Monday, June 22, 2009

GOATUCATION - Are Goats Social?

Welcome to the second in my Goatucation series. As you know I love to answer questions. Today's query is from Marie at Cpaphil Vintage Postcards. I first learned of Marie and her very cool site when I was visiting my friend Margo's blog on Postcard Friendship Friday. This is an internet event that occurs on Fridays (uhm, duh) where you share your postcard experiences. Since I am a goat I don't have any postcards...erm,burp. But on to your Goatucation for the day. Marie asked:

How social are goats? If I raised just one would that be pure torture for him not to have goaty companionship or would the family's human presence be enough?

Well to put it bluntly, we goats are party animals! No, not really. But we do need the company of other goats. We are herd animals and therefore well, need a herd. Whether that herd is two goats or twenty we just need to have a goat friend with us. There have been very rare instances of goats living the single life but there are just as many cases of single goats wasting away because they do not have a herdmate.

Here on the Happy Goats Farm we will not send any of our goats to other Farms unless they take two of our goats or already have a goat on their Farm. We feel it is THAT important for the goat's good health.

You will note that in most of the photos the publicist puts on my blog that there is usually a second goat not too far away. Oftentimes she has a hard time cropping out other goats to get the photo she wants. Even when we go grazing we tend to stay pretty close to one another. I even stay pretty near Abigail.....and that is saying something!

Now the bucks are separated from the does for obvious reasons and they can be alone in a pen but they get very upset when they are out of sight of the rest of the herd. So even though they don't graze with us they gaze with us. Heh heh. If Michael or Luke is up in the barn for any length of time and the rest of us are out in our pens they get VERY upset. They just want to know that our little herd is together even though separated by fencing. When Michael and Luke go out grazing they tend to stick pretty close to one another.

We all go up to the barn at night. The boys go up to their pens first and then we girls go up to our pens. Before the male person refitted the barn to make room for Jillian and Mallory they had to spend the night in the goat house and they were not happy goats. They wanted to be in the barn with the rest of the herd. It is just the way we goats operate. I guess we are strange this way but there is strength in numbers.

I hope this has answered your question Marie! I also think that all of you would enjoy the pretty postcards and very interesting reading over on Marie's blog.

I have the question for next Monday's Goatucation (Thank you Cici) but I am still looking for more - so please, ask away! I would really like to answer the questions that interest you the most. Otherwise you might learn things you don't want to know....


  1. So true. My Cleo got out one day and stayed right by the fence to be close to her 'sister'. She didn't even want to check out life on the other side of the fence.

  2. Being in a herd is a good thing. I can see why you want some company, especially in Montana.

    Now about those cut up logs you are eating...I can see eating THOSE, but live trees is just a little excessive. I mean, don't goats like shade??

  3. That's very interesting! I like learning all about my goaty friends. And I am glad you are such party animals.

  4. Thank you for the goatucation! I'm happy to hear that goats are sociable and enjoy being part of a herd. I don't like to think of lonely goats.

  5. Another fascinating post. Thanks, Priss!

  6. I have to agree that goats are extremely social gregarious herd critters, but they can definitely be socialized with animals other than fellow goat pals. Bottle raise a baby in the house in diapers, and that goat is a lap dog for life, if you'd let it be (even with a paddock full of other goats to play with). And a favorite old time trick for a solo horse is to get it a companion goat. Both benefit from the relationship. It would definitely be sad to see a goat with no other companion of any kind, though. In Missouri, I had a neighbor once foster an abandoned calf. It didn't take long before the calf was more than twice the size of the goat and still nursing. They were inseparable, though.

    What's your opinion on dehorning? If it's decided to have a hornless goat, what's your preferred method?

  7. Carolyn - we are silly like that too. If one of us escapes we don't go too far. Really just outside of the pen. We are silly creatures!

    Julia - Yes, Montana can be erm, sparsely populated. I like shade but I LOVES me some pine tree.

    Daisy - I am glad you found my post interesting. You just come on up here to Montana and we will show you a butting good time!

    JD - no lonely goats here. Only happy goats. heh heh

    City Girl - I am glad you like my blog. You should come visit me in the country. The publicist was a city girl once too.

    Old Grey Egg - Wow, what a cool story. I will add your dehorning question to my goatucation list! Thank you.

  8. Wow, the scenery there is gorgeous. You're lucky to live there.

  9. Great pics. I am sooo in love with goats. If I had an acreage I would have a big herd.


Maaaaaa away....


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