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Humans started keeping herds of goats around 9000 years ago because they realised that they were great providers of milk and therefore cheese and also that they could eat the meat of goats too. In fact even now, people eat goat more that any other animal.

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Their feet are cloven, this means that they have two horny-like toes which can grip onto rocky places and allow them to do some pretty impressive climbing up mountains and in trees.

Like sheep and a lot of other hooved animals goats have horizontal rectangular pupils so that they can see all around them and look out for other animals that want to hunt them for food.

goldengoat There is a bit of a myth about goats liking to eat almost anything they can find. They are quite picky eaters and they test things with their soft and sensitive lips to make sure that it is tasty and clean before they munch it up. They don’t graze like sheep do. In the wild they love to forage, that means that they wonder around all over the place looking for the yummiest things that they can find, they even climb trees to get to juicy leaves and berries.

They have four stomachs to help with things that are difficult to digest. Each stomach is cleverly designed to get a different set of nutrients out of the food that they eat. The first of their stomachs is called the rumen and it can hold up to four or five gallons of chewed up food. They have a habit of regurgitating this back up so that they can chew it again. This makes them burp, very loudly.

blackgoat Male goats are called billy goats, females are called nanny goats and the babies are called kids.

A nanny goat is pregnant with the kid for about five months and the baby can stand and even walk only minutes after being born. They also have their own unique call and scent which is how the mother can find and identify them.

They are very sociable creatures and if you were to keep one goat all alone it would become lonely and extremely depressed.

You may notice a very strong goaty smell when you visit their field at Mudchute. This is because in goat world it is considered very romantic and attractive for the billy goats to cover themselves with their own wee. The smell is apparently irresistible to the nanny goats.


About Mudchute

Mudchute Park & Farm. One of the largest city farms in London with 32 acres of countryside in the middle of the Isle of Dogs.

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