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Did you know...

Color image of two goats with their heads stuck through a wood fence

  • Goats were one of the first animals to be domesticated, and are one of the world's smallest domesticated ruminants, ranging in size and weight from 20 pounds and 18 inches, to 250 pounds and 42 inches.
  • Goats' milk contains less lactose than cows' milk, making it easier for humans to digest.
  • Contrary to popular belief, goats won't eat just anything! They often use their upper lip to nibble at, test, and sort foods to see if something might be tasty, which may be the basis of this belief.
  • Goats don't have teeth on their upper jaw. Instead, like other ruminants, they use a hard dental pad to crush and break up food.
  • Goats are intelligent and social creatures. Though they don't tend to flock like sheep, they learn from and enjoy the company of other goats, and humans, and will become lethargic and sick if solitary.
  • Though not in the same genus as their look-alike "cousins" the mountain goat, domesticated goats can be similarly agile and are often observed climbing structures or other tall things in their environment (e.g. boulders, hills, trees).
  • The American Lamancha breed - thought to have been named after the Spanish Murciana breed native to LaMancha, Spain - is born naturally with very little to no external ear flap. When the breed was first registered, these tiny ears could come in several breed-approved shapes, including "cookie" and "elf."
  • Goats have a long-running history of serving in the Welsh armed forces. William Windsor I Billy, for short served as a lance corporal in the 1st Battalion from 2001 until 2009, and was considered "a ranking member of the regiment." Though he served with distinction for most of his eight years of active duty, Billy was briefly demoted to fusilier in 2006 for attempting to headbutt a drummer during a parade celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birthday.
  • Cashmere fibers come from goats. The warm, winter undercoat of cashmere-producing goats is collected only as the animal begins to shed the coat naturally, generally in early spring.
  • A female goat's gestation period is fairly short, just around five months, and goat babies - known as kids - most frequently arrive in pairs.

To what age did the oldest goat on record live?