Goats Are Amazing!

Posted by Phil Rodgers in Smoky Mountains

Even though the name of our attraction is Goats on the Roof, many visitors still seem surprised to discover that we actually do have goats living on the roof of our main building. (See our last blog post for the full story on WHY we have goats on our Pigeon Forge rooftop.) Our guests love getting up-close views of our goats and even sending them buckets of feed with our unique “goat cycle” device.

Baby goats are called kids

But this week, we wanted you to get to know our bearded animal friends a little better. We've collected some information about goats that you might not have previously known. So the next time that you do come to see our attraction, you'll have a better idea of what's in store.

1. Goats were one of the first animals to be domesticated.

This process started about 11,000 years ago in the Near East. This represented a key shift in the development of mankind from hunter-gatherers to agriculture-based societies.

2. Goats were among the first animals to be brought to America.

The earliest European settlers brought goats over on the Mayflower. By 1630, a census in Jamestown listed goats as one of that colony's most valuable possessions.

Feed them the goat chow.

3. Goat popularity surged following the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

This fair was host to the first dairy-goat show in America as well as an exhibit featuring 300 Angora goats. With their heavy coats of curly mohair, the Angoras drew swarms of fans to the expo and increased national recognition of that breed.

4. The goat childbirth process is called “kidding.”

That's because baby goats are called “kids.” And we're not kidding.

5. Goats don't have teeth on their upper jaw.

Instead, they have a strong dental pad. But they do have an incredibly mobile upper lip that helps them sort through spiny, thorny twigs to find a plant's tender leaves.

6. Goats have rectangular pupils.

This is a common trait of other ungulates, like sheep. It gives goats a fuller range of vision than humans and other animals with round pupils. Goats can see 320 to 340 degrees in their periphery-everything except what's directly behind them-which is useful in avoiding predators. The drawback? Goats can't look up or down without moving their entire head.

Walkway for goats only.

7. Goats have four stomachs.

Like cows, goats have a four-chambered stomach to help them digest roughage like grass and hay. Food enters the rumen and then passes to the honeycombed reticulum, where non-digestible objects are separated out. In the omasum chamber, water is removed from the food before it finally enters the main stomach, the abomasums chamber.

8. Goat's milk is the most popular kind of milk worldwide.

Even though we Americans rely on cow's milk, most people around the globe drink goat's milk, in addition to eating goat meat. Goat's milk is naturally homogenized, and it's easier to digest than cow's milk, even by people who are lactose intolerant. It's also higher in calcium and Vitamin A.

9. Fainting goats don't really faint.

But they look like they do. Better known as the myotonic goat, this unique species has a genetic quirk that makes their muscles freeze up when they get excited or startled. This causes them to topple over. But they're still conscious, so it's not true fainting. Their muscles return to normal within a few seconds or minutes.

10. Abraham Lincoln loved goats.

Among the many pets that lived in the White House during Abraham Lincoln's time in office were two goats, Nanny and Nanko. They were particularly loved by Lincoln's son Tad, who used them for chariot rides around the White House.


This content posted by Goats on the Roof of the Smoky Mountains. Visit our home page, goatsontheroofofthesmokies.com for more information on the goats and their coaster.

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