This month at Exisle, we are celebrating what is largely accepted as the world’s first domesticated animal – the humble goat. Apart from goat milk owning the title of the world’s favourite dairy, goats have given us cashmere, weed control and support as a reliable pack animal. It also helps that they are so darn cute. So, to pay our thanks, below is curated list of goat facts that shed light on just how magnificent these creatures are.
Goats have something we wish we all did – four stomachs! It really puts our one (and my spiritual second stomach for dessert…) to shame. Called chambers, each digestive area has a different role. Grasses and hay journeys past the rumen, into the “honeycombed” reticulum, where non-edible matter is separated. Water is then filtered out from the food in the omasum chamber and the remaining food enters the last chamber, or the “true” stomach called the abomasum.
“Goats are really cute, especially the little ones. But they do smell a little bit.” – Jacob Tremblay
Thanks to the Harry Potter series, I knew that a “bezoar” is a stone-like object found in a goat’s digestive tract. It was made out as a universal counter to most poisons in the series – which actually carries some truth. “Bezoar” comes from the Persian word pad-zahr – meaning antidote. In the 8th century, Arabian doctors would prescribe a bezoar to treat not only poisoning but various ailments such as depression, measles and leprosy. Bezoars became so valuable over time that Queen Elizabeth I even had one set into a silver ring!
“I don’t know how old I am because a goat ate the Bible that had my birth certificate in it. The goat lived to be twenty-seven.” – Satchel Paige
Did you know that a goat giving birth is called “kidding”? It puts a whole new spin on the human concept of “babying”. (It also means saying “you’ve got to be kidding me” in response to a pregnancy announcement isn’t as dramatic as once thought…) Also, a baby goat can recognise it’s mother’s call almost immediately after birth; these sociable animals form strong social bonds and can actually become depressed if they are separated from their herd!
“On second thought I think I am crazier than my goat.” – Remedios Varo
As the world descends further into uncertain chaos, one constant remains – the healing power of cute animal photos. A study conducted by the University of Leeds found that simply looking at a montage of cute animals reduced feelings of stress and anxiety in its participants.
The next instalment in the Animal Happiness series – Bleat – more than delivers on the above. Each page is adorned with a stunning photograph that captures a goat’s endearing qualities. These are accompanied by a plethora of humorous, philosophical and inspiring quotes from a wide range of figures such as Sandra Bullock, Dolly Parton and Abraham Lincoln. Compiled by publishing professional Bronwyn Eley, Bleat is the perfect antidote to those who need more goats, ergo happiness, in their lives.