Goats – the Perfect Post-Apocalypse Livestock?
Remember Y2K? It was that big scare that all our computers would crash because they wouldn’t have enough digits to roll over from ’99 to 2000, and that we’d be forever stuck in the 1900s. People were stocking up on food and water, because at the stroke of midnight they thought all the computer systems of the world would crash and we’d be left in the cold and dark.
I wasn’t worried though. I had a herd of 130 goats. So my plan was to become a nomad with my husband, my goats, and maybe some friends who deserved to be saved. We’d head for the hills, using the goats as pack animals. They’d eat anything they wanted along the way, and by watching what they chose to eat, I could add select vegetation to my diet. The does would make milk for us that we could turn into yogurt and cheese, and whenever we got hungry we could eat one of the wethers (a neutered male). The does and our bucks would make more babies, so I could always replenish my food source and we’d be completely mobile.
We all know that in an apocalypse you can’t trust just anyone. So my plan to scare off human predators was to dress my very tall husband in a goat hide with the horns of a goat on top. We’d make loud, scary noises and brandish sticks and firearms stolen from the next door neighbors.
As you’ll see in the CNN video below, goats can also be used as “offensive weapons.” Upon seeing this video, one of my friends said “People worry too much about zombies and not enough about goats.” A badly trained goat will butt and chase people, and check out the screaming goat in this video. Wouldn’t that terrify you if you ran into it in a post-apocalyptic world?
Fortunately, I’ve never had to implement my plan. But my goats did teach me a lot about livestock and how to take care of animals. I even made a CD Handbook about using goats for vegetation management. I’ll share some of that in the future, but if you’re considering goats, here are just a few pointers:
1. You can never have just one. Goats need goat playmates because they are herd animals.
2. Having goats takes patience and they will always be trying yours, generally by figuring out new ways to get out of the fence and eat what you don’t want them to eat. There IS a reason why the devil looks a little like a goat!
3. If you want to avoid being butted, never touch a goat’s horns. It’s like yanking on a football player’s face mask, and we’ve all seen what happens with that!