Having goats is a real joy. They’re a ton of fun and a great addition to any farm or family.
Owning any animal is a big responsibility. Whether you’re on a goat farm or have a goat as a pet, you want your animals to be happy and thrive wherever they are.
So, how can you tell if your goat is happy? It’s not like they’ll come up and tell you, and having a goat is not like having a pet dog. Sometimes feedback about their treatment and their mood is hard to decipher.
Thankfully, we have a lot more data and understanding about goats than we used to. Goats have become a lot more popular in recent years, and people are paying attention to how they feel and what the best treatment methods are.
Having happy goats is important for the animals, indeed, but happy goats also make better goat milk, cheese, and other goat products.
There are things you can do to give your goat a great quality of life. Having a happy goat is about way more than not having an angry goat. Spotting when a goat is angry is relatively easy. What we’re talking about are happy goats.
Here are 9 signs your goat is happy and you’re doing things right.
1. Pointy Ears
Like other animals, dogs, for instance, goats indicate their mood with their ears. If you pay close attention to your goat, you’ll see that their ears move around in directions.
What you probably don’t know, though, is that how their ears are pointing will give you insight into whether they are happy.
Experts have done some research into this, and say that goats will point their ears forward more when they are in a positive mood. Unhappy goats will shift their ears around much more.
2. Goat Calls Are More Even
Goats like to make a lot of noise in general. There are, however, some things you can look for in your goat’s calls to know if they are truly happy. A happy, healthy goat will have a more stable call that’s rich and full.
A stressed-out goat or an unhappy goat is more likely to have a shriller or more uneven call. The longer you own and care for your goat, the better you’ll be able to discern their calls.
3. They Want to be Petted
A happy goat will be more inclined to interact with you and other humans that they feel comfortable with. If your goat comes perkily and stands calmly near you, it’s giving you the go-ahead to pet and interact with it.
Goats sometimes will come to you even when they’re not happy because they think they’re going to be fed.
However, their behavior when they are happy will likely be much more serene. No ramming involved.
4. Healthy Digestion
Healthy feces is a sign of a happy goat. If you notice that your goat has diarrhea or discolored feces, then it’s a symptom of distress.
A healthy and happy goat, on the other hand, will have rich, solid poop with no issues. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
The food you give your goat, how clean the pen is and other conditions will all affect your goat’s mood. Looking at your goat’s droppings can give you insight into whether it’s doing ok.
5. They Have Company
Goats don’t love to be alone. They usually do better with at least one other goat to pal around with. No surprise there because most animals aren’t solitary in nature.
If you’re serious about your goat’s well-being, then maybe you will want to consider getting them a partner to spend time with.
Having a companion goat will improve how they interact with you and your family or whoever else comes by as well.
6. No Aggression
Goats don’t have a way of talking, so they use other means to show when they are upset. Your goat may ram or run away when they aren’t in the best moods.
When they’re chippier, they’ll be much less likely to hide or shy away from the interaction. Building trust with your goat will go a long way to making sure they are happier and live a better life.
Don’t do anything that will stress them out or give them a reason to mistrust you.
7. They Keep Good Eye Contact
Goat experts report that happy goats are more willing to keep constant eye contact with people they love. If you’re around your goat and you see that they often lock eyes with you, then that’s a good sign.
That’s an important point because some goat owners don’t feel comfortable with eye contact. They mistakenly interpret it as a sign of aggression. Instead, your goat is showing you that they are in a good mood and up for some fun!
8. They Are Always Checking Stuff Out
Goats are generally very curious animals, they love to explore and check out what’s going on around them.
If you see your goat moving around their pen with energy and going up to new people with their trademark curiosity, then that’s a sign that you’ve got a happy goat.
On the other hand, if you see your goat sulking and it’s tough to get them to perk up and notice anything, then that could be a sign of concern.
9. They Come When They are Called
Goats can learn their names, and, in general, a happy goat will come quickly to your call.
If you have to call your goat a million times to get them to come over to eat or hang out, then there may be something wrong. A sign of a happy goat comes quickly when they hear their name.
Look for these signs of a happy goat to make sure you’re giving your animal the best possible life! The happier your goats are, the more fun they’ll be.
If you’re a goat farmer, happy goats will make raising and caring for them easier. The products they produce will be higher-quality as well!