Yeah, I resemble that remark too. I think goats are some of the best Beings ever! BUT... plenty of people have had a bad experience with them.
Most of the time when you get right down to it, they are mad cuz a goat outsmarted them...
Just sayin'.... <g>
When I teach my goat classes, my intro class is titled with variations on "Get Goats? Or get friends with goats?" as goats are not for every one.
I like working with teenagers too, and there's some similarities that upset some folks.
I start my class by saying, "Money can't buy my milk. I know the feed, the sanitation, the ethics and karma of how the offspring are treated, what's in my milk and more importantly, what's NOT in my milk"
The second thing I say, is "Goats are the most fun you'll ever have being really really mad" They will get the best of you sometimes, its a peer relationship. <g> As loving as dogs, but with cat attitude sometimes, and a chimpanzee's smarts. They are maddening, productive, and most of all, they are delightful companions and partners in my permaculture world, where they play a central role here in our Goat Guild.
I'm sort of glad that these videos make the rounds, and make folks think twice about getting goats. We want folks to be prepared if they are tempted by a cute little goat.
And these videos make us laugh.
And that's good.
posted 4 years ago
This was the view outside my studio window this morning:
OKAY - my last post was a little "out-there". It postulated an analogy between the intelligence and independence of Goats -- and that of human kids. (I stand behind that analogy and retract nothing. But ...)
These videos struck a whole new and different chord with me. Maybe with others too.
These goats are having fun!!! I love that. They are playing, frolicking, challenging, winning ... loosing ... king-on-the-hill ... balancing ... falling ... trying again ....
... I eat meat!
But not one day goes by that I don't question or at least think about the meat I'm about to eat.
Did they play?
Did they think?
Did they laugh?
Did they suffer?
I fear that if WE did not provide an opportunity [for goats] to play ... to think ... to joke ... to laugh ... to win or loose -- if we humans did not provide these "life experiences", would the Goat Fun end?
In this vast, ecological world of animals - those that are not pursued for meat or skin or horn - are doomed for extinction. The animal whose meat is most coveted (cow, pig, chicken, turkey, ...) is under ZERO threat of extinction.
I know that this is a contradiction in logic -- but, isn't Permaculture also based on "contradictions"?
I've had goats pull that stunt -- the bounce off a wall in order to go over something -- though not over such a high fence!
But, I've had goats for over thirty years (and yes, I'm pretty fond of them), and they are NOT smart. Clever sometimes, yes. But not smart. If they were smart, they wouldn't eat the shelter from over their heads. They wouldn't pee and poop in their water buckets and their food. They wouldn't get into a bag of grain and eat until they foundered. They wouldn't repeatedly stick their heads through a fence and need to be helped to get back out! (Once, I could understand, but umpteen times in a row?!?)
Being clever about going over fences isn't astonishing in an animal created to be at home on mountains and cliffs. Being clever about opening gate latches isn't the same thing as being smart -- being smart entails being able to consider the consequences of one's actions (if I chew the tarp to pieces, I will have no shelter from the rain and snow; if I pee and poop in my water bucket, I won't have anything to drink).
Someone up there said that people who don't like goats are usually just mad because a goat outsmarted them, and that's true. People try to get by with inadequate fencing, and then blame the goats for being escape artists. And blame the goats for eating tasty plants in the yard and garden. Etc. Goats will challenge your animal husbandry skills; they will challenge your fence-building skills; they will challenge your patience! But you can't blame the goats if you fall short in one of these areas! A story: Several years ago, I sold a milking doe, a young buck, and a doe kid to an older gentleman who said he'd raised cattle in his younger years, so I figured he would have some idea about livestock. He had seventy or eighty acres of land, mostly sagebrush, pine, and juniper trees, and no close neighbors, so he said he was going to let the goats run loose. He also said he planned to have a garden. I told him he'd better either fence the goats, or fence the garden. He didn't listen. He used to call me just to chat once in a while, lonely, I think. About a year after he bought the goats, he called. He now had eight goats (including five young kids out of the two does), and was sick and tired of them getting into his garden -- he wondered if I could take the goats back. I didn't have room, living on only one acre, to add that many goats back into my herd -- I don't know what he did with them. But WHY on earth can't people listen when you tell them something?!!? Presumably, as long as I've been keeping goats, I've learned a few things about them. If you do things right -- good fencing; keeping the water buckets and feed where they can't be used as toilets, or walked on, and a few other fairly simple things -- goats really aren't that difficult. But if you don't do everything right, they are one of the most difficult types of livestock to keep, I think. But you can't blame the goats for it!