Circus Goats

The Big Apple Circus is in Boston this month.

We go every year. I love this one-ring show with it’s gentle humor, amazing acts and magic dust in the air. We’ve been going for years, but I was especially excited about this year’s program. I’d heard that the Big Apple Circus would have pony riding goats. We got front row seats.

The trainer comes from a family with a long family history of circus horse and dog acts. I think that this is her first year with goats.

If you have goats of your own, you know how amazing it is that these goats are standing on their boxes. People are eating popcorn in the stands, and yet they’re not mugging the audience. They’re standing there!

One of the cute little dogs runs through this barrel while the goat pushes it.

The goat is rewarded with a treat.

The training is all reward-based. The whip is used to give the animals cues. It never touches them.

The grand finale is pony riding goats!

But do you notice that there are three ponies and yet only two goats? One goat has decided not to bother with this part of the act. He’s trotted back to his stand and is watching the show. Those of us with goats of our own are not surprised.

I hear that next year this same trainer will be using ferrets, capybaras and a porcupine. She’s probably decided that they’re easier to train than goats. But perhaps the trainer missed out on the secret training weapon for recalcitrant goats. Perhaps, since it’s right in front of her she doesn’t see it?

Popcorn. My goats will do anything for it.

Salty, oily circus popcorn is the best. Watch out, Big Apple Circus, there’s going to be a new act in town.


  1. What is it about popcorn made anywhere but home? The movies, the circus, the fair….it always tastes better. I guess it is kinda like eating someething simple that someone else made….it tastes better because you didn’t have to make it????!!!! I think it is also all that oil and delicious fake butter they use? Even the goats notice! Terry….Adorable!

  2. Would you have to wear an outfit like that? I dare you!

  3. Will your boys have horns like that one day? They look like WoMD.

    • My boys were “debudded.” When they were babies the growth plates of their horns were cauterized by a vet so that they don’t grow.

  4. Hi Terry, just came across your blog and I love it! I think you should one up the circus and train your chicks to ride your goats!

    • I’m sure you mean that you’ll have the goats push the barrel :) You do have a new chi who needs a job- would be perfect running through the barrel.
      And yes, we all wish for ponies. Sigh.

  5. I got 7 baby chicks today from my TSC store!!! I was only going to get 3-4, but the man there said that we had to get a minimum of 6, so we decided on 6 bantams, and a turkan!!! They are all straight run though, so we are hoping that they are all gonna be hens. (haha) We got 2 1-week old amerucanas, (easter eggers) 2 1-week old silkies one is black and one is gray, 2 2-week old cochins a blue cochin and a barred rock, And 1 buff turkan, all bantams besides the turkan! (I’m sorry if it sounded like i was bragging, but i just HAD to share it with everyone on the hen-cam!)

    • excuse me, the two actually are’nt silkies, I thought they were, but they don’t have five toes :( If you know what kind they are PLEASE tell me, there is a black one, and a gray one, and they both have black feet and black beaks kind of dissapointing :(

      • Kelly – silkies need a heat lamp in the winter, so perhaps it’s for the best that for your first flock you have sturdier breeds. I hope you don’t have all roos. What’s your plan for the boys that you do get? As far as knowing what they are – wait a few weeks and it’ll be obvious. If you go on line, all of the hatcheries have photos of chicks so you can figure out what you have.

        • ok thanks terry, if they are all roos, we will keep them, unless they start being real mean, then we might have to sell them, I’m doing the best i can to make sure i am paying good attention to ALL of them. :)

  6. Haha, today, I went to the hen house and found a really really tiny dark brown egg, looks like one of the hens is taking a break from laying for a while :D

  7. Hi Terry, i was just wondering if you knew when you were getting your baby chicks?