…And how he can get his name on a Sly Fox beer.
Spring brings one of the areas most cherished festivals. Year after year, people come by the busload to drink mugs of bocks, eat brats, listen to traditional umpa bands, and race goats. Yes, race goats. The Sly Fox Bock Fest & Goat Race is an annual tradition that has surely reached the not to be missed status. Each year, Sly Fox puts out an array of their different bock style beers and people bring their prized goats out to be raced. The races are for more than just fun, as there is quite the acclaimed prize on the line. Sly Fox brews a special, unique Maibock each year for this event and when the races come to an end, they tap the initial firkin and name the beer after the winning goat. Having a delicious Sly Fox named after your goat seems to be a pretty awesome honor to us, and because of this we have decided to bring you a guide to raising your own goat, so that you too may have a chance to win this honor. I’m no pro on raising a goat, but I have had a pet goat (the one pictured wearing diapers and suspenders) and consider it one of my favorite pets to have owned. Hopefully, this guide will help you raise your own winning goat.
Step 1: Obtaining a Goat
The first step to raising your future champion is obviously buying a goat. There are multiple ways to do this. You can call local farmers who raise them or find a local animal show to meet the farmers. If that isn’t an option, there are multiple farm animal classifieds available on the internet. Also, contacting the a local 4-H program could be very beneficial.
Step 2: Naming the Goat
Since the whole point of raising your goat is to have a beer named after it, naming your goat is probably the most important step. This is definitely not something to rush into as if you win, its name will be part of the Sly Fox legacy. Also, keep in mind that whatever you name your goat must sound good with Maibock as a last name. So, for example naming it Philly Beer Scene (or PBS for short) would make Philly Beer Scene Maibock sound really great, where as Fluffy Maibock just doesn’t quite sound right.
Step 3: Feeding the Goat
First off, it’s important to note that despite the fact you are raising this goat for a beer competition, you can NOT feed your goat beer. Secondly, it is also very important to know that goats really like to eat. So much so, that they’ll eat every hour. Fortunately, they eat cheap food. They enjoy such delicacies as grass, hay, and even some occasional alfalfa, amongst other things. Also, during Christmas they can be a help since they are a big fan of Christmas trees. Having a goat gives you extra incentive to buy a tree and makes your investment seem much more profitable, as it will cut back on your goat’s food bill and keep the wife and kids happy. It’ll even make the process of removing the tree easier because it’ll be much thinner by the time Christmas is over.
Not only do goats like to eat, they also like to drink. When it comes to drinking water, much like humans, they won’t drink out of a mud puddle. Goats actually prefer sparkling clean water. Thus, to give your goat the extra edge, I’d stay away from the tap water and provide your goat exclusively with the likes of Pellegrino or Fiji. You’re going to want to give your goat every advantage possible if you want to win.
Step 4: Keeping/Training the Goat
Goats are very similar to raising typical house pets and have many of the same needs. The first thing you must decide is whether you’re planning on keeping the goat indoors our outdoors. For those who choose indoors, remember house breaking a goat is no easy task. Also, they tend to go to the bathroom more frequently than most pets, which means training is very important. It is possible to train a goat to have a certain bathroom area, but it is more difficult than training a dog. From experience though, putting diapers on the goat and holding them on with suspenders does work. If training, taking similar steps as those taken with a dog should do the trick (Just don’t use violence or negative reinforcement as that won’t go over very well with your new goat).
For those keeping the goat outside, you’re going to need a fenced in grassy area. A well built fence is recommended as goats get bored and like to wander to find new food. They will also need a form of shelter to protect them from the elements. Goats get sick easily and proper conditions are a necessity. Make sure you keep a regular eye on him/her, as he/she if does get sick, it will need immediate attention.
Step 6: Getting the Goat to Sly Fox
Now that you bought your goat, named it, and trained it for victory, it’s time to get to Phoenixville and sign up for the races. The transportation part is easier then expected. Just get a normal dog kennel, fill it up with some hay for the ride, pack it in the car, and you’re on your way.
Step 7: Celebrate your Victory
There’s no better way to celebrate, than to enjoy a pint of Maibock named after your well-raised goat! Enjoy that pint and enjoy it as everyone is saying your goat’s name as they take their first sips of the newest Sly Fox beer on the market. Which is a sight that will definitely make all your hard work pay off!