Now that Fair Season is Coming Up . . .
As someone who has exhibited and attended country fairs my whole life, I would like to impart some fair wisdom on all you city folk who stop by and ask lots of questions about the animals, because wouldn’t you like to save yourself that moment of brief stupidity when you can act like a total smarty pants in front of all the yokels.
So let’s say you wander over pet the goats. Goats, not sheep. Goats and sheep are different things.
Many people have asked what wattles are.
Wattles are these things:
Some goats have them, some goats don’t. To my knowledge, they have no purpose, but maybe someone who is more goat savvy than me can attest to their purpose.
Second question people ask about goats:
Why don’t they have ears???? OMG DO YOU CUT THEM OFF, LIKE POOR DOGGIE’S TAILS?
No, I like to think people in the goat business aren’t as lame as to cut off goat’s ears in the name of “dog fashion” (Seriously dog people, WTF). This in fact is a La Mancha goat. It’s a different breed of goat and they naturally have virtually no ear. They have tiny nubs. Other breeds have long floppy ears (the Nubian Goat):
Third question: Why don’t the goats have horns?
Now that I’ve just explained how awesome goat people are for not chopping off goat ears, let me recant that statement, because in fact the horns are burned off with irons when the goats are small. This is for a better reason than “goat fashion”, because horns can be dangerous if they try to horse around with you (Goats WILL try to head butt you because they are AWESOME and don’t take no shit from nobody) and they can get their heads stuck in fences (goats put their head in everything if they can manage it, since they are also very dumb). However, it’s not exactly a “pain free” process. Both male and female goats grow horns, and only one breed of goat is allowed to have them in order to show, the Angora Goat. I don’t know why they can have horns. So people don’t confuse them with sheep?
Such a majestic creature.
Fourth question: Why is that goat so small and that one is so big?
Pygmy goats are the smallest goat. They’re like the Chihuahua of goats, except much cuter.
But they’re pretty much pointless beyond looking cute and fucking your shit up. While I guess you could probably use one for meat or milk, you’d probably be best off with a bigger goat. Needless to say, pygmies are mostly pets.
There are a bunch of breeds of milk goat: The Saanen, Toggenburg, Nubian, Alpine, and La Manchas are what I can think of off the top of my head. They’re all about the size of a very large dog, and their primary purpose is for milk, though they will ALSO fuck your shit up because GOATS.
She’s coming for you in your sleep, man.
Most goats you see at a fairground will be does (females), as they’re primarily judged on their udders and milk production. Also, male goats are total tools and they smell like butts. MISANDRY.
As seen above, there’s the Angora goat, which is the only “common” goat used for its wool. They’re rare to see at a fairgrounds, since most people don’t raise them since you can’t sell the wool and HORNS TO FUCK YOUR SHIT UP.
Lastly, there’s the Boer goat, which are used for meat. You’ll probably see a bunch of them, and they’re raised from babies over the course of the year by 4-Hers and then sold at the fair to local businesses because CAPITALISM.
Full-grown Boer bucks look like tough guy douchebro jocks who chug protein shakes all day. In reality, I assume they’re much nicer than douchebro jocks, but probably smell just as rank. Anyway, the white body and brown head is typical of a Boer goat.
I was actually planning on talking about other animals at the fair, but GOATS ARE FUCKING COOL so fuck everything else, man. Go pet some goats! For extra fun, push hard on the top of their heads, and keep doing this until they arch their neck. Then turn away to talk to your friends. Sob when they rear up and headbutt you in the ass (oh, this gets me every time. Nothing is more hilarious than people who know nothing about goats getting run over). Goats are way cooler than sheep.
Maybe my next lesson on animals will be about rabbits.