Goats: Your Not So Average Puppy

Pictured above is a baby goat named Zeke that lives on the McDaniel’s farm. Zeke had to be bottle fed about four times a day. (Photo courtesy of the McDaniel family)Pictured above is a baby goat named Zeke that lives on the McDaniel’s farm. Zeke had to be bottle fed about four times a day. (Photo courtesy of the McDaniel family)

The McDaniel’s farm has multiple different animals including cats, dogs, horses, chickens, and goats. Lots of goats. As if forty adult goats weren’t enough, there are also 24 baby goats. Owning this many animals leaves you with your hands tied at all times.

Unfortunately, one of the baby goats (named Zeke) wasn’t able to nurse from the mom, leaving the McDaniels in a rut as they had to find time to bottle feed the goat and take care of all of the other animals.

Because they didn’t have time to take care of Zeke and all of the other goats, I agreed to “goat-sit” for them over spring break while they searched for a long-term owner.

Taking care of this goat was shockingly similar to taking care of a puppy. He needed constant attention, to be fed multiple times a day, naps, and plenty of exercise. Walking a baby goat is quite the experience. It was the perfect combination of adorable and time consuming. Unlike dogs, goats don’t walk very easily on a leash. He was very distracted by anything within a one foot radius of him which made for very long walks. But the cuteness of a baby goat wearing a harness completely made up for it.

The best part about the whole week was that Zeke is a fainting goat. Meaning that he literally “faints” if he gets excited or scared. Their muscles freeze up and then they fall over on their sides. They still remain conscious, they just aren’t able to move for a few seconds. After the short period of time is over, they stand up as if nothing happened. Zeke fainted sheerly from the excitement of seeing his food. Name a more relatable goat.

This goat loved to be held. I wasn’t really expecting Zeke to be affectionate like a dog because, well, he’s a goat. If I was sitting on the ground, he would come and sit in my lap, and he would follow me everywhere. I thought that he would smell too, but to my surprise he didn’t at all.

The week came to an end with Zeke returning to the McDaniel’s farm. He was reunited with his sister and played with the other baby goats in their pen. While I was sad to have to return him, it was a unique experience, and I’m glad I had the opportunity.

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