Goats and Music

Goats and Music

What's your favourite style of music? Do you prefer the mathematical symmetry of classical music, the dulcet tones of singer-songwriters, or the foot-tapping rhythms of traditional Scottish?

Whether you have a huge vinyl collection, download your tunes from an app, or just listen to the radio, music appreciation is pretty much part of the human condition. Animals and especially goats, on the other hand, have a pretty diverse reaction to music. Whether it is created by humans or themselves, goats reactions are definitely mixed.

So here at Rare Breed Goats in addition to making sure they have their 'Five Freedoms' we also use a form of environmental enrichment to enhance their lives.

Five Freedoms

Rare Breed Goats considers that the welfare of our goats includes its physical and mental state and that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of well-being.

The RSPCA believes that an animal’s welfare should be considered in terms of five freedoms which form a logical and comprehensive framework for analysis of welfare within any animal use together with the steps and compromises necessary to safeguard and improve welfare within the proper constraints of an effective livestock industry.

  • 1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  • 2. Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • 3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: by prevention through rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • 4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  • 5. Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
Understanding Environmental Enrichment

Very simply, environmental enrichment is anything that stimulates some type of behavior or gives the goat a choice to carry out a behavior. There are different categories of enrichment used by goat herders world wide, including food-based enrichment, social/ behavioral enrichment, and sensory enrichment. Using auditory in the form of music is fun for both our goats and visitors.

Playing for the Animals

Carol-Anne 'chief bottle feeder and mucker outer' is also a classically trained musician, and she can often be seen playing her violin in the farm yard. The goats were initially intrigued by the music. Visitors and bystanders were also seen to be enjoying listening and watching our goats react to the music!

Check out a couple of goat music related videos below!

Swiss Alp goats and their bells
Tuvan musicians performing music for an audience of goats
The Lonely Goatherd - The Sound of Music
The Three Billy Goats Gruff