Common Goat Myths

Below are the most common goats myths.

Adult buck (non-castrated male)

#1 Goats will eat anything, including tin cans.  = FALSE

TRUTH: Goats can actually be pretty picky about what they eat.  They turn their noses up at trampled or dirty hay that most livestock wouldn’t think twice about eating. It’s true that goats will often nibble or mouth at things that are new to them (horses will often do the same). I guess if they came across a tin can they might nibble at it and possibly eat the paper label, but they certainly aren’t going to eat the can itself.

#2 All goats stink. = FALSE

TRUTH: It’s only the bucks (non-castrated male goats) who have an odor, and then it’s mostly during breeding season. For most areas, breeding season is in the fall. Does (females) and wethers (castrated males) generally have no noticeable odor at all. It’s for this reason a buck should never be sold as a pet.

Polled female in front of horned female

#3 All goats with horns are males. = FALSE

TRUTH: Both male AND female goats can have horns. A buck’s horns will grow much thicker and longer than a doe’s horns, so the goats with the HUGE horns are typically male. Most dairy goat breeders will do a procedure called “disbudding” to prevent the horns from growing on their goats, but they generally do this to both the males and females. Some goats are born “polled”, or naturally hornless, and can be male or female.

Polled doe with goatee

#4 All goats with goatees are males. = FALSE

TRUTH: Female goats can have a beard too!  Most of our does over 3 years old have a goatee.  Bucks will have a much thicker and longer goatee than the does.

#5 Goats are like lawnmowers and will cut your grass. = Mostly FALSE

TRUTH: Anyone telling this myth has obviously never owned a goat.  🙂 Goats are browsers like deer, not grazers like sheep. I tell people all the time that if they put a goat in the backyard it will eat all the bushes, ornamental plants and anything other than grass first.  Only once those are gone will it finely resign itself to eat the grass simply because there’s nothing tastier left.

So, now that you know these are myths, let’s start spreading some TRUTH about goats.  🙂

*This page was originally published in 2013 as a blog post on my website.