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Unlike many contestants on So You Think You Can
Dance, goats have excellent coordination and are very agile on
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
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
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
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
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
18. Goats have no front top teeth – instead they have very hard gums.
17. Goat faeces has almost no odour (their s**t really
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
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
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.
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.