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Goats Eat Everything A Myth, Say Vets

17 February 2015

UK – A message from the veterinary industry has debunked widely held myths about goats eating everything, instead describing them as "chewy" animals that love to nibble.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Goat Veterinary Society (GVS) has teamed up to surprise many with a list of facts to assist in goat welfare.

Goat keepers have been told to keep electric cables covered from their goats in a timely message as China rings in the Year of the Goat.

“As goats come into the spotlight as the Chinese New year celebrations start, we would advise anyone thinking of keeping these lovely animals to fully understand their needs and what it takes to keep them happy and healthy,” said BVA President John Blackwell.

GVS Chairman David Harwood welcomed questions from goat keepers and prospective keepers. He said goats make good pet and companions but have “specific welfare needs" that "should never be forgotten.”

“For example, however well-meaning the owner, keeping a single goat in a paddock with no enriching features to satisfy the goat’s curiosity and energy and with no playmates will result in a lonely, stressed animal,” said Mr Harwood. “Talk to us and to the British Goat Society about whether or not a goat is the best choice of animal for you and if you are going to keep goats, what sort of goats would be best suited to you and your lifestyle.”

There were important welfare facts to remember:

  • Goats will not eat anything as part of their staple diet – they like to chew and nibble.
  • Goats love the company of humans. They are inquisitive, gregarious and friendly.
  • Keep goats in groups. They are herd animals and two should be the “absolute minimum”
  • Toys are essential. Straw bales can be played on and obstacles can be climbed. Avoid barren environments.
  • Buildings and paddocks should be “goat-proofed”. They are great at escaping.
  • Climbing, bouncing and stretching should be catered for. Goats can stand on their hind limbs reaching two metres above the ground.

TheSheepSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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