You bet! And I took this video this afternoon just to show everyone. They also eat nettles, gorse, brambles etc and have to be the most efficient scrub clearance machines ever created. I’ve posted this because after “Cashmere Sheep” it is just about the most frequent search term used to find my Blog and every now and again I like to write about it.
The video shows my cashmere bucks, mostly a year old, turned into an area this afternoon that the sheep were just allowing to run wild. You will notice that the goats ignore the grass and clover (they HATE clover!) and go straight for the thistles and nettles. Goats are Browsers, not Grazers. Think Deer not Sheep and you will be about right. Many people have difficulty keeping goats in fields and I often think it’s because they don’t understand that fundamental difference. This kind of grazing is goatie paradise. Plain grass fields are not and in order to give a goat a good reason to stay in a plain field it must have sufficient variety in the sward to be interesting AND be of sufficient size to be full of exploration options. Keep them in a small rye grass paddock and they will be bored to death!
If you watch the video, notice how the boys use their horns to thrash the thistles before eating them. They do exactly the same with gorse bushes. Yet another reason for never dehorning goats. I could watch these boys eating all day. There is such an air of quiet contentment. Give goats, or any farm animal what they really need and the result is happy, contented animals and a much easier life for the poor farmer!