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There are over 210 breeds of goats in the world. The male goat is called a "buck" or "billy." Goats are herd animals and will become depressed if kept without any goat companions. So, it is unhealthy for a goat if a family just owns one as a pet. Dairy goats have little subcutaneous fat. The natural life expectancy for goats is around 8 to 12 years and in some cases, goats can live over 15 years. The doe can have 1 to 6 kids per litter, however, 4 to 6 kids are rare. The act of giving birth is called "kidding." The female goat is called a "doe" or "nanny." Goats and octopus' pupils of their eyes are rectangular. Mahatma Gandhi consumed goat milk everyday for more than 30 years. Goats are able to consume 3 to 5% of their body weight in dry matter. A large group of goats is called a herd. Goats are herbivores (plant-eaters) that spend most of their day grazing. Goats can be taught their name and to come when called. Goats are burpers! This is due to the role of their rumen. The rumen, which in a mature goat holds four to five gallons of plant material, breaks down cellulose and acts as a fermentation vat. Of course, fermentation produces gas, and this gas escapes in the form of loud, healthy burps. Normally goats have two teats and cows have four. The "rut" is characterized by a decrease in appetite, obsessive interest in the does, fighting between bucks and most notable is a strong foul-smelly musky odour. What do you call a goat that knows martial arts? Goats deposit less fat externally and more fat internally (around the organs) compared to sheep and cattle. The normal respiration rate for goats is 12 to 15 breaths per minute. Most medications that are currently used on goats were developed for use in other livestock species (i.e., cattle and swine). Depending on the breed, adult female goats can weigh between 22 to 300 pounds and adult males between 27 to 350 pounds of body weight. Before coins were used for money, goats were traded for silver because they were so valuable. Goats do not have teeth in their upper front jaw. Goat's milk is higher in calcium, vitamin A and niacin than cow's milk. Goats are one the cleanliest animals and is much more selective feeders than cows, sheep, pigs, swine and even dogs. Goat's milk is naturally homogenized, and it can be digested in less than 20 minutes where as cow's milk can take almost all day. In the biblical town of Jericho, people kept goats as long as 6,000 to 7,000 years before Christ. During biblical times, goat skins were used for parchment for writing. The pharaoh Cephranes thought so much of his goats that he had 2,234 buried with him. Goats do not grow as fast as sheep nor can they utilize feed as efficiently. There are approximately 450 million goats around the world. Goats have 24 molars and 8 incisors. Lactating does that are kept in a pen with a musky buck may produce milk that tastes "goaty" and can be offensive to humans. Goat's milk is easily digestible and less allergenic than cow's milk. A castrated male goat is called a "wether." The life span of a goat is about that of a dog. Older goats store more body fat if nutritional conditions are favourable. Goats are usually between 17 to 42 inches tall from the shoulders. Goats' pupils are rectangular. This gives them vision for 320 to 340 degrees (compared to humans with 160-210) around them without having to move and they are thought to have excellent night vision. 12,000 year old paintings of goats have been found on the walls of caves in Europe. Goats do not like eating food that has been soiled, contaminated or has been on the ground. Goats have a four-chamber stomach that contains fermenting bacteria and protozoan that aid in breaking down their food. Goats were the first animals domesticated by man in 10,000 B.C Azalea bushes are poisonous to goats. Goats were one of the first animals to be tamed by humans and were being herded 9,000 years ago. Baby goats (kids) are standing and taking their first steps within minutes of being born. Goats are more susceptible to parasites and other infectious diseases when they are mismanaged. A baby goat is called a "kid." Goat meat is the most consumed meat per capita worldwide. Healthy kids can stand within minutes after birth and are able to move with the herd almost immediately. Goat meat is lower in fat and cholesterol compared to beef, pork, mutton and poultry. In earlier centuries, goats were often used to nurse babies. Each kid has a unique call, and along with its scent, that is how its mother recognizes it from birth - not by sight. Goats, being mountain animals, are very good at climbing; they've been known to climb to the tops of trees, or even dams! Goats do not eat tin cans, clothing or garbage, but are selective eaters when provided with a well-balanced diet. Male goats go through a period called a "rut" when they are ready to mate. This period coincides with the start of the breeding season. Goats are foragers, NOT grazers. It is actually unnatural to graze a goat on grass and increases the likelihood of them picking up harmful parasites. In their natural habitat, they roam mountaintops and reach up as high as possible to pick out choice bits of forage around them. Goats have a gestation period (pregnancy) of five months and the average birth rate for goats is 2.2 kids per year. The heart rate of goats is between 70 to 135 beats per minute. Goats are very social creatures. Goats are quite agile creatures and in some cases, they can jump over 5 feet. Plant poisoning most often occurs in goats in the spring after the herd has been released into a new pasture. Goats can be born with or without horns (polled). Carl Sandburg loved his goats so much that when Life Magazine (1938 issue) asked him to pose for a picture with his favourite dog he insisted the picture be taken with his goats. Vomiting in goats is almost always due to poisonous plants. Abraham Lincoln's sons had two goats that lived in the white house with them. Counter to the dominant stereotype about goats being willing to eat anything, they are actually very picky eaters. They have very sensitive lips, which they use to "mouth" things in search of clean and tasty food. They will often refuse to eat hay that has been walked on or lying around loose for a day. Bucks can be quite aggressive to their handlers during the breeding season. Wattles are those little tufts of hair that covers the skin that dangles from the throat of some goats. Wattles serve no function and are thought to be remnants of gill slits that mammals shared somewhere back down the evolutionary tree. A ruminant is any hoofed animal that digests its food in two steps. First by eating the raw materials and regurgitating a semi-digested form known as "cud" then eating the cud. Ruminants include goats, sheep, cattle, deer, camels, llamas, giraffes, bison, buffaloes etc. Goats have four "stomachs". Their food moves first into the rumen (from which it is periodically regurgitated for more "cud chewing"), then to the reticulum, later to the omasum, and finally to the abomasum (which is most like a more sensitive human stomach).

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