Posted by jameshillgoats on May 6, 2015 at 2:45 AM
Here is Charmin giving Tink a quick face bath before she can dash away to play with the other kids. There is no doubt that does form strong, long-lasting bonds with their offspring. It is not unusual to see kid, dam and granddam all lounging in the shed together as a family group.
Goats also develop relationships with other individuals in their herd, prefering the company of these companions to the exclusion of other goats. In the pasture trimming feet, worming or performing other husbandry tasks, while we are working with an individual goat we are often very closely monitored by their "friend" or "friends". These friends stand patiently beside them until we have completed our chore. I have even occasionally been nudged or mouthed by the "friend" goat as a reminder to be gentle and not cause harm to their companion.
Most of our readers are already aware that a single goat is a lonely goat, and that goats thrive with companions of their same species. And I'll admit that I keep a doe or two that I don't much care for strictly because they are the "friend" of a doe that I don't want to part with. But that's OK...solid social relationships are good for both man and animal. Who wouldn't respect those bonds?