Most people offhandedly think that goats and sheep are the two animals on the farm that have the most in common with each other. But very few of us have stopped to think about the deep emotional similarities that goats share with cows. Female goats, just like female cows, are known for being incredibly patient, loving, and nurturing moms — and like cows, they all too often fall victim to cruel separation from their babies. Large-scale farms will impregnate their female goats in order to get them lactating and collect their milk. After the goats give birth, the kids are taken away from their mothers, and the mothers are forced to reenter the dairy line. The female kids are raised as replacements for dairy production, while the males are likely to be either slaughtered or sold for meat. Most adult male animals do not get to spend time with their families, either; they are often used to impregnate females, and then are pulled from the group. They miss out on the important bonds of family.
If all cows and goats were allowed to live out their lives at sanctuary, we would be able to see all of their similarities and incredible traits.
Eight Similarities Goats and Cows Share
1.They are incredibly loving and nurturing mothers.
Goats and cows both have amazing lifelong relationships with their babies, when given the chance. Mother goats and their kids will sleep side by side, tightly wrapping their necks around each other, sometimes until the babies are full-grown. Left to their own devices, these moms and babies will stay together for life.
2. They produce milk to feed their babies.
Just like a cow, a goat produces milk for the consumption and health of her babies. Mother goats and mother cows will produce just enough milk to satisfy the needs of their young.
3. They have a language of their own.
All moms and their kids have a language of their own. In the goat world, if baby goes too far away and mom cannot see her, she will make a guttural call and quickly search for her kid. When baby hears mom, a responding call will echo back.
4. They sense fear, and they know when they are safe.
Our little Harper was scared and alone when the Farm Sanctuary staff showed up on her farm. She couldn’t find her mom and she knew she needed help. She followed Susie Coston around and found safety in her arms.
5. They mourn their losses.
Just like cows, goats mourn their losses. Whether it be a death or a separation, goats and cows have been known to get depressed and make heart-wrenching noises when they lose a friend or family member. Depressed goats and cows can fall into failing health fast without the comfort of their lost loved one.
6. They help friends through hard times.
Goats and cows are sensitive and emotionally aware. Those who have a special blend of compassion and steadfastness are often drawn to those who are scared or sad. When the two get together, they help one another get through the grieving process and form a bond. Soon they’re running, playing, and curling up together to sleep.
7. They are problem solvers and escape artists.
Cows and goats are both inquisitive and intelligent. Cows have been known to use their tongues to work levers and push their heads against buttons to work machines or release grain. Goats use their horns to break down barriers and work their way through wire fences. A goat can remember a skill four years later without prompts. If a cow or a goat is scared or simply determined, they can jump fences, walls, or anything they set their mind to.
8. They take on the role of protector.
In relationships where one goat is more timid than the other, the assertive member of the pair will more often step up as the protective older brother. They will head-butt whoever they feel is causing their pal stress and do anything to protect their friend.