From farm to… The truth about what happens when Goat Week ends

Sep 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM ET

When I was 8 years old, my parents made me go to the petting zoo. Let me stress the word made because I really, really didn’t want to let farm animals eat food off my hand. I guess chicks are cute, but the rest of the animals have beards and hooves—and let’s face it, they smell. Badly. So I wasn’t among the thousands of oohing and ahhing fans going crazy over Modern Farmer magazine’s goat cam this week.

The sight of these scruffy mammals lounging around on camera only reminded me of the goat biryani I ate in India, also known as the best meal I’ve ever had. This made me want to blast a cynical tweet to all these fawning fans: That bearded kid will probably end up in a curry, a stew or even some hipster’s taco!

But I was wrong. These particular goats are more likely to end up in your shower.

“We use the milk to make cheeses, ice cream, yogurt and even goat’s milk soap, which leaves your skin soft and smooth!” says Karen Las, owner of Pelican Acres, where the goat cam is fixated.

You could also cross paths with these creatures at a goat show. Yes, this is a real thing.

Backstage at the 2010 goat show in Danville, Kentucky

Backstage at the 2010 goat show in Danville, Kentucky

Some of Las’ goats are celebrities too. “Two that I sold to one of my Montana buyers won the 2013 American Goat Society National Grand Champion Buck and 2013 American Goat Society National Reserve Junior Champion Buck,” Las says.

2013 Boer show goat in Texas

2013 Boer show goat in Texas

Las takes her goats to three shows every summer. In 2009, they won four Grand Champion wins and three Reserve Champion wins. What makes a goat a winner? Well, according to the American Goat Society, there are a lot of rules. Step one is to make sure you wear your Sunday best, as 10 points go to how well the goat’s exhibitor looks. You don’t want to make your goat look bad, do you? Fifty points go to showmanship ability, and the remaining 40 points go to how well the goat is groomed.

2010 goat beauty pageant in Ramygala, Lithuania

2010 goat beauty pageant in Ramygala, Lithuania

But, sadly, every goat breeder has to let go at some point. Las sometimes must sell her goats as “pets for both children and adults,” she says. “I even ship my goats on airplanes across the United States to new homes. We have a few living in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Montana.”

If Modern Farmer magazine has convinced you that you need a goat in your life, Pelican Acres now has a bunch of celebrity animals to choose from. But if you fear these famous goats might be too high-maintenance after their trot into the limelight, you can adopt on Craigslist.

Goat Week