Thursday, April 23, 2009

Goats on the roof!

In Wisconsin's Door County is a Swedish restaurant called Al Johnson's. On their roof, they have some goats. Now, goats don't normally eat a diet of just grass so I have to assume they are getting browse and other goodies when they come down, but for the most part, they stay up there and amuse the tourists.

The first goat up there was Oscar, placed there as a practical joke in 1973. On the website it states, "Today, there are usually 5-7 goats on the roof daily during the May-October season. They graze during the day and “pose” for pictures by the many tourists who frequent Al Johnson’s. They seem rather unaffected by all the attention and play, eat and sleep on the roof, just like they would back at the farm, where they go every evening. They don’t go up on the roof in bad weather, or cold temperatures, and they work about 9-5 on an average day." Goats are extremely sure-footed due to the fact that most breeds originated on the slopes of mountain sides. Not everyone knows this, as is evidenced by question number seven on their FAQ:


. Do the goats ever fall off the roof?


There is also a Country Market in British Columbia Canada in Coombs (North of Washington State) that has had goats on the roof for about the same length of time.

However, the biggest goats on the roof attraction appears to be a gift shop and emporium in Georgia. It is named, quite unsurprisingly, Goats on the Roof! Why are the goats on the roof? Apparently, according to the website, "Our Tiger Mountain goats are direct descendants of aliens...Tiger Mountain goats cling to the shingles because they are watching the skies for one magical sign: a solar eclipse of the apricot moon, when the constellation Aries turns gold. When that happens, the Mother Ship of the Goat Universe will swoop out of the Northern Sky and carry our goats home to Aries."

No word on if any of this was the inspiration for the board game:

Random goat pics

When people know you are into goats, you get some interesting photos sent to your cell phone! The handsome fellow above is Capricorn, AKA "Cap." He lives under the porch and likes to come out, roam around the shop, and eat sheets of paper.

I am not sure who this is, but he is eating a tin can pie with a newspaper crust. The images was labeled "luckiest goat in the world." I also got another image of him riding a plastic bat through the sky labeled "magical adventures!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Goat Art!

Click here to bid on a piece of art created by the little goats below:

This is an item in the "Art by Animal II" online auction/art show. Proceeds go to help AZA Accredited zoos care for animals.

Item # 18 – Art by “Breeze and Hailey the Goats”

from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

The gray blue baby goat is named Breeze. The multi-colored (black/white/brown) baby goat is Hailey. They are 8 month old sisters and are part of the new herd of goats Omaha’s Zoo received in December. They are on display in the Red Barn contact yard in the Petting Zoo.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Midwest Alpaca Show

Is there something like this for goats? I wonder. I would like to go (and use the experience as fodder for an article) but I'll be at the Between the Bluffs Beer and Cheese Fest!

Upcomming Goat Events

Wisconsin Dairy Goat Association Annual Badger State Show
May 16th & 17th, 2009 Portage, WI.
Watch the calendar of events for details.

"Save the Date"
September 12-15, 2010 for the National Goat Conference in Tallahassee, Florida.
Sponsored by the Florida Meat Goat Association.

USDA to launch first national goat study


"In July and August 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will contact randomly selected goat producers in 21 states to participate in the first national study of priority health and health-management issues facing the U.S. goat industry.

Two USDA agencies--the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the National Agricultural Statistics Service--will conduct the study, which will focus on the health, productivity and management practices of the meat, dairy and fiber goat industries. USDA will collect data from producers representing 78.4 percent of U.S. goat operations and 85.3 percent of U.S. goats.

APHIS' National Animal Health Monitoring System, which designed the study and will analyze the data, worked with industry representatives, academia, veterinary representatives and other stakeholders to ensure that the study addresses the industry's priority health issues. The Goat 2009 study has the following major objectives:
  • Determine producer awareness of veterinary services program diseases and describe management and biosecurity practices important for the control of infectious diseases--including brucellosis, scrapie, caprine arthritis encephalitis, Johne's disease and caseous lymphadenitis.
  • Establish a baseline description of animal health, nutrition and management practices in the U.S. goat industry.
  • Estimate the prevalence of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) infection, internal parasitism and anthelmintic resistance.
  • Characterize contagious ecthyma (sore mouth) in U.S. goats. Determine producer awareness of the zoonotic potential and practices to prevent sore mouth transmission, and assess producer interest in an improved vaccine for sore mouth.
  • Examine factors (e.g., genetic and management) that correlate with CAE virus levels.
  • Provide genetic and serological banks for future research.

Participation in USDA's Goat 2009 study is voluntary and confidential. Results will be presented on regional and national bases; data provided by individual participants will remain confidential and cannot be identified. Links between NAHMS data and participating operations are confidential.

Note to Stakeholders: Stakeholder announcements and other APHIS information are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS home page at and click on the "Newsroom" button. For additional information on this topic, contact Lyndsay Griffin at 970-494-7410 or e-mail: "