Goats out the way

By | August 18, 2017

Like most pygmy goat owners (or so I imagine, I hope I’m not the only person who does what I’m about to describe) I spend a few hours every week relaxing outside with our four pygmy goats (Charlie, Ella, Jack and Sally), scratching their backs when they’re too lazy to bite at the irritant themselves, and quietly observing their bucolic existence.

I wonder what their pygmy brains are thinking as they wander around the pasture and walk along the pond. They seem quite intelligent, but so economical in their emotional expression that it’s hard to draw clear conclusions.I’ve paid some attention to four areas of pygmy behavior:

language, battling, affection, and differentiation. These are not scientific analyses by any means, they are simply observations. Eventually, if generalized theories of pygmy behavior can be developed, it might be worthwhile to gather more concrete data in addition to the current set of notes. Nonetheless, as a casual prolegomena to a more rigorous codification of pygmy behaviors this may serve as a useful starting point for additional observation.

Their role in life as prey rather than predators seems to inform much of their behavior. As more than one veterinarian has told me, “A pygmy goat that acts sick is on death’s door because they naturally hide any weakness.” The weakest pygmies are always the one’s that the predators attack first. Or, as Billy Crystal put it, “It’s better to look good than to feel good.”

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