Press-Republican

FYI...

March 12, 2013

Why do goats yell like that?

If you're among the millions who have spent a significant portion of the past month watching videos of goats yelling like humans, you may have wondered: Why do goats yell like that? Are they distressed? Do they yell for any particular reason? Are they trying to tell us something?

We asked the goat experts. The first thing we learned is that the goat experts are not amused. "Maybe for some it is entertaining," An Peischel of Tennesse State University told me. "I am a goat producer and don't consider it entertainment at all."

They were quick to point out that some of these "goats" are not, in fact, goats at all. "The individuals making the noises were not all goats," wrote Peischel, "There are several sheep involved."

Yelling, for goats, is not unusual. They will yell for all sorts of reasons. "Mother goats call for their young when they get separated," explained goat specialist Daniel Waldron of Texas A&M, and "young kid goats also call for their mothers." "Goats may also 'yell' when they expect to get fed," continued Waldron. "If I feed one pen of goats, the second pen may start 'yelling' because they want to be fed right now."

Jean-Marie Luginbuhl of North Carolina State, a specialist in meat goats, agreed. "In my experience with goats, it does not take much for them to scream bloody murder, as if you are torturing them, when simply handling them."

And why do they sound so much like humans? It's a bit of a mystery, apparently. But the first thing to realize is that not all goats do sound like humans. Instead, they each have "distinctive voices," Luginbuhl explained. While some individual goats may yell like humans, others have different voices and may not sound like humans at all.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 17, 2014

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 16, 2014

  • news_twitter.jpg Travelers fly on Air Twitter

    The enlightened age of social media has dawned over the airline industry, casting shadows over telephone call centers and on-site agents. Facebook and Twitter are racking up the friends and followers while the hold music plays on.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 297px-Starbucks_Corporation_Logo_2011.svg.png Why Starbucks won't recycle your paper coffee cup

    When you drop that used white paper cup into the bin next to the door at a Starbucks, have you done your part to save the planet? Starbucks has long hoped that you would think so. After all, there's no better way to attract an affluent, eco-conscious clientele than to convince customers that your disposable product is "renewable."

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.16.35 PM.png Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet sodas?

    Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest many are cutting back on diet sodas. Consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babies

    As Easley did more research into her daughter's death, she learned that a pilot program had started just months earlier at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. (Easley had delivered at a different hospital in the Washington area.) The program's goal was to screen every newborn with a simple pulse oximeter test that can help detect heart problems such as Veronica's, allowing doctors to respond.

    April 12, 2014

  • Starbucks retools pastry menu after customer complaints

    After the coffee chain bought gourmet-baking company La Boulange in 2012, it used the acquisition to add fancier pastries to U.S. locations. Now Starbucks is discovering that some customers liked the food better before, prompting another round of retooling.

    April 11, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Taking someone out to the ballgame gets expensive

    Families in big-league cities like Boston and New York pay steep prices to catch a baseball game. It's not so expensive everywhere - especially if you're frugal.
     

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • How improv comedy skills became a must-have for entrepreneurs

    A few years ago, for complex reasons, I attended the orientation week for Columbia Business School students. The week involved team-building exercises that forced us to solve problems together.

    April 9, 2014