This charming video illustrates one of the most endearing qualities of goats: their love of play. In this case, you’ll see goats playing on a flexible piece of steel ribbon. Your goat herd will be happier and easier to handle if if you supply something for them to play on.
YouTube video posted by Max Murs
Benefits of Goats Playing
You’ll see this “Let’s play King-of-the-Hill” behavior in even the youngest goat kids. Given a discarded utility cable spool, a round bale or small square bale of hay, a repurposed metal or concrete culvert, even a plank secured against something with one end higher than the other, your goats will amuse themselves for hours with the game.
There’s no aggression in it, and no dominance in the herd seems to be established in these games. Instead, it seems to be each goat playing against himself — “I can stay up here longer than I did last time!” The desire to climb and be high must be in the goats’ DNA.
Goats have a lively intelligence and curiosity about their world. If you’ll take steps to keep their minds occupied, you’ll have fewer troubles with broken-down fences and other irritating behavior.
And if you give your herd something to do, you’ll have a treat that’s better to watch than any TV program: Goats playing.
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff has been featured in videos covering topics from seed starting to skin toner. Check out our full collection of wiser living videos on our video page.
Robin Mather, a senior associate editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, kept a herd of Nubian goats for several years. She is the author of A Garden of Unearthly Delights: Bioengineering and the Future of Food (Dutton, 1995) and of The Feast Nearby (Ten Speed Press, 2011). Find Robin on Google+.