April 28, 2012

Encounters of a Strange Kind

Another thing you might encounter on the beach (you can’t really do anything with those) are goats. There’s a whole science around goats. They’re easy animals to herd, as they eat practically anything, and are bred for milk production, but mainly for their meat

These goats have been around for a long time, and were probably first domestication some 12,000 years ago in this region. A little after the dog was domesticated. This herder had a fantastic sheep dog. No idea what breed, but this one was young, 8 months maybe, and had gigantic paws.

The domesticated goat (Capra hircus) eats everything and is one of the causes of desertification and land degradation due to overgrazing. Goats have the nasty habit of pulling the entire plant out of the soil, roots and all. Sheep do the same, but goats have a preference for weeds, which are higher in mineral content than grasses due to their deeper root system. Sheep go for grass, which is juicier. And the pulling out of the entire root system creates erosion. Bet you didn’t know that.

So what do they do on the beach? Well, there’s a large area between the houses and the beach that right now – because of spring time – is an excellent place to herd goats. When it gets hotter, most of these herders will move their herd higher into the mountains. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On holiday in Croatia a goat once entered my parked Saab, and ate part of the interior.

Next day I went to a restaurant, and ordered goat!