I doubt this article is true of Shetland. I have seen mention of the possible presence of goats in the Iron Age, but nothing in histories, natural histories or agricultural writings. Andrew O'Dell wrote in 1939 that goats were almost totally absent except for 2 that were a gift to a crofter. Given the custom of earmarking livestock, it doesn't seem possible that "wild" goats would tolerated.
Morula 23:10, 26 March 2012 (MDT)
- Would tend to agree with Morula, while there may have been goats in Shetland if you go back far enough, they seem to have been an unknown and largely unwelcome species for centuries. Certainly once the Scots Lairds regime became the norm and the population increased, sheep and cattle seem to have been viewed as the far more productive, suitable and valuable species. "Wild" species during the same period seem to have been mostly considered pests, or vermin and actively eradicated. Certainly some of the more "wild" Shetland sheep, from a distance (which was as close as a casual observer could have hoped to have seen them, unless they attended when they'd been gathered and penned), could easily have been mistaken for a goat by their behaviours. Perhaps this is what an observer has seen and made a mistaken assumption?
- Ghostrider 07:01, 27 March 2012 (MDT)
Wild goats seem to have been very common in the British Isles a century or two back. The only two places that I ever hear of them these days are parts of North Wales, and Galloway. But yes, primitive sheep and goats, are pretty much the same in appearance, which is why Jesus goes on about separating sheep and goats in his parables.--Pett 10:46, 29 March 2012 (MDT)
- Pett, I really think this article is in error. I would like to see it deleted.Morula 12:38, 31 March 2012 (MDT)
Agreed, there is no mention in folklore of goats and, had they been present, they would certainly have got a mention somewhere.
Heimdal 17:54, 31 March 2012 (MDT)
I haven't been able to find any other references to goats in Shetland, and I agree it does seem dubious. But surely someone must keep goats on Shetland these days? (Probably English.)--Pett 10:56, 5 April 2012 (MDT)
- A number of folk (both natives and transplants) have had a goat or goats in more recent years, but to my knowledge its tended to be just one or two, and for a very limited time. The overall Shetland population at any one given time would be miniscule. As far as I've been aware none who've had them ever considered or used them as a seriously commercial species. At best they were utilised as a short term milk supply, but for the most part they were basically pets, and it would be an arguable point that as a species their presence in Shetland were anything more than imported pets of the last 40-50 years.
- Quite possibly someone somewhere Shetland in the more recent past may have attempted to establish a commercial flock, as I obviously am not familiar with what livestock is everywhere, but if they have its never become common knowledge. So unless someone else knows otherwise?
- Ghostrider 14:10, 5 April 2012 (MDT)