Human Propensities of Goat

Maneka Gandhi

Maneka GandhiPayal Sodhi runs the shelters for People for Animals in Chandigarh. A bright, practical girl , she cannot bear any form of violence. Three months she came across a newborn jet black goat whose mother had been chopped in front of him. She took him into the shelter and because she didn’t have a goat enclosure , she put the baby in with the rabbits and bottle fed him. Kalu grew up to think he was a rabbit. When he was separated finally , he cried and cried and even now , at the drop of a hat , goes into the rabbit enclosures to play with his family. However , he has become very possessive of Payal and when she talks to other people , he will wait only a little while before he throws a tantrum. To punish him , she hides and he will go looking for her all over the shelter , nibbling with love and a few butts when he finds her. Now she has picked up another goat , a female but Kalu will have none of it. He sulks and pushes her hands away if she touches the new one.

How odd that we value our dogs so much but we do not think twice before eating goats – which are keptas pets all over the world and are as intelligent, loyal and emotional . Goats are very often not given credit for being the smart and loving creatures they actually are. Think of them like dogs, except they don't have the "I must please humans" thing that dogs have.

It is not for nothing that human children are called kids – a term that means baby goat. Baby goats love playing hide and seek. They crawl into little hidey holes and will lie very quiet and jump about squealing when you find them. They "explore their world" with their mouths just like human babies "chewing" and "mouthing" things to learn about them. They love climbing. Family members let their babies jump and climb on them. If you let them climb on you, you are considered family Some of the activities enjoyed by kids include galloping, jumping vertically into the air, tossing their heads, and whirling around.

Goats sneeze to sound an alarm. Young goats sneeze as part of their play. They also sneeze when they eat something they really like.

A goat herd has a "pecking order"; every goat has there place in the herd. When you add new goats to a herd, they may get beaten up by members of the established herd until the new goat's place in the herd is established. Sounds just like a classroom. No matter what, there will be occasions where goats fight and take "pot shots" at each other. Goats will ram "lesser" goats for no other reason than to just to make sure they know their place.

Even the females are hierarchical. There are various way a doe may show her dominance over another doe. Hitting/ramming ,making her get up from where she is resting , tongue flapping , leg pawing , blubbering .It is very common for a doe that has recently given birth (or sometimes right before she does) to try to "upgrade" her status in the herd in order to secure a higher status for her kids. You may also see other goats get involved, and take sides in a fight. This is a gamble on the "helper" goat's part in the hope they will be the friend of the winner, thus helping their own status a bit .Once a winner is decided and status amongst the herd is clarified, they will not fight anymore. Most goats bonded to people view humans as part of the herd too

Goats can also be trained to walk on a leash. They like their front chest and underarms scratched. They don’t like strangers touching their heads and it makes them nervous. But once they know you , they come like dogs do , to have their heads scratched. Goats moan if something doesn't suit them. Putting their ears sideways means that they are fine and happy, putting their ears back indicates irritation.

The dominant male is the boss only during the breeding season. For the rest of the year he will let the leading female, or "queen" push him around. The queen obtains her position by bearing the most children in the flock.

Goats are extremely curious. They are also known for escaping their pens. In fact they check out a fence to see where the weakest spot is and then they work at it ! They are experts in opening latches on gates and squeezing through small gaps because they hate to be confined. They will work tirelessly to spring themselves from any situation they deem inhibiting They also like to dig areas to lie in and enjoy the sun.

Goats are particular about the cleanliness of their food. Their natural curiosity may lead them to investigate newly found items by sniffing and nibbling, but they quickly refuse anything that is dirty or distasteful. They pick delicately through their feed and are that good they can separate out the grains that they don't like.

Goats will seldom panic and flee if danger threatens. They will turn and face it. Mother goats have been seen to form teams to protect their kids, and even a two-month-old kid drove away a dog that it considered a threat. Prakash Ambedkar who runs a sanctuary in Maharashtra has pictures of a goat called Tiger – so named because he drove away a tiger

Goats are friendly, playful, gregarious, flamboyant and independent animals with a great sense of humour. They make wonderful companions. . They all have unique personalities The male goat represents strong-mindedness, singleness of purpose, and leadership. Proverbs 30:29-31 from the NIV "There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing: a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing; a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king with his army around him.".

Goats are quick to respond to individual attention and affection. If you get to know a goat'd probably want to keep a few goats yourself. You certainly won’t eat them – specially not if you are a Capricorn !

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