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Unlike many contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, goats have excellent coordination and are very agile on their hooves
As fireworks explode over Chinatown and we welcome the Lunar New Year of the Goat, it seems timely for our thoughts to turn to all things goat-related. After all, how much do you know about the humble goat? After reading our highly educational list of top goat facts, the butt will almost certainly stop with you…
50. The scientific name of the goat, Capra hircus, is the origin of the English word ‘capricious', meaning unpredictable, inconsistent, erratic or arbitrary, qualities that goats commonly exhibit.
49. In the Chinese zodiac, the goat is interchangeable with the sheep, indicating that nothing is actually required to separate the sheep from the goats after all.
48. Characteristics of goat (sheep) people are introversion, creativity, shyness and being a perfectionist.
47. Goats don't like getting wet and will seek shelter from rain.
46. Goats have rectangular pupils, giving them vision of 320 – 340 degrees.
45. Goats have excellent night vision.
44. Paintings of goats founds on cave walls in Europe are estimated to be around 12,000 years old.
43. It's believed that goats were first domesticated around 10,000 years ago.
42. Goats are highly social animals, although they're generally not flock-oriented like sheep. They often form friendships with other species like horses and cows.
41. Groups of wild goats are matriarchal in nature, being headed by adult females.
40. A group of goats is called a trip.
39. Goats can scream like humans.
38. Unlike many contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, goats have excellent coordination and are very agile on their hooves.
37. Goats can climb trees.
36. Some species can jump up to five feet into the air.
35. Scientists believe that goats have accents.
34. The average lifespan of a healthy goat is about 12 years but can be up to 15 years if kept well.
33. Goats are highly inquisitive and will nibble almost anything to see if it's edible, giving rise to the popular misconception that they eat things like cardboard boxes and tin cans.
32. They're actually very fussy eaters and won't touch anything that's been spoiled.
31. Goats can be trained to learn their name and to come when called.
30. Goats have four stomachs.
29. Goats burp.
28. Goats have a five-month gestation period.
27. A baby goat is called a kid.
26. In the goat world, the act of giving birth is called "kidding".
25. Goats can have up to six kids per litter, with twins being very common.
24. Goats can be born with or without horns.
23. Newborn goats can follow their mothers almost immediately after being born.
22. Both male and female goats can have beards.
21. There are approximately 210 breeds of goat in the world today.
20. And approximately 860 million goats on the planet.
19. China has the most, with about 149 million, or 17% of the world's total.
18. Goats have no front top teeth – instead they have very hard gums.
17. Goat faeces has almost no odour (their s**t really doesn't stink!).
16. Goats have no tear ducts.
15. Goats are usually between 17 and 42 inches tall from the shoulder.
14. Goats are browsers rather than grazers – they're more likely to eat leaves, shrubs, fruit, etc rather than grass…
13. … except azalea bushes, which are poisonous to goats.
12. Goat's milk is higher in calcium, vitamin A and niacin than cow's milk.
11. Goat's milk is ideal for people who are lactose intolerant. It's naturally homogenised and can be digested in less than 20 minutes (cow's milk can take almost a whole day).
10. About 72% of the world's milk consumption is from goats.
09. Goats give us cashmere, and this fine soft fibre can be difficult to obtain. (TAFE's Certificate II in Agriculture includes a 100-hour Shear Goats module while the Certificate III in Agriculture includes the 30-hour module Class goat fibre).
08. Goat meat is the most widely consumed red meat in the world.
07. Australia is the world's largest exporter of goats.
06. Goats first arrived in Australia in 1788 on the First Fleet, most of them deported on petty theft charges.
05. Goats discovered coffee!
04. Tennessee's famous "fainting goats" don't really faint. They have a recessive trait called myotonia which causes their muscles to stiffen when frightened or excited, causing the animal to topple over, or "faint". Also known as the Tennessee Stiff-Leg, the Wooden Leg or the Myotonic Goat.
03. Unlike horses, goats don't spook easily. Many horse owners keep goats with their horses as a calming influence during thunderstorms.
02. Roman history tells that each February 15, young men would wear the skins of goats and run around hitting women with a piece of goat skin called a ‘februa' in what was considered a tradition that promoted fertility. This is where the month of February gets its name.
01. Goats, and not cats, totally run the internet.