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WHAT IS A GOAT?

The goat, along with sheep, were among the earliest domesticated animals. Goat remains have been found at archaeological sites in western Asia, such as Jericho, Choga, Mami, Djeitun and Cayonu, which allows domestication of the goats to be dated at between 6000 and 7000 B.C. However, unlike sheep, their ancestry is fairly clear.


The major contributor of modern goats is the Bezoar goat which is distributed from the mountains of Asia Minor across the Middle East to Sind.1 The six traditional breeds of goats are Nubian, Alpine, Saanen, Toggenburg, LaMancha, and Oberhasli. Other breeds which are growing in popularity include Pygmy, Boer, Cashmere, and Angora. Almost all goats are born with horns, but most goats (except for Pygmies) are dehorned at a young age to protect both the goat and humans.

 













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Goats should be kept in a suitable home that offers the goats protection from drafts (strong wind currents). A three-sided shelter is suitable if the home is deep and offers the goats protection from rain. An ideal goat home is not air-tight.

It is very important to ensure that dogs and other wild animals cannot get into the goat pen.

During warm months, flies may bother goats. Most fly traps are ecologically acceptable. However, they are useless unless an effort is made toward cleanliness in the goat home and pen.

It can be hard to find hay that goats will love eating! Generally, alfalfa, clover, or other mixes are suitable. Some experts recommend a hay that is one-half legume (such as alfalfa) and one-half grass (like timothy grass). NEVER feed hay or grain that is moldy. It is important to ensure that goats do not bloat if they are given fresh, newly cut green hay.

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