my goat video on their show.  They interviewed my family and filmed the goats misbehaving. (The goats kept trying to run off/eat their camera equipment!) The episode they were on is called Home Wreckers.

Did you train them? (are goats trainable?)

I train my dogs and my foster Beagles to do tricks and agility, so I have attempted to training our goats, and I failed miserably. Our goats are crazy about food… I tried teaching Luna to jump over a hurdle, and she was actually getting the hang of it until Pony and Thunder noticed I had food. Here is a YouTube video of me trying to train the goats- 

We still have Pony, Luna, and Thunder, but my dad hasn’t has much patience with them lately. He doesn’t have to worry about them jumping on our car now since they’ve gained weight. :p My mom and I absolutely love the goats, they have such unique personalities, and although them being stubborn is usually a pain, it can be cute at times. While many goats escape out of their yard to get to grass, our goats escape and walk up to our house to find us. They are sweet, naughty goats who just want our attention and love.

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Goat Information/Care:

(Taken from: http://www.goatworld.com/articles/goatsaspets/petgoats.shtml)
Basic terminology

Learn the lingo:

  • Kid – a goat less than 6 months of age
  • Doeling – immature female goat
  • Buckling – immature male goat
  • Doe – mature female goat
  • Buck – mature male goat
  • Wether – castrated male goat
  • Chevon – goat meat
  • Mohair – the fiber from Angora goats
  • Cashmere – the fiber from Cashmere or Pashmina goats

Fundamental Facts

  • Lifespan: 10-12 years, may live as long as 30 years
  • Productive life of a dairy or fiber goat: 7 years
  • Space required per goat: 15ft2 indoor and 200ft2 outdoors
  • Breeding age: females – 8 to 10 months
  • Gestation period: 150 days
  • Number of kids per gestation: 1 – 2

Behavior Bonuses

  • goats are social animals and enjoy the company of other goats or farm animals.
  • are notorious for undoing simple gate closures.
  • tend to respect electric fencing.
  • investigate everything in their environment with their mouths(!) including paperwork, clothing, jewelry, etc.
  • can be trained to lead, come when called, stand for shearing & milking.
  • are avid climbers!
  • may chew off the bark around trees.
  • Bucks may exhibit active fighting behavior – watch out!

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(Taken from: http://www.goatworld.com/articles/goatsaspets/goatsaspets.shtml)

Goats as Pets

A goat as a pet primarily means that you are willing to let it be the type of animal it is. An outside animal that you cannot necessarily have sleeping on the bed with you each night (though some report that their children make a practice of this). A goat basically needs the outdoors to be within it’s natural elements. Having a goat indoors can pose many problems, to include that your favorite piece a furniture may become a “rip and chew” party. Of course cats and dogs are reknowned for this as well but they appear to be a bit more trainable to discourage that type of undesireable behavior.

For the most part (at least in my opinion), a goat has basically only a few things on their mind; eat, drink water, sleep, play, fight and reproduce. And taking up the greatest percentage of that time is eating. Most goats will eat several times a day, stopping only to rest and letting their rumens process the food. An hour later they are back at it again. So to have an “outdoor pet” of this type, you must be willing and able to provide the proper food and nutrition at all times for your goat just as you would any other pet. And the water is important as well. Never deprive a goat of water. One must either have an ample field or pasture for the goat(s) to browse in addition to supplementing the diet with nutrients not readily available such as hay and alfalfa.


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(taken from:http://www.wisegeek.org/do-goats-make-good-pets.htm)

Do Goats Make Good Pets?

Goats are herd animals, which means that you should plan on keeping at least two if you want them as pets. In addition, they need a roomy space, and do not thrive in restricted living conditions. Because of their natural curiosity, the space also needs to be rich with stimuli, and you should be prepared to put together a varied and interesting diet for the goats to keep them out of trouble. Like other livestock kept as pets, you may experience difficulties finding someone to care for your goats if you go on a trip, let alone tracking down a veterinarian to provide routine care, if you live in a non-rural area. In addition, some municipalities consider these animals to be livestock, and you may not even legally be allowed to keep them in a residential area.

Although they are hardy and adventurous, goats are not self-sufficient. They require daily attention including food, play, and water. If you are keeping them as milk producing animals in addition to pets, they will need to be milked one to two times a day to prevent mastitis, a painful infection of the udders. Goats can also get aggressive if they are bored or sense that you are afraid, which can result in a painful butting. Billy goats, in particular, can be obnoxious if unaltered, and both billies and nannies can emit strong hormonal odors.

On the other hand, goats are loving, affectionate, loyal animals, and many people deeply enjoy keeping them as pets. For people with more limited space, pygmy goats might be an excellent consideration, as they do not get nearly as large as some breeds, such as Swiss Alpines and Nubians. The native intelligent and intensely curious animals are fun to have around, if you are willing to put in the work.


(Taken from: http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/goats/a/goatsaspets.htm)

More on Goats as Pets: 

You should also find a veterinarian who will treat your goats. They are susceptible to a number of infectious and chronic diseases. Vaccinations and routine preventative treatment for worms and other parasites are necessary and you should consult a vet for what is required in your area. It is a good idea to review some of the common problems. Health Topics is an collection of articles from the National Pygmy Goat Association about common health concerns of pygmy goats.
Be sure your goats are obtained from a conscientious breeder that practices good preventative medicine. If possible it is always best to visit the breeder so you can see in what sort of conditions their goats are kept.

Most importantly, you will want to think about whether you can meet the needs of a goat and whether goats will meet your expectations as a pet a goat before committing to goats as pets.


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(Taken from: http://fiascofarm.com/goats/getting-your-goat.htm#taming)

Goats for Pets: Friendly Goats vs. “Taming” “Wild” Goats:

If you want goats for pets, and you want to approach and touch these goats, you need to make sure the goats are approachable and touchable BEFORE you get them. Do not get goats “wild” thinking you will “tame” them later; it can be next to impossible to “tame” a “wild” goat, though, it is not totally impossible in some cases.

There is no simple way to “tame” a goat. To win the goat over will take a lot of patience, caring, love and food treats such as corn chips or raisins. Try not to chase the goat, because, being prey animals, this will only make them more scared of you. Let them get used to their new home first. Once used to their new home, you might try taking advantage of their natural curiosity and just sit there, in a non-threatening peaceful fashion and let them approach you. If, and when, they do approach you, offer a corn chip. Go slowly and patiently and don’t push the issue to fast. The younger the goat is, the easier it will be to convince them that you are their friend, but a young age is no guarantee they will be tamable. The older they are, the more patience you will need.

You can skip a lot of frustration by starting with friendly goats that are already used to people to begin with.


(Taken from: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/raising-goats-as-pets.html)

Choosing the Goat Type

There are several types of goat breeds, for you to choose from. Each breed has its own advantages and it depends on personal choice, which breed of goat to get. Just make sure you follow the above-mentioned pointers while choosing them, such as friendly, debudded, doe-wether combination, etc. There are the Nubians (least naturally healthy and proud temperament), Oberhaslis, LaManchas (wonderful temperament), pygmy goats (docile, small and faithful companions), Nigerian dwarf goat, etc.

Raising goats as pets and raising goats for profit are two different things. While getting goats as pets, one can buy the dairy goats, however, it’s not necessary to milk them. Moreover, as with any other pet, goats also need to have a physical examination, carried out by a veterinarian, once a year and need to be vaccinated. Watch out for attacks by stray dogs and other animals, as goats are fairly vulnerable to attacks. Goats will supply you with lovely milk, however, don’t get a goat for the sole purpose of getting free milk. Get them if you love them and want to take care of them and the milk supplies, cleared plantation, etc. will all be additional benefits you receive, for taking care of these endearing animals


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(Taken from: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/FDAVeterinarianNewsletter/ucm133649.htm)

Billies or Nannies?

Another issue to consider when deciding to buy a goat is gender. Uncastrated male goats produce a strong, pungent and, to most people, unpleasant odor. Male goats, or bucks, also tend to be aggressive. Both of these less-than-desirable attributes are intensified during the breeding season, which for most goats runs from September to December or January. Buck goats can be castrated as early as 7 days old, which generally mitigates both these problems. Female goats, called does, do not have a noticeable odor, unless they are kept in unclean conditions. Generally speaking, does are even-tempered and affectionate when hand raised. However, I must again point out that goats are highly individual in their personalities. Female goats need only be bred if their milk is desired.

Whether you choose a male or female goat, it should be dehorned. Some strains of goats are born without horns, or polled. Horn buds appear a few days after birth in goats that are not polled. The easiest and most humane time to remove horns is during the first two-weeks of life. However, goats can be dehorned as adults. At any time, a veterinarian should perform this procedure.


Author’s Notes: Many thanks to Miss Molly for letting me interview her about her goats.. the videos were quite amusing. She has a blog too where she mainly talks about her dogs and occasionally mentions her goats.


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