Goats

Wild Willow Farm is excited to welcome you to our self-guided tour! Follow the signs around the farm and  learn about each landmark along the way. Thank you to local Chula Vista High School students for helping to create content for each QR code! 

The goat is a domesticated species of goat-antelope typically kept as livestock. Related to the sheep, the goat is lighter in build, has horns that arch backward, a short tail, and straighter hair. Male goats, called bucks or billys, usually have a beard. Females are called dogs or nannies, and immature goats are called kids. Wild goats include the ibex and markhor.

Benefits of goats...

Goats are an increasingly popular weapon in California's fight against the wildfires that rage through the western US state every year. The goats' voracious appetite serves an important purpose. The plants that goats most like to eat are also the ones that are most prone to catching fire in the midst of historic drought conditions. They clear brush that would normally be kindling for wildfires, but when they digest the plants, they’re also fertilizing the soil so that new grass can grow instead. And these goats have some range. Goats are capable of eating brush up to nine feet in the air if they stand on their hind legs. Eating easily flammable vegetation helps to restrict the spread of fire, and also creates a convenient corridor in which firefighters can operate to protect the homes in a safer environment. Of course, the animals are just one small part of the strategy for coping with the threat of fires. But their help can be valuable, lightening the workload for overstretched human contractors who create buffer zones by removing vegetation often manually, in sweltering heat and difficult terrain before and during ever-longer fire seasons. Goats can be seen eating away bone-dry vegetation that could go up in flames and threaten the surrounding homes if not cleared. Their work comes up at a vital time, as California is experiencing more wildfires, with more than four million acres scorched. Due to climate change and a brutal drought, officials fear that months of massive infernos are now the norm, and goats can be on solution.

 

More about goats...

The goat is a domesticated species of goat-antelope typically kept as livestock. It was domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the tribe Caprini, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat.

 

Goats have been used for milk, meat, fur, and skins across much of the world. Milk from goats is often turned into goat cheese. Miniature goats are herding animals and need companionship. For that reason, the City requires you to keep and maintain two goats and not just one. The regulations require that a goat shed be provided and located outside of all required setbacks, which are based on the zoning of your property. Generally, most single-family homes in the city of San Diego would have to locate the goat shed 5 feet from side property lines, and 13 feet from the rear property line. In January 2012, the City of San Diego amended its Municipal Code to allow residents of single-family homes to keep and maintain two miniature goats (Section 44.0307).

The goat is one of the smallest domesticated ruminants. Goats vary from as little as 20 pounds (9.1 kg) in weight and 18 inches (45.7 cm) tall in the mature female dwarf goat to 250 pounds (113.5 kg) and 42 inches (106.7 cm) in height for Indian Jamnapari, Swiss Saanen, and Alpine. Domestic goats are members of the Bovidae family, which includes gazelles, and African antelope. Their digestive system works nonstop throughout their adult life. While some animals have digestive organs and secretions that alternate between periods of stress and inactivity, goats must continually produce digestive juices and enzymes 24 hours a day.

 

Reproduction and development...

Many goats are seasonal breeders, influenced by the length of daylight. Goats typically reach sexual maturity at 6 months of age. In temperate zones, females begin to cycle in the late summer and show signs of heat (estrus) for one to two days about every 21 days, through January. The strongest heat cycles occur from November to January.

 

Facts about goats...

  • Goats are sociable animals and become depressed if they are separated or isolated from their companions. Despite being social, they are not flock-orientated like sheep.

  • They are one of the cleanest animals and are more selective feeders than cows, sheep, pigs, swine, and even dogs.

  • Goats are very intelligent and curious animals. Their inquisitive nature is exemplified through their constant desire to explore and investigate anything unfamiliar they come across.

  • Goats were one of the first animals to be tamed by humans and were being herded 9,000 years ago.

  • They live up to 15-18 years

 

Food and eating habits...

Like other ruminants, goats have a four-compartment stomach.  Their digestive system works nonstop throughout their adult life. While some animals have digestive organs and secretions that alternate between periods of stress and inactivity, goats must continually produce digestive juices and enzymes 24 hours a day. A goat’s intestinal canal is about 100 feet (30.5 meters) long, which allows better nutrient absorption from grass and other roughage. It takes 11 to 15 hours for feed to pass through a goat’s digestive system.

 

Goats are one of the kinds of pets to keep. They are great for clearing the land and getting rid of unwanted vegetation. Goats can provide fresh milk and cheese. Goat manure, unlike that of dogs, can be added to compost piles or used directly as a fertilizer when tilled into the soil. Goats do like Wheat, or Grass to eat and are loveable to keep in a place to take care of them. They’re also attention lovers, they Make noises for attention and whenever they’re hungry to eat. Two goats must be kept, except that offspring may be kept for up to 12 weeks from birth. Goats are like dogs but in different Breeds in the season. Goats like to play with other goats and have the best fun of their life in a day. As goat mamas, they have to protect their baby goats from hawks, Coyotes, and more than hunt goats and more. Every day they at least need to be fed, Morning, Afternoon, and the Sunrising. As for me and my dad, I like to take care of chickens and Goats, Atlought Hawks and Coyotes make that difficult by taking them each day without us noticing before the next day. Guard dog is also useful to protect an area like a ranch or any farm to protect animals. But it still doesn’t work because they always come out of nowhere and strike their attack. It’s always difficult having to protect a farm, or ranch to prevent animals from being taken for dinner and never seen again at the ranch and farm. It’s frustrating having to protect animal life like this without having peace in the wild and life. We can't hunt the dangerous animals down because we don’t have the right to and it’s the law, so we have to let it be.

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