The city closest to my home is now allowing goats in town in backyards. If goats had been allowed in town, we might have never moved to this rural setting. Elaine and I are experienced goat owners. Of course, not in town.
Our goats were kept in a pasture just outside the city limits. Elaine stopped to attend the goats on her way home from work; you know, the electrical design stuff she does.
We started with a very small goat herd. We bought three Angora kid goats, two males and one female. This is not a misprint. We bought two males and one female.
We were aware that it would have been better to get one male and two females, but what is the worst that could happen? The males would grow up and fight. Which is why we named the two male boats after two great boxers, Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks. (Well, at least one of them was a great boxer.) As would be expected, little Muhammad and little Leon bashed their heads together everyday.
Elaine soon decided, three goats were not enough. She need more. We didn’t wait for the male goats to mature, and/or kill each other, we bought more six more goats. Females this time.
Angora goats are primarily a hair goat. The hair is harvested by shearing as many as two times per year. If you have a mohair garment, it is constructed from the hair of an Angora goat. Goats are also bred for meat and milk products, however, Angora goats are typically used for hair.
Our goat herd grew to thirty-three goats. We had enough goats for Elaine to knit several garments a year. Life was good! Oh yeah, except for the part about shearing goats.
Elaine soon found out shearing goats can be a challenge, especially those darn males. An Angora male can have horns that measure three feet from tip to tip. They use them for bashing other male goats for their entertainment or dominance over other males. They also use them to bash the back of the legs of the poor person trying to feed them. Oh. they are not picky, if they cannot bash the back of your legs, the front of your legs will work.
Of course, you can fight back. You can hit them over the head with a stick or something. The same head that they having been ramming against their “buddy’s” head for no apparent reason. The same rock hard head that apparently contains little or no brain. The harder you hit them the more they like the game.
Yes, I am an animal lover, I just love them more when they are not ramming me.
We built a little stand to keep ourselves safe while shearing. Elaine learned to cut holes in tennis balls and stick a tennis ball on the end of each horn while shearing, to keep the goat from sticking a horn through her body.
Did I tell you male goats like to urinate on themselves? Yep, smelly urine soaked hair makes shearing a male goat even more pleasurable. (I think I just figured out why we switched to llamas.)
As far as livestock goes, goats are easy to feed. Actually, they will feed themselves. They will eat anything, as these city livestock owners will soon find out. Goats can eat the siding off a house and , the paint off a car. Nothing is safe.
Before buying goats I would sell my patio furniture, kid’s bikes, baseball mitts, (leather is a delicacy) potted plants or anything and everything you actually want to keep.
Our goats loved to go to town. All 33 of them. They didn’t ride in a truck or anything, they like to walk. I wish we could have taught them to tell us when they were going. Elaine would be at work, and someone would call her to tell Elaine her goats were walking down the road.
Neighbor: Elaine, your goats are out again.
Elaine: Oh no! Do you know where they are?
Neighbor: They are in the park, they are disrupting a soccer game.
Elaine: I will be right there.
I’m not kidding. I believe a goat can get out of a hole in a fence that would hold a mouse. A fellow goat owner once told us, “If a fence cannot hold water, it will not hold a goat.”
My suggestion if you are contemplating getting a goat, don’t get your own, just wait until the neighbor’s goat is in your yard!
Our crazy lives!