Bring Mischief to the Goat.
April 12, 2016 9:55 PM   Subscribe

I need your tales of goaty mischief. Have you owned or known a goat with too much of the devil in it? What sort of creative naughtiness do they get into? I need your experience.

Nerd that I am, I'm running a game with a goat non-player character who is a companion to one of the player character. He's a foot tall minature angora stud goat names Boyar Magnificent Sevenfold, but goes mostly by Bastard as that is what he hears shouted at him the most.

I do not own goats so am limited in the creativity of Bastard's mischief, but I am sure there are goat owners out there who can help me.

Is it just eating things they shouldn't eat? Chasing the ladies that they shouldn't chase? Do goats get into any mischief speficic to them, like the crow's fondness for yanking the tails of other wildlife?

I need more mischief. Bring me mischief for the goat!
posted by Jilder to Pets & Animals (29 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Vacationed in the British Virgin Islands, and the goats on Tortola had the worst gas.
They weren't clever about it, or anything.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:59 PM on April 12, 2016 [10 favorites]

They jump SO HIGH. My aunt and uncle kept a goat dairy, and the goats would constantly leap up on to the incredibly narrow, 10 feet off the ground kitchen windowsills (window closed) and peer in to see if anyone was doing dishes. A very startling experience if you were doing dishes, I can assure you! And then just stand there looking nonchalant because they knew you couldn't get at them through the window.

One also had a terrific fondness for broccoli, and an amazing ability to outwit all anti-goat defenses protecting the vegetable garden, so she could go eat all the broccoli.

When we were children they used to turn us loose in the goat field and tell us to go catch the goats for them. This is not a possible task for children, who attempt to chase the goats down, and results in everyone frolicking themselves to exhaustion and frequently you get PRETTY close to a goat and then it sails right over your head and you have to go back then other way. They would rapidly figure out how fast we were and go just fast enough to stay out of reach and freeze and run and tease us.

Also they all have creepy George Washington teeth.

They're good company if you don't mind spending time with someone who's joyfully demented and has zero boundaries about eating.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:06 PM on April 12, 2016 [50 favorites]

The legend in our family is that my uncle, as a boy, tied his mean neighbours' mean goat to their front door knocker. It rammed and knocked the door; when the neighbour opened the door, the goat rammed her.
posted by monkeymonkey at 10:12 PM on April 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

We had goats when I was a kid. It wasn't unheard of for one particular individual to jump the fences between the herd and our house, and then jump *on* our house, like some sort of demented, overgrown possum.

Additionally, apparently the lure of 6-year-old snap squatting on the ground with her back to the herd was an irresistible lure to billy goats with a hankering for head-butting things.
posted by snap, crackle and pop at 10:12 PM on April 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: "A fence that doesn't hold water won't hold a goat."

Ours are champion fence-destroyers. They like to walk along the fenceline, leeeaaaaning against it the whole way, to scratch themselves. This happens a lot at this time of year. The wires are coated with goat hair. And then the fence wire bows up and lifts up off the ground. And then the bastards squirm under and eat half the the goddamned garden. Well, not half of the garden, half of each goddamned plant, including but not limited to:
- a bite out of almost all the ears of corn that will be ready for picking in two weeks,
- zinnia flower heads,
- daisies
- lavender leaves
- the entire back half of the grapevines - leaves, grapes and stems
- halves of bell peppers
- the top halves of the blueberry bushes
- all the beets - leaves, stems, beetroots
- 3/4 of the $50 bamboo plant that I gave my husband for his birthday that he'd wanted for two years

They've gotten into the garden twice and out into the front yard three times. If I wasn't a vegetarian, we'd have had goat BBQ for supper that night last summer. We have since spent a lot of money and poured a lot of concrete to install a heavy duty fence between them and the garden. If they break in this year, I'm going to be eating meat for the first time in 20 years.

There is a reason the devil is depicted as a goat.
posted by Beti at 10:14 PM on April 12, 2016 [36 favorites]

Best answer: My mom had a Mini goat. It's name was billy. He was a real piece of work.

She got him so he'd eat the weeds that came up between the stones that made her front patio. He never did. When they were overgrown enough to bother her, she got the wheel barrow and started pulling them by hand. Billy climbed into the wheel barrow and ate them as she tossed them in.

Billy liked to always be up high, which usually meant he would climb up on the roof of my car. His hooves were not good for the paint. I tried everything to keep him off but the only thing that worked was tying him to a tree with a long rope. As soon as I went in the house he'd run in a spiral until he was snug against the tree and I would have to come unwind him.

We were smokers and he ate cigarette butts, but only menthols. He would climb on tables and go through the ashtray and spit out the regulars on the breezeway floor. He also ate bolts, small pieces of wood, paper, whatever he found in the workshop. But he always pooped the same little hard, round, brown pellets, no matter what he ate.

He was deaf so you could sneak up on him.

He hung out with the dogs. They all slept together, but he didn't go hunting with them. He was more interested in climbing on things and scratching his head on the corners of the house. When the siding started to get damaged, my dad put up some nails pointing out to keep him away. So he scratched his head on the nails.

He only cost $11 but did way more in property damage. He was fun to play with. He liked to butt you with his head. He'd run at your foot while you were having a smoke. He wasn't so bad once you got to know him.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:19 PM on April 12, 2016 [31 favorites]

They all climb to the top of things, oh god. Any time there is a pile of anything near a goat, that goat wants to be at the very top of the pile and will manage it or die trying.

And they can make a much wider variety of sounds than childhood books that call it "bleating" would lead you to believe, so that if you're doing something near a goat after dark you may well hear an eerie cry or yell that sounds just like the most horrifying and lurkingest of men.
posted by town of cats at 10:20 PM on April 12, 2016 [9 favorites]

When we first got the first goat, when he was smaller and cuter, he'd often get his head stuck in the fence. Part of the fence was stock panels with about 5" square openings. He'd get in the "grass is always greener" mindset and insist on getting the grass that was outside the pasture. The same grass that was inside the pasture - just outside. All our goats have horns (potential for coyotes or other predators in our neck of the woods) and he'd have to turn his head on the diagonal to get it through the fence. He never could figure out to do the same to get back in. So he'd stand or sit there and bleat so pitifully and I'd have to go out and wrestle him back though. I had to grip his horns and he didn't like that at all so he'd fight me the whole damned time.

We got them because we though they'd be fun (oh how we are laughing) and to help keep the grass down in the pastures. But they are seriously not earning their keep around our little homestead.
posted by Beti at 10:21 PM on April 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

I had a pygmy goat as a kid that loved to jump in cars and chase the mailman. We had a family friend show up in her swanky new Cadillac with leather interior only to have the goat jump in the front seat. Let's just say she was a little freaked out.

The goat was also successful in chasing off the census taker one year. It's all kind of funny considering it probably weighed about 25-30lbs and was maybe as tall as your knees.

I did know somebody, however, that did use big goats use as 'guard goats' on their farm. They didn't let ANYBODY on the front porch. You couldn't even get to the doorbell if those goats didn't know or like you. Those people never bothered locking their doors. Then again, these people also had raccoons in their living room. It was an interesting family.
posted by dancinglamb at 10:28 PM on April 12, 2016 [12 favorites]

Best answer: "I think we should get a goat," I said.
"We had goats," she said. "You don't want one."
"You'll come home one night and the goat will be on the roof."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:32 PM on April 12, 2016 [15 favorites]

Best answer: This goat went to Starbucks.
posted by Violet Hour at 11:07 PM on April 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

goats can scream like humans, goblins, etc.

Is it just eating things they shouldn't eat? Chasing the ladies that they shouldn't chase? Do goats get into any mischief speficic to them, like the crow's fondness for yanking the tails of other wildlife?

Along with butting, they have a trampling attack.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:19 PM on April 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I had a billy goat, named him Satan. One day he got out, 5 months later I had a dozen new baby goats born on the same day. You know the stereotypes of Ancient Greek warriors and Vikings? That pretty much works for billy goats, except billy goats have way bigger balls.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:31 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh yeah, pee is very important in goat foreplay, very, very stinky pee.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:36 AM on April 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Goats like to climb/jump on top of things, any things. Humanoid bipeds sometimes bend over or kneel down (eg, to pick something up or pluck a weed etc). It's really quite startling to suddenly have a goat standing on your back. Roll to see if you drop that thing you just picked up, or accidentally trip that trap you just found...

Goats can be *really* friendly: underfoot at the worst times. Roll for trips & fumbles.

Loud, startling maa-aa-aa-aa can issue from a bored goat who has decided he wants attention. Were you sneaking? Oops. Were you trying to concentrate on a spell? Oops!

Have you seen any video of a goat that has just plain lost its temper? They can get really focused on wanting to butt something, and go after any moving body (including cars) or object that catches their attention. They really can face a target, back up, and charge headfirst--repeatedly--without any care to whether they can survive the impact. Were you trying to use diplomacy rather than starting a fight? Were you trying to sneak past that huge opponent without waking him? Did you *not* want the goat to ram his reflection in the big shiny door and make a huge clang? Oopsy.

Did the angry goat get carried away, and forget that you were an ally? Ouchsy.

Goats can get into wacky positions that require PC's to rescue them.
posted by galadriel at 2:04 AM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]

Apparently they come by the big beautiful treeful.

Even if a baby goat kind of likes you, she can't help but chew on whatever, even if it's your hair.
posted by amtho at 3:28 AM on April 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Not my story BUT my college roommate used to tell tales of his family's goat Crash who would sit on the porch in a rocking chair and drink whiskey out of an ash tray. I've had lots of fun imagining this over the years.
posted by adamk at 3:35 AM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

Gary the goat was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 4:59 AM on April 13, 2016

posted by Brittanie at 5:06 AM on April 13, 2016

Were you planning to ride that horse? Too bad. The goat got there first.

Once you do get yourself on the horse, the goat is probably just at the right height to stick his horns into your stirrups, with your boot. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Additionally, goats are very social animals. A goat alone is going to get into trouble. So is a group of goats.

And yes, billy goats are often neutered and then are called whethers. Whole (uncastrated) Billy Goats are more likely to be straight up assholes. Also, if you're planning to eat that goat, a whether is going to taste....better when the time comes.
posted by bilabial at 5:33 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: When my dog was a pup, she had some goat friends. They taught her the worst habits - mainly jumping on top of things. I once left her out back with the goats while I ran into my friends' house for a minute. When I came back, both of the goats AND my GSD were standing on top of my car. I understand that's normal for goats, but I was very impressed that my dog managed to get up there. I had to help her get down, though.

Luce also loved to climb trees that had enough of a slant, including trees that had fallen out over the river. Invariably, she'd get out too far and get freaked out, and I'd have to help her get back. I'm so glad that she's outgrown that habit. I blame it all on the goats.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:35 AM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]

Best answer: We owned goats growing up. We needed an electric fence designed to keep bulls in strength wise to slow them down at escaping, the Angora Goats with their thick coat just used that for insulation & kept getting through. Oh also as they are long coated they will do anything to find something that will penetrate the wool to scratch on. If it sticks out in anyway at goat height he'll be leaning on it, rubbing against it, trying to get it to poke just the right spot then wiggling.

We also had an Anglo Nubian cross that stood so tall his head was at pocket height on my 6'2" tall father. So he would regularly help himself to anything he found in my dads pockets, his favourite was to steal his packs of cigarettes & eat them down to the filter.

Goats love to climb almost as much as they like to escape. We still don't know how the 2 of them got onto the roof of the chicken coop. We do know how they dented the bonnet of a visitors, while climbing up to sit on the roof of it. Also as Elly Vortex noted any tree with the slightest angle on it will be climbed, goats like to survey the world from up high & are amazing climbers.

If the goat in your story has horns, which angoras do, lovely long horns that keep growing as they get older & look magnificent, he will get stuck in the fencing wires as they seem compelled to live up to the whole grass is always greener philosophy by always sticking their heads through the fence, but then getting their horns hooked on something. The plus side for the goat is as they get bigger they make a great scratching tool. Oh & they will catch on coat pockets, narrow gates, poke passing people/animals the works. The goats seem to forget they stick out on either side.

On the whole when writing the goat remember they are often as smart as any dog, and I'm talking the smart collie breeds here, but also full of the most amazing sense of joy of life & curiosity. If your goat is a stud male he will also stink more than you can possibly imagine, seriously I prefer skunk to billy goat. no one will come near your player while it is with the goat. Oh and it will be off after any female that even vaguely looks like she might be ready to breed.

Sorry this got so long I went for a trip down memory lane there & got slightly detoured. I loved owning goats, they are kind of an amazing animal.
posted by wwax at 8:53 AM on April 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

Best answer: They all climb to the top of things, oh god. Any time there is a pile of anything near a goat, that goat wants to be at the very top of the pile and will manage it or die trying.

Yes, this. We had pygmy and pygora goats when I was a kid and I vividly remember my mom standing in their yard, bent at the waist, with one of the pygoras standing on her back. She had been reaching down to pick something up off the ground, and Annabelle was like "FINALLY, MY OPPORTUNITY HAS ARRIVED."

They also nibbled the bark off of all the trees in their yard. Just a tiny little ring, no more than an inch high, but all the way around the trunk at approximately goat height. This, it turns out, kills the tree.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 9:03 AM on April 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

My sister and I are three years apart in age, and we went to the same summer camp as kids. It was the kind of camp where kids/their parents could choose programs for them to concentrate on (for a fee, I'm sure).

My sister loved horses, and I think I was doing canoeing or something. The horse barn where all of the horsey kids hung out had a sort of resident goat. I forget his name, but he would just kind of mosey around munching on hay and hanging out with the horses. Let's call him Jack.

Last day of summer camp when our parents come to pick us up, we go down to the barn so my sister can show them the horses she's been riding and currying and feeding carrots to. We all walk down the shady wooded path together as a family, our parents happy to see us, and my sister and I tired and happy to go home, and encounter Jack standing there eyeing us. Without warning, he races STRAIGHT FOR ME and butts me as hard as he can can in the solar plexus. I crumple to the ground like a sack of wrenches and the goat trots merrily away.

As I catch my breath and try to stand up, I look up to my entire family supporting each other as they try not to collapse from laughter. "That did not happen!" my Mom says every time I tell this story in her presence.
posted by GriffX at 9:03 AM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

A goat almost killed my octogenarian great grandmother by pushing her into a feed barrel. She went ass over teakettle, breaking her collar bone and trapping her inverted for several hours. It was a miracle that a friend stopped by to deliver a copy of "The Upper Room", the Methodist devotional to find her tiny old lady feet kicking wildly. That goat did not survive the evening.

That is the most country phrase I've ever written.
posted by gagoumot at 2:45 PM on April 13, 2016 [17 favorites]

Best answer: Oh yeah, pee is very important in goat foreplay, very, very stinky pee.

If your goat is a stud male he will also stink more than you can possibly imagine, seriously I prefer skunk to billy goat. no one will come near your player while it is with the goat. Oh and it will be off after any female that even vaguely looks like she might be ready to breed.

Male goats pee--you can't imagine the pee potential they have. They pee on their beard, on their face, on their front legs, their hind legs, other goats, the chickens, the dog, the walls of their shed, their feed, on the water bucket, IN the water bucket (and then knock it over.)

They will pee on, and in, your car or your house if they can possibly get in. And they can, trust me. Whether it's taking out the screen door or bulling their way past people. They take your laundry off the line, chew it, then piss. They WILL get in your garden, eat some of the veggies and then piss on the rest. Ditto the flowers in your pots and borders. They will casually saunter up to you and piss, whether you're sitting on your porch or trying to feed the dog.

One goat can out piss 30 incontinent cats.

They'll screw anything that doesn't move fast enough

The commenters above exaggerated about goats eating things. Very few of them will eat foreign objects. The rest just chew big holes in everything you have ever owned. I've lost books, tool handles, horse brushes, a hank of my hair, the seat belt and headrest on a car (through 2" of open window) and laundry--I've lost the pocket of the pants I was wearing at the time. If they can't chew it, they'll put holes in it with their horns or their dainty cloven feet. The neighbor's goat holed his fiberglass boat. Priceless.

Never gaze into the eyes of a goat. That eerie implacable stare will hypnotize you. The next thing you know, you'll be buying a goat. Then two goats will stare at you. This will not end well.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:13 PM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Late to the party, but here's my childhood goat trauma.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:51 PM on April 17, 2016

Best answer: Even later to the party, but the link is still on the front page so it's fair game:

Some hippy-ish friends of mine live in the hilly, foresty country to the east of Melbourne and have goats, living in a supposedly securely fenced enclosure. Some hippy-ish neighbours of theirs had some peyote cactus growing in pots on their verandah.

(The rest of this story could probably write itself...)

The goats were apparently found running around high as kites at sunrise with wide eyes and green frothy mouths from all the cactus they'd munched. Fortunately the neighbours were able to see the funny side.
posted by illongruci at 9:06 AM on April 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Really late to the party but this weekend while measuring out some new goat fencing, my wether marched up and chomped my 100' tape measure into a 39' tape measure *grumble*
posted by xmattxfx at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

« Older Vroom! noms.   |   "Some people have REAL problems" Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.