Suddenly, who is the animal that has two antlers and makes a “baa” sound? The correct answer is yes, a goat.
Goats are animals that are very familiar to us and have been used as motifs for various songs and characters.Many of them are kept in ranches and zoos, so many of you may have actually seen them.
However, many people may not know how goats, such familiar animals, live or have a history.
In this article, I will explain what characteristics and secrets goats have and the interesting world of goats.
～ Basic information. ～
Japanese saanen weight:50～90Kg.
Shiba goat weight:20～40Kg.
Goats were the first ruminants to be domesticated by humans.Goats are the second most domesticated animal after dogs, and their history as livestock is thought to be much older than cattle and sheep.Goats were first kept for meat, but later they were also kept for milk, and are said to have brought butter, cheese, and other dairy products to mankind.
The ancestor of goats is thought to be the wild goats “bezoar” or “pasang” that live in the mountainous areas of West Asia.After that, the blood of other wild goats, such as “markhor” and “alpine Ibex,” was mixed in and divided into various species.As a result, it is now estimated that there are more than 500 species of domestic goats.
Depending on the species, goats live in small flocks. Sometimes they seem to live alone. The gestation period of such goats is about five months, and one or two children are born per birth.
Goats are herbivorous animals, and domestic goats mainly eat grass and silage, as well as corn, soybeans, and wheat, which are called concentrates.
Wild goats eat edible plants in their habitat, including leaves and branches of trees and plants growing on the ground.
Goats can also be kept as pets.
Goats are often kept for their meat and milk, but they can also be kept as pets.
In particular, many small goats such as “pygmy goats” and “shiba goats” are kept as pets.
Goats are very friendly to people when kept as pets, and they are very smart and learn tricks. However, unlike dogs and cats, goats are legally treated as “livestock” rather than “pets” in Japan.Therefore, if you want to start keeping goats in Japan, you need to notify the prefecture where you live of the number of goats you are keeping and their breeding status on a regular basis.
There are also other points to keep in mind that are unique to livestock, so it is recommended that you do your homework on goats as well as laws regarding livestock before you start keeping them.
What should I give my goats when I keep them at home?
Goats are resistant to rough eating and can grow without any problems even if they only eat plants.
When keeping goats as pets, it is a good idea to feed them grass as a staple food, concentrate such as pellets, and vegetables such as cabbage and carrots to deepen communication while letting them enjoy mealtime.In addition to those baits, prepare a block of salt for livestock, called mineral salt, so that they can lick it freely to replenish their minerals.
Goats eat all kinds of plants, so if you keep them on a large property with weeds and trees, you can put a collar and leash on them and let them go. If you let them eat the weeds freely there, you will save money on food and no longer have to cut the weeds.However, in winter, the plants may stop growing and die. If this happens, there will be nothing for the goats to eat, so be sure to stockpile grass according to the season.
Goats also eat all kinds of plants, but there are some plants that should not be eaten, such as lily of the valley, narcissus, and hydrangea.
When feeding plants, it is important to check in advance whether there are any plants that cause such poisoning and whether they have been sprayed with herbicides or other pesticides.
Incidentally, goats kept in zoos eat mainly timothy, herbivore pellets, and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and komatsuna. On my days off, I sometimes take them outside and have them eat the weeds that grow in the aisles and other areas.
Goat rearing environment.
Goats can be kept indoors or outdoors, but many people keep them indoors when they are kept as pets.
If you keep them indoors, just like dogs, let them be free indoors on a daily basis and cage them at night.Goats will learn where to use the restroom if they are well trained. However, since the amount of pee is large, it may be better to use a large dog-sized toilet or one made by yourself using a large plastic box.
If you want to keep them outdoors, keep them in a livestock shed or a larger kennel.Any hut can be used, but choose one with a sturdy roof that can withstand the rain and wind and avoid direct sunlight.Goats are also surprisingly jumpy, so it is best to fence the hut with a fence of 1.2 To 1.5 Meters to prevent them from escaping.
Goats are originally animals that can be adapted to either living alone or in packs, so it is said that they do not feel too stressed when kept alone.
If you have goats as pets, female or neutered male goats are recommended.
This is because the antlers of uncastrated male goats grow larger and larger as they grow, and the smell becomes stronger.
However, if you really want to welcome a male goat that has not been neutered, it is recommended that you prepare a particularly sturdy hut.
Also, please consider that very few people have goats, and there are few vets who can examine and treat goats.There is a high possibility that you will not be able to see a doctor at a regular veterinary hospital, so if you want to keep a goat, find a veterinarian who can examine your livestock beforehand.
Why do goats have black eyes that are sideways?
If you look closely at the goat’s eyes, you can see that the black eyes are turned sideways, like the mouth of a piggy bank.The black eyes of us humans are round, but why are the black eyes of goats sideways?
Goats and other herbivores are eaten by carnivores in the food chain.Such herbivores need to protect themselves from carnivores, so they need to find and escape from carnivores as soon as possible.That’s why I’ve evolved my body here and there. In fact, the horizontal black eye is one of those evolutions.
The black eye is precisely called the pupil, and the pupil is small when the surroundings are bright, and large when it is dark to regulate the amount of light entering the eye. The pupils of herbivores are horizontally long, which makes them have a very wide field of view.
In addition, goats and horses have eyes attached to the side of their faces, so even when they are facing forward, they can see almost everything except directly behind their bodies.The human field of view is about 100 degrees, but according to one theory, horses and goats have a field of view of about 350 degrees.
Why do goats love heights?
Goats like to go high and may climb on the couch or jump on the bench.
The reason why goats prefer higher altitudes is thought to be because wild goats live at higher altitudes, on steep cliffs and rocks with poor footing.Goats that are kept as livestock have also inherited this property, so they often want to climb when they find a high place. When you keep them as pets, you can pile blocks and soil on them and make a pile of them to make them happy.
Do goats really eat paper?
Goats are animals that eat mainly plants, but many people have heard rumors that they also eat paper. So do goats really eat paper?
In fact, when goats find paper, they may munch on it and eat it.Since paper is made from wood pulp and plant fibers, goats seem to feel that paper is edible.
However, paper contains some kind of chemicals, such as glue, bleach, and printing ink.
Do not give paper to goats just because they will eat it, as these chemicals may have a negative impact on their health.
How can a goat grow up when it only eats grass?
By the way, why can goats grow even if they only eat plants?
That’s because goats are a member of the cow family, and unlike us humans, they have four stomachs.Goats have a lot of microorganisms in their stomachs, and they can get protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients that their bodies need from the grass they eat. This is why they can grow even if they only eat grass.
By the way, what goats always munch on is a behavior called rumination, in which they put things in their stomachs back into their mouths and chew them again to make them easier to digest and absorb.
Goats are less picky than cows and horses, and they don’t mind eating even hard plants to nourish themselves.
This is thought to be due to the fact that wild goats originally lived in rugged mountainous areas where there was little food, so they had to endure rough feeding.
Can you drink goat tits?
The tits served by goats are called goat milk, and can be drunk just like milk.
In fact, there are a number of goat farms in Japan, where goat milk and cheese and yogurt made from goat milk are sold through farms and mail order.
However, compared to milk, it is produced in far fewer quantities and is therefore more expensive, and there are almost no opportunities to see these products in supermarkets or convenience stores.
Goat milk is easier to digest and absorb than cow’s milk, and is less prone to allergens, so people with cow’s milk allergies may be able to drink it.
However, because of its unique smell, people who are used to drinking milk may find goat milk smelly when they drink it.
To reduce the smell of goat milk, it is best to drink it while it is fresh, as well as change the type of grass the goat eats.
Also, goat milk is produced by females to raise their children, so if you don’t get pregnant and have a child, you won’t be able to produce milk. In other words, in order to get a goat to milk you, you need to keep a female goat to get pregnant and give birth.
Why is goat poop round?
Have you ever seen goat poop?
Unlike cows and horses, goat poop is round and round.
The reason why goat poop is round is because there is less water in the poop. Cow poop has about 80-90% water in it, goat poop only has about 45%.
Goat poop is used as a raw material for fertilizer because it has little odor and is easy to handle. It burns well when dried, so Mongolian nomads use it as fuel as well.
Why do goats have beards?
The amount of goat whiskers varies depending on the type and individual, but it is known to grow in both males and females. So why do goats have beards?
Unfortunately, we still don’t know exactly why. Let’s look forward to future research so that the reason and meaning of this will be revealed someday.
By the way, goats sometimes have one or two mysterious objects like horn-like whiskers hanging from their chins to their necks or around their ears.
This is called a “wattle” and like a beard, we don’t know why it is there.
It is not thought to have any particular function at the moment, but it is known to be relatively common in the Saanen breed of goats.
Type of goat.
中西良孝（2014年）『シリーズ〈家畜の科学〉 3 ヤギの科学』朝倉書店