Goats Can Form Accents, Study Finds

February 28, 2012

Brian Browdie of the New York Daily News reports:

Humans, elephants and dolphins do it, and apparently goats do, too.

The horned ruminants pick up accents as they get older and join social groups, according to researchers at Queen Mary University, London, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

Experts previously thought only a select group of mammals has the ability to modify vocal sounds according to their surroundings, and that other species’ “voices” were determined solely by genetics. Whales and bats pick up accents as well.

The researchers recorded the bleats of four groups of pygmy goats at one week old, when kids, as young goats are known, from the same litter remain with one another, and again at five weeks old, when they form social groups with other goats of the same age.

Not surprisingly, the study found genetically related kids produced similar calls. But it found the vocal calls of goats raised in the same social groups also became more similar as the kids grew older.

“This suggests that goat kids modify their calls according to their social surroundings, developing similar ‘accents,’” said Dr. Elodie Briefer, one of the researchers.

Briefer said she and her colleagues don’t know whether other mammals may be able to form accents, but suggested that if goats’ calls can be affected by their environment maybe all mammals’ calls could be too.

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February Business Meeting

February 28, 2012

Halifax County Ag Director Leah Brown sends her apologies to everyone who waited (some for over a hour) outside the gate to the Ag Center on 2-23-12 in anticipation of the February SVMGA business meeting.  The meeting was ultimately canceled.

Brown is currently working with SVMGA president Denise Hudson to see that a lock-out SNAFU does not happen in the future.

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February Newsletter Posted

February 13, 2012

The February newsletter has been posted.  You can access it via the Newsletters page, or just click here.

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Meat Goat Consignment Sale This Weekend

February 12, 2012

Don’t forget:  The Southern Virginia Meat Goat Association is having a meat goat consignment sale this Saturday, February 18, 2012. The sale starts at 8:30 A.M. and ends at 11 A.M.  The sale will be held at the Halifax County Agricultural Marketing Center, 1001 Farmway Lane (Route 922), Halifax, VA 24558.

This sale is for good quality kids (35 lbs — 70 lbs).  Goats will be sold by the pound at the following prices:

Kids and lambs 35 pounds and up:  $1.85
Yearling goats: $1.35
High-yielding does and adult bucks:  $0.90
Poor quality does or excess fat:  $0.80
Adult ewes and rams :  $0.75

Commission Fees: $1 per head for SVMGA members. $5 per head for non-members. You can join SVMGA at the sale and pay the member fee. For more info about membership go to the “About” page on this website.

To include your goats (or sheep) in the sale, or to get more information, call Leah Brown, Ag Director, at 434-476-3066.

All animals must have a scrapie tag and be in good health.   SVMGA reserves the right to reject any animal.

For a copy of the sale registration form, click here.

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