Many view goats with some suspicion not least because through time they have become heavily associated in many parts of the world with the God Pan who was half-man and half-goat and worshipped extensively in the ancient world. The Devil was believed to be able to transform into a goat at will and has long been portrayed in paintings and folklore to have cloven hoofs and horns just like a goat. In taking this form he was able to move freely. Goats were thought o meet regularly with the Devil and in rural parts were thought to have daily meetings, hence why at times when a goat could not be found it was thought to be serving darker forces.
The hair or hoof of a goat were once thought to provide protection against seeing off the Devil, warning him that this is what would happen to him if ventured further to test the faith of the farmer or goat owner. Hence that goats were usually lovingly cared for in response to such beliefs to serve as mutual protection against any negative events happening. The hair or a hoof was thought to act as a form of talisman, a protection and a warning sign.
Sailors once strongly believed that a goat skin on board the ship would ensure a calm sea if hung from the mainmast.
To cure illness in a house, people in certain parts of Europe and America once believed that if a goat could be encouraged to munch its way through the grass on the property where the sick person lived the munching would eventually lead to the illness being taken away. The nearer the goat could feed to the house the better.