Archive for the ‘Uniquely Goat’ Category

Raising Goats from the Teeth Up

People who aren’t familiar with goats are sometimes afraid they’re going to bite them, which is a rather baseless fear not only because goats are generally some of the least aggressive animals around (headbutting aside) but also because they have no top front teeth.

Goats have no top front teeth

Even Pinta's dental pad is adorable.

See those gorgeous gums? That’s all they have up there — just a dental pad.

They do have bottom teeth in the front, however.

Goats only have front teeth on the bottom

How sweet of Pasqualina to model her teeth!

When a goat is full grown, he or she will have eight incisors (biting or cutting teeth), all permanent teeth. Just like humans, though, they start out with baby teeth, so to speak. A kid has all small, sharp teeth for about a year. When the kid is about a year old, the center two teeth go bye-bye and are replaced by two permanent teeth. Then about every year or so after that, two teeth moving away from the center teeth on either side are replaced with permanent teeth until the goat has all eight permanent incisors by about four or five years old.

At that point, the teeth start to space apart, and you can begin to tell the age of the goat by the wear and tear on the teeth as opposed to the number of permanent versus baby teeth.

So does all this mean you can’t really be harmed by a goat’s teeth? Not exactly.

They *do* have 24 molars for chewing their cud in the back of their mouths — six on each side, upper and lower. And they are sharp as all get out, so you don’t want to be sticking your fingers toward the back of a goat’s mouth.

In other words, although it’s quite cute to see and feel the lil’ baby goats gnawing on the tip of your finger between their incisors and dental pad, once they start shifting that head to get your finger to the back of their mouth, you *must* get out of there, lest you become the cud.

Just trust me on that one, mkay?

2011 Nanny Goats in Panties Calendar Now Available!

The other day my mom said to me, “Oh, a calendar arrived in the mail . . . it’s . . . um . . . all goats.”

Nana didn’t know about the 2011 Nanny Goats in Panties calendar, you see, and she most certainly didn’t know that if she flipped to her birthday month of April, she’d find her grandgoatbaby staring back at her.

That’s right! Pasqualina the pin-up goat is one of the caprine creatures featured in Margaret’s Nanny Goats in Panties 2011 Calendar:

Nanny Goat in Panties Calendar

If you follow some goat sites, you’ll see lots of familiar, adorable faces. Each photo is so ridiculously cute — if you don’t have goats now, tread carefully. This could send you over the edge.

Thanks so much Margaret of NGIP for putting this together!

Click on the calendar above or go directly to the Nanny Goats in Panties 2011 Calendar to order now!

Colbert Names Goats as Scapegoats for Unemployment Rate

We’ve talked about goats cleaning up the Vanderbilt Estate and also about some hardworking Goat Busters in Virginia, and now Stephen Colbert has caught on to the trend. Check out this *hilarious* report on those who have “gone goat”:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
People Destroying America- Goats Steal Landscaping Jobs
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive

And yes, goat berries (the real thing, not this site) play quite a role in the story!

This isn’t the first time Colbert has singled out goats on his show, either. Back when the George Clooney film The Men Who Stare at Goats was coming out, he did another ridiculously funny bit about the power of the goat:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Goat Lab – Jon Ronson
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive

It certainly seems like Colbert has a soft spot in his heart for goaties…and who could blame him? Come to the other side Stephen . . . the pasture is fine!

Walking a Mile in Your Goat’s Hoof Shoes

Sometimes as goat caretakers, we may find it difficult to really understand what a goat is going through whether it’s birth, weaning, milking, or other caprine activities.

Well, here’s our chance* to walk a mile in our goats’ shoes.

Classic black hoof boot

Classic black hoof boot

Perhaps, though, you were thinking a bit more . . . rustic?

Zip up front hoof boots

Zip up front hoof boots

Why yes those are gun goat hoof shoes

Why yes those are gun goat hoof shoes

And for those times when you’re just relaxing around the pen:

Hoof slippers

Hoof slippers

What do you think your kids (human or caprine) would say if they saw you in any of these?

*Click on the photos for source information.

GoatSpotting: Goat Busters!

Today’s GoatSpotting submission reminds us just how useful goats can be even for those who don’t raise them:

Click on the image to learn more about Goat Busters.

Click on the image to learn more about Goat Busters.

As we goat people know, our caprine friends are increasingly being “hired” to clear off land and whatnot — even by the Vanderbilt Estate! — especially on steep inclines and other precarious places that goaties just love.

Is it just me or are you also beginning to think goats could solve many of the world’s problems if given half the chance? Food and milk supplies, keeping weeds and overgrowth in check, and, ahem, fertilizing it all along the way with their amazing (and free!) goat berries.

Also, as noted by Jace Goodling of Bent Post Farm and Goat Busters, they also provide plenty of “agri-tainment!” Anyone who has ever watched goats for more than a minute understands this, I’m sure.

Special thanks to my friend Salena of The Daily Rant for this GoatSpotting!

Remember if you spot a goat out and about, snap a photo and send it along!

More Goat Questions Answered!

It’s time again to talk about some of the searches that have brought people to Goat Berries. Read previous entries at Answering Goat Questions: Part I and Part II.

As I mentioned before, goats and watermelons have been on a lot of goatie friends’ minds these days, but here’s what else they’ve been wondering about:

1. Goats fig leaves edible : I’m assuming this is asking whether goats can eat fig leaves. Mine have, although we were told by a an experienced goat herder here that they shouldn’t have too much, so we tend to give them to our girlies just when we’re pruning the fig trees a bit — they never get more than a few branches at a time, and that’s usually weeks or months apart.

2. Goats and pit fruit / can goats eat fruit with seeds/pits : They sure can, and many times they’ll just spit the pit out if they don’t want it. Pasqualina has spit out both apricot and plum pits. It’s *so* fun to watch them eat these as they roll them around in their mouths. That said, don’t give them too many at a time — just like our digestive systems don’t love too much of a good thing like apricots and plums, neither do theirs.

3. Can goats eat banana peelings? : Whoo boy, can they — and my girl Pasqualina *loves* them. Loves bananas too. The other does we had also loved both fruit and peel, but Pinta isn’t old enough to care yet, apparently. Again, though, everything in moderation!

4. Kid goat cries all the time / why does my goat cry : Dig if you will the pic-ture. Oh wait, that’s When Doves Cry. Anyway, this is a tough one and requires that you know your kid pretty well. Some kids are just loud and cry when they want attention or food or milk or all of the above. Generally it’s not a problem unless it sounds like the kid’s in pain.

Of course, my kid cries like she’s in pain when she’s bored, so even that’s not a reliable measure. Who her?

In short, I think the answer to the question is most likely the age-old one: because s/he can. But if the crying seems abnormal to you, do look for other signs of illness such as lack of appetite, bloating, and just otherwise not doing goat-like things.

5. Milky sticky discharge coming out of nanny goat before kidding : Gross, but totally normal. We noticed it on two of ours about 24 hours before kidding. The other one didn’t show anything, or maybe we just weren’t looking (she was the first to go). I actually have a photo of this, but I think you get the idea; if you want to see it though, please feel free to contact me. In any event, you’ll be having a kid or more *very* soon. Congratulations!

Remember if you have any goat questions that aren’t answered somewhere in the blog, don’t be afraid to ask! I can’t promise to know the answer, but I will be happy to put it out there to other goatie lovers if I don’t.

And please feel free to add your bleats of wisdom on the above questions as well!

Buon weekend!

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Goats that readers have spotted out and about. Send your photos to michelle(at)goatberries(dot)com! 

Baby the Goat in Georgia
Anguillian Goats
Goats in Central Park Zoo, NYC
Goats goats goats galore!
Tuscan goat
Goat on donkey (no not in that way)
Oman goat
Goat in tree in Africa
Testa Dura Goat Cheese
Goat at Maine Fiber Frolic 2011