Random Goat Facts
An intact adult male goat is called a buck. A castrated male goat is called
a wether. An adult female goat is called a doe. Immature goats
collectively are called kids. Male goats under one year of age are called
bucklings, while female goats under one year of age are called doelings.
The terms "Nanny" (female) and "Billy" (male) to differentiate the
sexes are in general disfavor in "official" goat circles. Don't get caught
saying these terms or you will be labeled an amateur.
Goats were the first animals domesticated by man somewhere are 7,000
The ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Cephranes was buried with more than
Goats live 8 to 12 years.
There are over 200 recognized breeds of goat
Goat size is extremely variable based on breed. Females can range from
22 to 300 pounds with males ranging slightly larger at 27 to 380 pounds.
Meat breeds are generally heavier than dairy breeds.
Both male and female goats can have horns and beards. Male goats can
breed as early as 4 months old, and females at 7 months old. It is
advisable to wait until goats reach 60%-75% of their adult weight before
breeding (approximately one year old).
Goats much prefer "browse" (leaves of woody plants) to grass. If you are
buying a goat to eat grass, you will probably be disappointed as they will
only eat this in large quantities if there is no other food available. Goats
will eat all your shrubs before they touch your lawn.
Goats can have 1-6 kids per litter. Twins is the most common, 1 and 3
kids the second most common scenario, and 4-6 being quite rare.
There are approximately 500 million goats in the world. The U.S. has
approximately 3 million with Texas leading production. China has 170
million. Much of the worldwide goat population is in the developing
world. The largest importer of goats is the U.S. and the largest exporter
of goats is Australia.
Throughout the world, it is estimated that more people eat goat meat and
drink goat milk than any other animal (Yes, this includes cows and
chickens). Much of this consumption is in the developing world and as
such is difficult to measure effectively. It is estimated that 72% of the
world's milk consumption is from goats.
The taste of goat's milk is nearly indistinguishable from cow's milk for
most people. Those that claim they can detect a difference, usually say
goat's milk has a milder flavor. Goat milk is fairly similar in nutrients to
cow's milk and can replace it in virtually any recipe. However, goat milk
is "naturally" homogenized. The fat molecules are five times smaller
than in cow's milk which makes it much easier for humans to digest. It is
also claimed (but not scientifically verified) that some individuals with
allergies to cows milk can drink goat milk without problems.
Goat meat is called Chevon or Cabrito. It is lower in fat and cholesterol
than beef, pork and even chicken.
In days of old, goats were often kept on sailing ships as "compact"
source of fresh milk and meat.
Along with the octopus, goat pupils are rectangular. Goats are thought to
have excellent night vision and can often be found browsing at night.
Goat should not be kept alone. They are herd animals and prefer the
company of at least one other goat. Goats will also readily accept animals
of other species as companions including horses and cattle.
Goats have no upper front teeth. Instead they have a hard "gum pad" in
the place of upper front teeth.
Like horses, you can estimate a goats age by the configuration of and
wear on its teeth.
Goats are sometimes kept with racehorses as a companion animal. This
is thought to have a calming effect on the horse. The term "Get your
goat" (meaning to agitate someone) is rumored to have originated from
the practice of stealing the companion goat so the racehorse would do
poorly. There is somewhat dubious evidence to support this etymology.
A group of goats has multiple acceptable names including herd, trip, and
tribe. Goat herds are usually led by a female called the "herd queen."
Goats are ruminants with four stomachs and are closely related to sheep,
deer, cows and bison. Giraffes, Ibex, and antelopes are more distant
relatives of goats as well.
Goats DO NOT eat tin cans or garbage. It is thought this rumor came
about as goats may have been frequently seen eating labels off of cans to
get at the tasty glue. They are actually very picky eaters. Goats can
survive on land that would starve cattle and sheep, due to their selective
browsing habits and the wide range of plants they will eat.
Goats are good swimmers.
Goats can be trained to pull carts and can also be used as pack animals.
They have particular advantages as pack animals, since there smaller size
(as compared to donkeys/horses) makes them more maneuverable in
thick brush and they cause less trail damage thanks to smaller hoofs. A
trained "pack goat" can carry 30% of its weight in cargo. It should also
be noted that goat droppings are virtually indistinguishable from deer, so
pack goats would be a good choice for "covert" operations in many
It is rumored that goats "discovered" coffee. It is thought ancient goat
herders noticed that goats became more energetic after eating the beans
of the (then unknown) coffee plant. Subsequent investigation into these
beans led to modern day coffee as a staple beverage.
Mohair comes from the Angora goat. Each Angora goat can produce
about 4 pounds of fleece per year. South Africa and the U.S. lead the way
in worldwide mohair production.
Cashmere comes from the Cashmere goat. Each Cashmere goat can
produce about one pound of fleece per year. China leads the way in
worldwide cashmere production.