My Pal Mic

California, United States


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I grew up on a farm in the North Carolina mountains. As a child, I had a lot of pets and I loved them all, but one of my favorites was Mic (Mick), my French Alpine goat. I was homeschooled, so I spent a lot of time outside with him, running around the yard and rough-housing. Mic was grey and white with black ears, nose, and a black streak running down his hackles. He was very playful and sassy, if you can use that word to describe a goat. He was already a wether and de-horned when I got him from a breeder through the 4-H program, so it didn't hurt much when he'd butt me any time I bent over to hang up laundry or fill his water bucket. It was funny and he'd stop when I told him to cut it out. I had his sister as well, albeit briefly as I received her from the breeder with a pre-existing blood infection and she died less than a week after I took her home. She was very spirited in that short time, though.

The best thing about the Alpines is that they're very intelligent, which makes them great for agricultural competitions. Mic frequently medaled at our county Ag shows, but I didn't take him to the regional or state ones because they eat the winner; I loved him too much for that. Alpines are rather hardy during the winter months when they grow a shaggy coat and easily handle higher temperatures with plenty of water and shade. Mic was also great at destroying kudzu and poison ivy; goats are great at that in general because they eat the vines down to the roots! He never tried eating anything like tin cans, but you have to keep them away from plants in the laurel family- rhododendrons, holly, etc- as eating those can kill them. Alpines are relatively quiet compared to other goats like Nubians and Mic was perfectly content with a single goat companion and a guardian dog. He was very confident, great with people and other animals, and could walk on a leash very well, although he wouldn't run off if you let him loose, either. His weirdest quirk was that he loved mineral oil. You give a little bit to goats if they get constipated, but if Mic could get his teeth around that bottle-mouth, he'd tip the whole thing back!

If you're going to get a goat, I'd recommend Mic! But since you can't have him, I recommend getting an Alpine in general. They're fairly even-tempered, very intelligent, pleasant for petting zoos, easily trained, and my favorite of all the milk-goat breeds. They're also wonderful weed-eaters and two to three of them can keep a few acres cleared during the summer. There are only two downsides to owning Alpine goats. Firstly, they'll eat laurels and die if you don't clear those plants from their feeding area. They also can't protect themselves against predators like donkeys can, so you'll need to put them up in a secure place at night with a guardian animal. The fun of having them as companion animals and the convenience of them handling all of your weeding problems overwhelmingly outweigh any inconvenience of cutting down a few holly plants and securing them at night, though. If you have the space, I highly recommend getting a goat!