One of many animals raised out in the country, goats make wonderful pets, and there are many reasons keeping one is a great idea. One of these more superficial reasons is the amount of entertainment they bring to your barnyard. The drama queens of farm animals, goats are known to faint at the faintest fright, and scream at the top of their lungs at the slightest stimulus. People have often described goats' screams as eerily human-like, ranging from the shout of an adult human man to the cries of a child - see this back-and-forth between a baby and a young goat and confirm for yourself.
However, despite the public's perception, these aren't yells at at all. These cries are known as bleating, the same sound made by sheep. But we've all heard a sheep's characteristic 'baa', so why does a goat's bleat sound so different? Well, this is because all goats have a distinct voice; not all sound human, and a goat's bleat can even change throughout its life. Though we've solved part of the mystery, there's still one lingering question: why exactly do goats bleat? Goats actually bleat for a variety of reasons. Read on to find out what exactly these goats are screaming their heads off about.
1. They're hungry
It may be surprising, but just like any other animal, goats love to eat! And have a huge reputation of doing as such. Just like your cat will caterwaul when it's time for dinner, or your dog will begin to bark when you bring out their bag of kibble, goats anticipate meal time as well.
But, if this poses a problem, one way to curb this behavior is to establish a consistent feeding schedule. When your goats can reliably predict when their next meal is, they're more likely to stop their screaming!
2. They're scared
Goats will often bleat when they are experiencing distress. Just like human mothers, goat mothers get worried when they cannot find their kids. Mother goats will call out for their children when they are separated from each other. Bleating isn't just used to communicate shock and fear; high-pitched bleating in particular is also used to warn fellow herd mates of potential danger. Perhaps people weren't too far off when they called it a yell after all!
3. They're bored or lonely
Goats get bored just like we do. They are intelligent creatures, and as such, they need to be intellectually stimulated. Therefore, it's not a good idea to leave them cooped up in a small corral with nothing to do. One way you can engage your billy buddies is to get them a goat playground. Goats love to climb; this may be because, according to The Spruce Pets, "domesticated goats originated from wild goats that lived in the rocky terrains of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe." Meaning the biological urge to climb is just in their blood!
4. They're hormonal
When they are in heat, female goats will bleat in an attempt to attract the attention of male goats. Similarly, male goats will yell around females, and may even butt heads with other goats in battle to secure a mate during breeding season.
Female goats also tend to become louder while they are pregnant due to the fluctuation of their hormones.
5. They're excited
Goats also bleat to express their excitement. They may bleat at the possibility of receiving a treat, or the delight of seeing another member of their herd. They also extend this excitement to humans. If your goat yells regularly when you return, it may be trying to communicate how happy it is to see you!
A bleat is a goat's natural means of communication. It is as normal as a cat's meow, or a horse's neigh, and it is not normally a cause for concern. But, if bleating is bothersome to you, there are some options available to you. Boer goats, the "gentle giants" of the farm world, are considered to be a softer-spoken breed of goat, and won't bleat as loud or as often. On the opposite end of the sound spectrum, the Nubian goat is regarded as more vocal than others, so those opposed should steer clear of this out-spoken breed. However it is important to remember that, like their voices, every goat is unique and that you may end up with a boisterous Boer, or a muted Nubian.
Has your goat ever let out a shrill human-like screech? Tell us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
READ MORE: 9 Types of Goats Grabbing Hearts on Farms Across the Globe
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