Kiwi hunters really get their #Goat


Goats are wonderful feral creatures. Spread far and wide throughout New Zealand on both public and private wildlands, they are intelligent, playful, curious, and highly social wild animals.

One of the first domesticated animals in the history of humankind, goats have been farmed and herded by humans for more than 10,000 years.

Neolithic farmers of the Mesopotamian Fertile Crescent were responsible for this domestication and they spread their species and technological innovation globally to create the modern world in which we inhabit today. Descended originally from wild bezoar ibex native to the mountains of Western Asia, there are about 300 recognised breeds of goat worldwide.

Goat jokes aside, goats have served mankind well over millennia, providing milk, meat, dung for fuel, fibre, hair, bone, skin, and sinew. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation there were more than 924 million live goats around the globe in 2011.

Goats are individuals, much like humans, and describing a typical goat is challenging. They come big and small, virtually every colour, but most have two horns, a beard, and a short tail. Being ruminants with a four-chambered stomach, goats are browsing animals that can eat virtually any vegetation, and survive in harsh arid environments in which most other animals would perish.

They are also very agile animals that are equally at home on rugged sea cliffs, high alpine valleys, or in dense rainforest. Goats even regularly climb trees to reach choice morsels and often reach the ripe old age of fifteen to eighteen years old. Highly fertile, there is nothing as randy as an old billy goat, with female nanny goats regularly giving birth to twins and triplets.

To many people the most offensive trait of goats can be the strong scent emanated by the mature males or bucks. During the rut, mature billy goats will urinate on their forelegs and face to enhance their attractiveness to females. Sebaceous glands at the base of the horns also add to the male goat’s odour. Actually I don’t mind the distinctive goat smell, which can be pretty exciting when you are stalking in close from downwind with rifle in hand.

Feral goats have been part of the New Zealand landscape ever since Europeans first arrived on these shaky isles. Captain James Cook released a pair of goats into the Marlborough Sounds in 1773, and since that time, whalers, sealers, mariners, explorers, and goldminers have released goats all over NZ, and even many offshore islands as food for castaways. read more…

Shop your Goat Supplies here…


Not a joke: Goats and humans do yoga together


We’re not sure how long this far-fetched fitness trend will last, but humans and goats got together Saturday morning for a yoga class.

No kidding.

Dave Mote with Grapevine Parks and Recreation Department heard about goat yoga on the radio and decided it was a perfect fit for Grapevine, where the first (sold out) classes were h

eld Saturday, despite the rainy weather.

While Nash Farms provided the location, Red Barn Feed Store in Kennedale ponied up the goats.

“We weren’t sure how many people would show up because of the weather but they were here at 6:30 ready to go,” Mote said.

Classes were held at 7 and 8 a.m., and the goats mostly wandered about and nibbled on corn while their human counterparts performed poses such as downward facing dog. The goats did not appear to be offended.

Goat yoga is just what is sounds like — a yoga class with goats. Participants go through yoga poses while baby goats snuggle with them.

Andrew Buckley Special to the Star-Telegram

At times a baby white goat stood happily on the backs of different participants, while other goats, well, did not.

“Everybody seemed comfortable with them and had a blast,” Mote said.

read more…


Holy Ghost! No, Holy Goat


There’s a new dairy business in Manhattan, Kan. — and the owner/operator, who recently retired from an almost-30-year career as a medical doctor delivering babies and conducting gynecologic surgery, will begin making specialty goat cheeses later this month.

Suzanne Bennett, M.D., now owner/operator of the brand new state-of-the-art Holy Goat Creamery near Manhattan, Kan., will sell gourmet cheeses to high-end restaurants, casinos, and gourmet shops in a 150-mile radius, as well as to The People’s Market, and the East Side Market and West Side Market in Manhattan.

Cheese production at the Holy Goat Creamery is set to get underway later this month. Tops on her list is Chèvre cheese, feta cheese, as well as goat gouda. Chèvre is French for goat cheese and has a unique, robust flavor. Bennett recommends marinating it in herb oil or putting honey on it. Feta is a fresh, white cheese often mixed into salads. Goat gouda is a wheel of mild, partially sweet cheese.

Equally as unique as the career switch from practicing medicine to establishing a creamery and diving into three-hours of morning chores daily, is the story behind the Holy Goat Creamery name.

“I came by the name when I heard my son as a small child praying in church to the Father, Son and Holy ‘Goat,’” Bennett explained, “then of course there is the play off of Holy Cow.”

A savvy scientist, Bennett noted there’s also much science involved in establishing a quality creamery.

“My facility is state of the art, and I hope it can be a model for other micro dairies,” Bennett said. “We milk on a six goat raised stanchion with a closed pipeline milking system and an automatic clean and sanitize device within the loop. I have a small lab on site and we do our own milk testing according to USDA guidelines. We have just been granted Grade A status and are one of only two Grade A goat dairies in Kansas, and we get inspected regularly by the USDA.”

Bennett applied for, and received, a USDA grant for Value Added Production that helps with matching funds, which she’s putting back into the development of cheese making.

The Holy Goat Creamery received help kicking off its mission from nationally known cheese consultant Neville McNaughton from Cheezsorce in St. Louis. Bennett has built one aging room into the facility for hard cheese aging.

“We developed all her systems for her building,” McNaughton said. “I’ve laid out a ‘make procedure’ for Dr. Bennett, which is just the rules in a cascading series of events. I tell her what ‘milestones’ to hit, to be on time at the right level. I’ve written it chronologically on an Excel spread sheet.”

McNaughton noted he’s designed and built over 120 aging rooms in the last three and a half years. He specializes in developing cheeses, business plans, and sanitation and equipment design.

Interestingly, cheese-making is biochemistry.

“Actually, doctors actually make pretty good cheese — much better than engineers,” McNaughton commented. “Engineers may get the building right, but not so much in cheese.

“Dr. Bennett has a wonderful personality and is an incredible person. Her legacy will be to leave something for someone who would never be able to build it.”

Bennett began the process of starting her new career 12 years ago in 2005. That’s when her husband — who helps with daily chores — suggested she find a hobby to give her a break from the OB/GYN practice. Several years later, Bennett decided to raise the goats and make cheese.

It was a sad event that moved the entire process up.

“One of my partners was diagnosed with cancer and died last year, so I decided to retire sooner and enjoy the extra time that she couldn’t,” said Bennett, who retired in December 2016.

Bennett decided to attend a retreat in Wisconsin, and made cheese for a week and had a great time. The rest, as they say, is history.

“When I came home, I wanted to continue cheese-making, but milk was hard to come by in Kansas, especially goat’s milk,” she explained. “That was the moment I decided to raise the goats myself.” read more…

Shop Goat Supplies here


Proper Goat Hoof Care

goothoofcareTrimming your goats’ hooves will keep them from over-growing and allowing the goat to walk properly. Photo: Kyle Spradley, MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Flickr Creative Commons.

Trimming your goats’ hooves will keep them from over-growing and allowing the goat to walk properly. Photo: Kyle Spradley, MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Flickr Creative Commons.

Hoof care in any animal species is a vital part of their management. Goats’ hooves require regular trimming and inspection to determine if there are any hoof problems that could lead to lameness or infection that can be spread among the herd, such as contagious foot rot.

Depending on the environment goats live in, they may need more or less frequent trimming. For example, goats living in rocky conditions where the hoof will wear against the ground may need less frequent trimming than a goat that lives in a grass pasture. Be familiar with the environment your goats live in and keep accurate records of when you perform hoof care. This will help you determine an appropriate schedule for your herd.

Hooves should not be allowed to over-grow as this keeps the animal walking properly. The goal of the trim should be to make the bottom of the hoof be flat and at the same angles as the hair line at the top of the hoof. All dirt and manure should be removed from the hoof prior to trimming. Michigan State University Extension recommends using a hoof pick or the tips of the hoof trimmers to do this. The walls, or sides, and heels should be trimmed flat with the sole. To view the proper way to trim your goats’ hooves, visit eXtension’s Goat Basic Hoof Care. Read more…


Yoga & Goat Catching on

yoga-2A farm in Albany, Oregon is setting the internet on fire with a “goat yoga class.”
It’s hosted by Lainey Morse at the No Regrets Farm, who says she already has a waiting list of 500-plus people. So far it’s been limited to summer months, but Morse says she may consider using a covered arena to offer classes year-round.
Morse said she created the class because yoga and goats just seemed to work together.
“Even when they chew their cud, they go into a meditative state, so it just seemed like it went well together,” Morse explained. “With how things are going on right now (in the world), it’s a great distraction. read more…

Goat Cheese & 5 Delicious Recipes

Goat cheese may not look like much, but this soft white cheese is a versatile workhorse in the kitchen, enlivening everything from simple breakfast dishes to pastas and desserts. While it’s a delicious spread on toast or pizza, those are hardly the only ways to incorporate it into your meals, as these five delicious goat cheese recipes prove.

1. Asparagus and Goat Cheese Omelet


Turn a lazy Sunday morning with your sweetie into a truly special occasion when you make this asparagus and goat cheese omelet from Serious Eats. Serve this easy-to-prepare dish with hearty toast, fresh fruit, or another breakfast side for a perfect morning meal for two.


  • ½ pound asparagus, cut into 3 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons butter, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives (optional)

Directions: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium high heat. Add asparagus and toss to coat with butter, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Let steam until asparagus are cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from pan and reserve.

Add remaining butter to pan and place back over medium high heat. When butter has melted pour in beaten eggs. Using a rubber spatula gently loosen the edges of the egg as they set, tilting pan to allow liquid egg to run underneath. Once the eggs in center have just begun to set sprinkle crumbled goat cheese down center of omelet, then place asparagus over goat cheese and season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover pan with tight-fitting lid, remove from heat, and allow residual heat to continue cooking eggs until almost completely set with just a thin layer of liquid egg on top (about 1 minute).

Fold sides of the omelet into the center to cover the filling. Gently slide onto a plate and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.

Read here for more recipes

University Study Finds Goats Are As Smart As Dogs

goatScientists have discovered that goats, too, can make great pets and may even rival dogs for the title of “man’s best friend.”

A recent study by Queen Mary University of London researchers revealed that the goat, mainly domesticated for agricultural purposes, also possesses the ability to form an emotional bond with its owner, according to the Telegraph.

In an experiment documented in Biological Letters, the goats were  observed to gaze at their owners emotionally when they are seeking help or assistance. Such a trait, which is not usually seen in other animals who never co-existed with humans, is also commonly found in dogs.

To prove that goats are smarter than the common perception, the research team conducted tests similarly used to gauge intelligence in apes. In a series of tests, the goats displayed an ability to cleverly figure out how to break into a sealed box by using levers.

In the first trial, the goats were trained to remove a lid from a box by giving them rewards. In the last test, the box was made impossible to open and the goat’s reaction revealed a striking resemblance to how dogs usually react. The goats turned to their owners in a pleading gaze, asking for help in getting to the treat.

The goats were also observed to gaze for longer when the person looked back and returned the gaze, compared to when the person looked the other way.

More impressively, the test subjects even retained the skill and were able to perform the task, without repeating prompts, four years later.

“Goats gaze at humans in the same way as dogs do when asking for a treat that is out of reach,” said study co-author Dr Christian Nawroth. read more…