Goats are adorable and their antics have made them social media stars, but are you ready for kids of your own?Carl and Jan Roberts breed miniature goats in Ellendale in the Central Highlands of Tasmania.The popularity of cute goats on social media had helped drive interest in their farm, they said. They will die of a broken heart if they don’t have that goat interaction.”Not only do goats need to be with other goats to keep them happy, they also can live for a long time.”The reality is they’ll be with you for anything between 12 and 15 years,” Mr Roberts said. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“Social media has been phenomenal for us. They are worse than children — if they get bored they cause chaos.”Mr Roberts said he and his wife spent a lot of time with prospective customers and would refuse to sell kids if they thought people were not prepared for the responsibility.”We spend a lot of time educating the new owners [about] the needs of the goat,” he said.”At the end of the day they’re our family, they’re Jan’s kids.” (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Mr Roberts said goats misbehaving was usually a sign they were not being interacted with enough.”Goats need to be interacted with. External Link:
Jan Roberts never planned to have kids in the house. Have you goat a shed for them? (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“[They also] need a variety of pastures and a variety of food.”Even though they’re miniatures, they’re very small, you can’t put [them] in a quarter acre and leave them there.”Playtime for goats a mustYou will also need to be prepared to spend time with your goats each day; they are not a set-and-forget animal.Studies have shown goats to have the same capacity for bonding with humans as dogs, and their intelligence is also about the same as their canine counterparts.This means they can get bored and become destructive if they are not mentally stimulated. We don’t have to advertise,” Ms Roberts told Helen Shield on ABC Radio Hobart.Australian miniature goats have been selectively bred to be about half the size of regular goat breeds.While you can still milk a mini goat, or use its fleece or meat, their primary attraction is as a different kind of pet. They need other goat buddies to be truly happy. Photo:
Carl and Jan Roberts have a custom-built “goat palace” on Willow Creek farm. Photo:
A solo goat is a sad goat. However, Mr Roberts said no matter how small the goat might be, their needs were just the same as their larger ancestors.”They’re not a pet, they’re livestock, so they have different needs [to cats and dogs],” he said.A single goat is a miserable goatWhile a cat or dog might be OK on its own, a goat without a herd will be lonely and far from happy.”We only sell them in pairs, minimum in pairs, they’re a herd animal,” Mr Roberts said.”A goat needs a goat. The onesie keeps its nappy on. Photo:
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