I made a new friend today… a goat. Well, a few friends but one in particular seemed to enjoy my company.
My new goat friend ate some bread out of my hand and proceeded to sit underneath my chair. Horns and all. The chickens joined in the party for the bread and pecked it off the ground.
Cici and I have been staying on the property of “Manifest” aka Shaun in Joshua Tree, also known as the Goat Whisperer of Joshua Tree. He has 37 goats (and two dozen chickens on his land plus a rabbit or two, a scorpion, squirrels and some bats (who eat mosquitoes).
Cici thinks that the goats are fun to chase, except when they let her know when she is out of bounds. She does not seem as interested in the chickens and roosters. Maybe she thinks she is a goat without any horns? She wants to play and is learning how to play nice.
There are also UFO sightings in the area at Great Rock and Integratron in Landers and other places near the Joshua Tree National Park. Looks like we may have caught something on camera. What do you think ?
Manifest’s story with goats begins with his wanting to get an awesome Australian Shepherd as a pet dog, doesn’t everybody? Instead a goat named Dada Aye followed him around and has become his mascot. Dada is 5 years old, half-Nigerian dwarf, half-pigmy and four years later, she gave birth to a daughter named Shou Aye. He has trained these two to be his service pets. And they go with him practically everywhere he goes to swap meets and other places.
He also has a dozen males and three of each breed, Nigerian, Nubian and Pygmy, that he is hoping to breed with females to get a Griffin. The little baby goats are adorable.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Manifest spent much time rock climbing in Joshua Tree from the time he was 17 to twenty-five. He also was a captain of a sport fishing boat in the waters off San Diego.
He thinks goats are special animals and here’s why.
“What I love about goats is that they are the closest animals to nature and source. They are the elves of the forest. They cultivate plants, grass and trees. They bring vibrancy to the land. Goats are simple like a four wheel dog. Their bodies are durable, endure weather better than dogs, like micro-camelettes,” he explained.
He has about two dozen chickens and roosters, Golden Phoenix, American and Cochin.
Manifest has a dream of creating Eco pets, animals that clean your garden and neighborhood, provide superfood (milk), without hormones, no pesticides, and no preservatives), pets that give back and have a job to do.
He has been learning a lot from his goats. “Goats live a simple life. They enjoy their days. Watching the world go by. Chewing their food. They go to sleep and wake up the next day and do the same thing all over again. People, meanwhile, live to work and work hard and have no time in their lives to enjoy life. Everyone’s working too many hours to keep up the Joneses and just to get by and we cannot even afford to live anymore. We don’t respect and honor products that are made well to last. Instead, we buy items that last a month rather than years. Everything is temporary not permanent. Throw away junk.”
Goats have a different perspective on life than humans do.
“Goats interact with nature every day and enjoy trees. They preserve and protect and grow life. They use trees to mark their territory, sharpen their horns, to convene together, come back together as a community. They have their favorite trees and do well eating Mesquite, Palo Verde and non-fruited Mulberries. Will eat creosote and non-native grasses in a pinch. They limit growth and keep the grass short. They give something back.
“The way they communicate with one another is through their actions and activities. Food makes goats happy. They respond to whistles and commands. And interact with one another through rubbing the nape of the neck, stomping of hooves, mane and tails, and howling and other noises. During mating season, late August through early October, the males are especially loud with snorts and hollering, stomping their feet, pawing the ground, and showing off to the females their level of vibrancy. This is very equestrian in nature.
“I think the Tasmanian devil was based upon a goat, emulating a goat. They get wound up and it can require a good amount of patience and persistence to train them. It did not take me as long as I thought it would to make my goats great pets. Goats want to be friendly and sociable with humans. Most humans have not taken the time to get to know them as pets. They throw them in a pen but the goats don’t want to be left alone. They are smart and want to communicate with us,” he concluded.
“ a new paper published in Frontiers in Zoology, (says that) goats have fewer commonalities with their dull farm counterparts and belong instead on the ungulate honor roll. These furry, hoofed eating machines appear more sheep- or mini-cow-like in their demeanor, but their IQs likely put even the most astute steer to shame, the researchers—real men and women who stare at goats—found.
“The researchers, who hail from Queen Mary University of London and the Institute of Agricultural Science in Switzerland, long suspected that goats might be more intelligent than they seem. For example, goats live in complex social groups; they are experts at getting at hard-to-reach foods (goats in the Morocco, for example, are known for climbing trees in search of tasty sprigs); they live a long time, meaning they are better able to build up a repertoire of memories and skills than some short-lived animals; and despite the misconception that goats eat garbage, they are surprisingly picky eaters, able to adeptly pick leaves off of thorn bushes or seek out just the right sprig of grass.
Did you know that the origins of the saying “getting your goat” references “an old English (Welsh?) belief that keeping a goat in the barn would have a calming effect on the cows, hence producing more milk. When one wanted to antagonize/terrorize one’s enemy, you would abscond with their goat rendering their milk cows less- to non-productive.”
So goats were known as the great calmers of nature and were kept in stables to calm down thoroughbred horses.
Were goats the original horse whisperers and/or cow whisperers?
My new goat friend thinks so.
But he’s not sure about interacting with my computer and becoming famous on the Internet. Oh well…