Goat
Overview
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat
Wild Goat
The wild goat is a widespread species of goat, with a distribution ranging from Europe and Asia Minor to central Asia and the Middle East. It is the ancestor of the domestic goat.-Social structure:...

 of southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of goat.

Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species. Goats have been used for their milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, meat
Goat meat
Goat meat is the meat of the domestic goat . It is often called chevon or mutton when the meat comes from adults, and cabrito or kid when from young animals...

, hair, and skins over much of the world.
Encyclopedia
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat
Wild Goat
The wild goat is a widespread species of goat, with a distribution ranging from Europe and Asia Minor to central Asia and the Middle East. It is the ancestor of the domestic goat.-Social structure:...

 of southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of goat.

Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species. Goats have been used for their milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, meat
Goat meat
Goat meat is the meat of the domestic goat . It is often called chevon or mutton when the meat comes from adults, and cabrito or kid when from young animals...

, hair, and skins over much of the world. In the twentieth century they also gained in popularity as pet
Pet
A pet is a household animal kept for companionship and a person's enjoyment, as opposed to wild animals or to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic or productive reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful...

s.

Female goats are referred to as does or nannies, intact
Entire (animal)
In animal fancy and animal husbandry, entire indicates an animal has not been desexed, i.e., spayed or neutered ....

 males as bucks or billies; their offspring
Offspring
In biology, offspring is the product of reproduction, of a new organism produced by one or more parents.Collective offspring may be known as a brood or progeny in a more general way...

 are kids. Note that many goat breeders prefer the terms "buck" and "doe" to "billy" and "nanny". Castrated
Castration
Castration is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which a male loses the functions of the testicles or a female loses the functions of the ovaries.-Humans:...

 males are wethers. Goat meat
Goat meat
Goat meat is the meat of the domestic goat . It is often called chevon or mutton when the meat comes from adults, and cabrito or kid when from young animals...

 from younger animals is called kid or cabrito, and from older animals is sometimes called chevon, or in some areas “mutton”.

Etymology

The Modern English
Modern English
Modern English is the form of the English language spoken since the Great Vowel Shift in England, completed in roughly 1550.Despite some differences in vocabulary, texts from the early 17th century, such as the works of William Shakespeare and the King James Bible, are considered to be in Modern...

 word goat comes from the Old English gāt which meant "she-goat", and this in turn derived from Proto-Germanic *gaitaz (cf. Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 and Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 geit "goat", German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 Geiß "she-goat", and Gothic
Gothic language
Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable Text corpus...

 gaits "goat"), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 *ghaidos meaning "young goat" (cf. Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 haedus "kid"), itself perhaps from a root meaning "jump" (assuming that Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 zajęcǐ "hare", Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 jihīte "he moves" are related). To refer to the male of the species, Old English used bucca (which survives as "buck") until a shift to he-goat (and she-goat) occurred in the late 12th century. "Nanny goat" originated in the 18th century and "billy goat" in the 19th.

History

Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. The most recent genetic analysis confirms the archaeological evidence that the Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n Zagros are the likely origin of almost all domestic goats today. Another major genetic source of modern goats is the Bezoar goat, distributed from the mountainous regions of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 across the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 to Sind
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

.

Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 farmers began to keep goats for access to milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 and meat, primarily, as well as for their dung, which was used as fuel, and their bones, hair, and sinew for clothing, building, and tools. The earliest remnants of domesticated goats dating 10,000 years before present are found in Ganj Dareh
Ganj Dareh
Ganj Dareh is a Neolithic settlement in the Iranian Kurdistan portion of Iran...

 in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. Goat remains have been found at archaeological sites in Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

, Choga
Choga
A Choga is a long sleeved robe that is worn loosely around the bodice, amongst Rajasthani men.-References:***...

, Mami
Mami
Mami may refer to:*Mami , a goddess in the Babylonian epic Atra-Hasis*Mami , a Japanese feminine given name* Mami, alias of the Algerian raï singer Cheb Mami*Mami, a type of noodle soup found in the Philippines...

, Djeitun and Cayonu
Çayönü
Çayönü is a Neolithic settlement in southern Turkey inhabited around 7200 to 6600 BC. It is located forty kilometres north-west of Diyarbakır, at the foot of the Taurus mountains...

, dating the domestication of goats in western Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 at between 8000 and 9000 years ago.

Historically, goat hide has been used for water and wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 bottles in both traveling and transporting wine for sale. It has also been used to produce parchment
Parchment
Parchment is a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin, often split. Its most common use was as a material for writing on, for documents, notes, or the pages of a book, codex or manuscript. It is distinct from leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned; therefore, it is very...

.

Anatomy and health

Most goats naturally have two horns
Horn (anatomy)
A horn is a pointed projection of the skin on the head of various animals, consisting of a covering of horn surrounding a core of living bone. True horns are found mainly among the ruminant artiodactyls, in the families Antilocapridae and Bovidae...

, of various shapes and sizes depending on the breed. All goats have horns unless they are "polled" meaning they have one parent with a dominant polled gene. There have been incidents of polycerate goats (having as many as eight horns), although this is a genetic rarity thought to be inherited. Their horns are made of living bone surrounded by keratin
Keratin
Keratin refers to a family of fibrous structural proteins. Keratin is the key of structural material making up the outer layer of human skin. It is also the key structural component of hair and nails...

 and other proteins, and are used for defense, dominance, and territoriality.

Goats are ruminants. They have a four-chambered stomach consisting of the rumen
Rumen
The rumen, also known as a paunch, forms the larger part of the reticulorumen, which is the first chamber in the alimentary canal of ruminant animals. It serves as the primary site for microbial fermentation of ingested feed...

, the reticulum
Reticulum (anatomy)
The reticulum is the second chamber in the alimentary canal of a ruminant animal. Anatomically it is considered the smaller half of the reticulorumen along with the rumen. Together these two compartments make up 84% of the volume of the total stomach. The reticulum is located between the rumen and...

, the omasum
Omasum
The omasum, also known as the bible, the fardel, the manyplies and the psalterium, is the third compartment of the stomach in ruminants...

, and the abomasum
Abomasum
The abomasum, also known as the maw, and the rennet-bag, and the read, is the fourth and final stomach compartment in ruminants. It secretes rennin - the artificial form of which is called rennet, and is used in cheese creation....

. As with other mammal ruminants, they are even-toed ungulates. The females have an udder
Udder
An udder is an organ formed of the mammary glands of female quadruped mammals, especially ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep and deer. The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands...

 consisting of two teats, in contrast to cattle, which have four teats.

Goats have horizontal slit-shaped pupils, an adaptation which increases peripheral
Peripheral vision
Peripheral vision is a part of vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze. There is a broad set of non-central points in the field of view that is included in the notion of peripheral vision...

 depth perception
Depth perception
Depth perception is the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions and the distance of an object. Depth sensation is the ability to move accurately, or to respond consistently, based on the distances of objects in an environment....

. Because goats' irises
Iris (anatomy)
The iris is a thin, circular structure in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupils and thus the amount of light reaching the retina. "Eye color" is the color of the iris, which can be green, blue, or brown. In some cases it can be hazel , grey, violet, or even pink...

 are usually pale, the pupils are much more visible than in animals with horizontal pupils, but very dark irises, such as cattle, deer, most horses and many sheep.

Both male and female goats have beards, and many types of goat (most commonly dairy goats, dairy-cross boers
Boer goat
The Boer goat was developed inSouth Africa in the early 1900s for meat production. Their name is derived from the Dutch word "Boer" meaning farmer. The Boer goat was probably bred from the indigenous goats of the Namaqua Bushmen and the Fooku tribes, with some crossing of Indian and European...

, and pygmy goat
Pygmy goat
A pygmy goat is a small breed of domestic goat. Although they produce a very large amount of milk for their size, and can be eaten, pygmy goats are not typically used for milk or meat, unlike larger dairy and meat goat breeds. Pygmy goats tend to be more robust and breed more continually throughout...

s) may have wattles
Wattle (anatomy)
A wattle is a fleshy dewlap or caruncle hanging from various parts of the head or neck in several groups of birds, goats and other animals. In some birds the caruncle is erectile tissue.The wattle is frequently an organ of sexual dimorphism...

, one dangling from each side of the neck.

Some breeds of sheep and goats look similar, but they can usually be told apart because goat tails are short and point up, whereas sheep tails hang down and are usually longer and bigger – though some (like those of Northern European short-tailed sheep
Northern European short-tailed sheep
Northern European short-tailed sheep are a group of sheep breeds and landraces from the British Isles, Scandinavia, and the area around the Baltic. They are thought to be derived from the first sheep brought to Europe by early farmers...

) are short, and longer ones are often docked
Docking (animal)
Docking is a term for the intentional removal of part of an animal's tail or ears. The term cropping is also used, though more commonly in reference to the cropping of ears, while docking more commonly—but not exclusively—refers to the tail. The term tailing is also commonly used...

.

Reproduction

Goats reach puberty between 3 and 15 months of age, depending on breed and nutrition status. Many breeders prefer to postpone breeding until the doe has reached 70% of the adult weight. However, this separation is rarely possible in extensively managed, open range herds.

In temperate climates and among the Swiss breeds, the breeding season commences as the day length shortens, and ends in early spring or before. In equatorial regions, goats are able to breed
Mating
In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation. In social animals, it also includes the raising of their offspring. Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization...

 at any time of the year. Successful breeding in these regions depends more on available forage than on day length. Does of any breed or region come into heat
Estrous cycle
The estrous cycle comprises the recurring physiologic changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in most mammalian placental females. Estrous cycles start after puberty in sexually mature females and are interrupted by anestrous phases or pregnancies...

 every 21 days for 2 to 48 hours. A doe in heat typically flags (vigorously wags) her tail often, stays near the buck if one is present, becomes more vocal, and may also show a decrease in appetite and milk production for the duration of the heat.

Bucks (intact males) of Swiss and northern breeds come into rut
Rut (mammalian reproduction)
The rut is the mating season of ruminant animals such as deer, sheep, elk, moose, caribou, ibex, goats, pronghorn and Asian and African antelope....

 in the fall as with the doe's heat cycles. Bucks of equatorial breeds may show seasonal reduced fertility but, as with the does, are capable of breeding at all times. Rut is characterized by a decrease in appetite and obsessive interest in the does. A buck in rut will display flehmen lip curling and will urinate on his forelegs and face. Sebaceous scent glands at the base of the horns add to the male goat's odor, which is important to make him attractive to the female. Some does will not mate with a buck which has been de-scented.

In addition to natural mating, artificial insemination
Artificial insemination
Artificial insemination, or AI, is the process by which sperm is placed into the reproductive tract of a female for the purpose of impregnating the female by using means other than sexual intercourse or natural insemination...

 has gained popularity among goat breeder
Breeder
A breeder is a person who practices the vocation of mating carefully selected specimens of the same breed to reproduce specific, consistently replicable qualities and characteristics....

s, as it allows easy access to a wide variety of bloodlines.

Gestation
Gestation
Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. Mammals during pregnancy can have one or more gestations at the same time ....

 length is approximately 150 days. Twins
TWINS
Two Wide-Angle Imaging Neutral-Atom Spectrometers are a pair of NASA instruments aboard two United States National Reconnaissance Office satellites in Molniya orbits. TWINS was designed to provide stereo images of the Earth's ring current. The first instrument, TWINS-1, was launched aboard USA-184...

 are the usual result, with single and triplet
Multiple birth
A multiple birth occurs when more than one fetus is carried to term in a single pregnancy. Different names for multiple births are used, depending on the number of offspring. Common multiples are two and three, known as twins and triplets...

 births also common. Less frequent are litters of quadruplet, quintuplet, and even sextuplet kids. Birthing, known as kidding, generally occurs uneventfully. Just before kidding, the doe will have a sunken area around the tail and hip, as well as heavy breathing. She may have a worried look, become restless and display great affection for her keeper. The mother often eats the placenta
Placentophagy
Placentophagy is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth.The placenta contains high levels of prostaglandin which stimulates involution of the uterus, in effect cleaning the uterus out...

, which gives her much needed nutrients, helps stanch her bleeding, and parallels the behavior of wild herbivores such as deer to reduce the lure of the birth scent for predators.

Freshening (coming into milk production) occurs at kidding. Milk production varies with the breed, age, quality, and diet of the doe; dairy goats generally produce between 660 to 1,800 L
Litre
pic|200px|right|thumb|One litre is equivalent to this cubeEach side is 10 cm1 litre water = 1 kilogram water The litre is a metric system unit of volume equal to 1 cubic decimetre , to 1,000 cubic centimetres , and to 1/1,000 cubic metre...

 (1,500 and 4,000 lb) of milk per 305 day lactation
Lactation
Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young. The process occurs in all female mammals, however it predates mammals. In humans the process of feeding milk is called breastfeeding or nursing...

. On average, a good quality dairy doe will give at least 6 lb (2.7 l) of milk per day while she is in milk. A first time milker may produce less, or as much as 16 lb (7.3 l), or more of milk in exceptional cases. After the 305 day lactation, the doe will "dry off", typically after she has been bred. Occasionally, goats that have not been bred and are continuously milked will continue lactation beyond the typical 305 days. Meat, fibre, and pet
Pet
A pet is a household animal kept for companionship and a person's enjoyment, as opposed to wild animals or to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic or productive reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful...

 breeds are not usually milked and simply produce enough for the kids until weaning
Weaning
Weaning is the process of gradually introducing a mammal infant, either human or animal, to what will be its adult diet and withdrawing the supply of its mother's milk.The process takes place only in mammals, as only mammals produce milk...

.

Western European-origin goats without horns (polled) frequently produce intersex
Intersex
Intersex, in humans and other animals, is the presence of intermediate or atypical combinations of physical features that usually distinguish female from male...

 offspring. These are generally female animals with male characteristics, and are infertile.

Male lactation is also known to occur in goats.

Diet

Goats are reputed to be willing to eat almost anything, including tin cans and cardboard boxes. While goats will not actually eat inedible material, they are browsing
Browsing (predation)
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high growing, generally woody, plants such as shrubs. This is contrasted with grazing, usually associated with animals feeding on grass or other low vegetation...

 animals, not grazers like cattle and sheep, and (coupled with their natural curiosity) will chew on and taste just about anything resembling plant matter in order to decide whether it is good to eat, including cardboard and paper labels from tin cans. Another possibility is that the goats are curious about the unusual smells of leftover food in discarded cans or boxes.

Aside from sampling many things, goats are quite particular in what they actually consume, preferring to browse on the tips of woody shrubs and trees, as well as the occasional broad-leaved plant. However, it can fairly be said that their plant diet is extremely varied, and includes some species which are otherwise toxic. They will seldom consume soiled food or contaminated water unless facing starvation
Starvation
Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient and vitamin intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death...

. This is one reason goat rearing is most often free ranging
Free range
thumb|250px|Free-range chickens being fed outdoors.Free range is a term which outside of the United States denotes a method of farming husbandry where the animals are allowed to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. In the United States, USDA regulations apply only to poultry and...

, since stall-fed goat rearing involves extensive upkeep and is seldom commercially viable.

Goats prefer to browse on shrubbery
Shrubbery
A shrubbery is a wide border to a garden where shrubs are thickly planted; or a similar larger area with a path winding through it. A shrubbery was a feature of 19th-century gardens in the English manner, with its origins in the gardenesque style of the early part of the century...

 and weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

s, more like deer than sheep, preferring them to grasses. Nightshade is poisonous; wilted fruit tree leaves can also kill goats. Silage
Silage
Silage is fermented, high-moisture fodder that can be fed to ruminants or used as a biofuel feedstock for anaerobic digesters. It is fermented and stored in a process called ensiling or silaging, and is usually made from grass crops, including corn , sorghum or other cereals, using the entire...

 (corn stalks) is not good for goats, but haylage can be used if consumed immediately after opening. Alfalfa
Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, and many other countries. It is known as lucerne in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and known as...

 is their favorite hay; fescue
Fescue
Festuce is a genus of about 300 species of perennial tufted grasses, belonging to the grass family Poaceae . The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution, although the majority of the species are found in cool temperate areas...

 is the least palatable and least nutritious. Mold
Mold
Molds are fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. Molds are not considered to be microbes but microscopic fungi that grow as single cells called yeasts...

 in a goat's feed can make it sick and possibly kill it. Goats should not be fed grass showing any signs of mold.

The digestive physiology of a very young kid (like the young of other ruminant
Ruminant
A ruminant is a mammal of the order Artiodactyla that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal's first compartment of the stomach, principally through bacterial actions, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud, and chewing it again...

s) is essentially the same as that of a monogastric
Monogastric
A monogastric organism has a simple single-chambered stomach, whereas ruminants have a four-chambered complex stomach. Examples of monogastric animals include omnivores such as humans, rats and pigs, carnivores such as dogs and cats, and herbivores such as Horses and rabbits. Herbivores with...

 animal. Milk digestion begins in the abomasum
Abomasum
The abomasum, also known as the maw, and the rennet-bag, and the read, is the fourth and final stomach compartment in ruminants. It secretes rennin - the artificial form of which is called rennet, and is used in cheese creation....

, the milk having bypassed the rumen via closure of the reticular/esophageal groove during suckling. At birth, the rumen is undeveloped, but as the kid begins to consume solid feed, the rumen soon increases in size and in its capacity to absorb nutrients.

Behavior

Goats are extremely curious and intelligent. They are easily trained to pull carts and walk on leads. Ches McCartney
Ches McCartney
Charles "Ches" McCartney, also known as the Goat Man, was an American itinerant wanderer who traveled up and down the eastern United States from 1930 to 1968 in a ramshackle wagon pulled by a team of goats. He claimed to have covered more than 100,000 miles and visited all states except Hawaii...

, nicknamed "the goat man", toured the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 for over three decades in a wagon pulled by a herd of pet goats. They are also known for escaping their pens. Goats will test fences, either intentionally or simply because they are handy to climb on. If any of the fencing can be spread, pushed over or down, or otherwise be overcome, the goats will escape. Due to their high intelligence, once they have discovered a weakness in the fence, they will exploit it repeatedly. Goats are very coordinated and can climb and hold their balance in the most precarious places. Goats are also widely known for their ability to climb trees, although the tree generally has to be on somewhat of an angle. The vocalization goats make is called bleating.

Goats have an intensely inquisitive and intelligent nature: they will explore anything new or unfamiliar in their surroundings. They do so primarily with their prehensile upper lip and tongue. This is why they investigate items such as buttons, camera cases or clothing (and many other things besides) by nibbling at them, occasionally even eating them.

When handled as a group, goats tend to display less clumping behavior than sheep, and when grazing undisturbed, tend to spread across the field or range, rather than feed side-by-side as do sheep. When nursing young, goats will leave their kids separated ("lying out") rather than clumped as do sheep. They will generally turn and face an intruder and bucks are more likely to charge or butt at humans than are rams.

Diseases

While goats are generally considered hardy animals and in many situations receive little medical care, they are subject to a number of diseases.

Among the conditions affecting goats are respiratory diseases, including pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

, foot rot, internal parasites, pregnancy toxosis and feed toxicity.

Goats can become infected with various viral and bacterial diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease
Foot-and-mouth disease
Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids...

, caprine arthritis encephalitis
Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis
Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis is a lentiviral infection of goats which may lead to chronic disease of the joints and on rare occasions encephalitis....

, caseous lymphadenitis
Caseous lymphadenitis
Caseous lymphadenitis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis found mostly in goats and sheep that at present has no cure. It manifests itself predominantly in the form of large, pus-filled cysts on the neck, sides and udders of goats and sheep...

, pinkeye, mastitis, and pseudorabies
Pseudorabies
Pseudorabies is a viral disease in swine that is endemic in most parts of the world. It is caused by Suid herpesvirus 1 , which is also called Pseudorabies virus and is also known as Aujeszky's disease, and in cattle as mad itch. PRV is considered to be the most economically important viral...

. They can transmit a number of zoonotic diseases to people, such as tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, brucellosis
Brucellosis
Brucellosis, also called Bang's disease, Crimean fever, Gibraltar fever, Malta fever, Maltese fever, Mediterranean fever, rock fever, or undulant fever, is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by ingestion of unsterilized milk or meat from infected animals or close contact with their secretions...

, Q-fever, and rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy for goats is between 15 and 18 years. An instance of a goat reaching the age of 24 has been reported.

Several factors can reduce this average expectancy, however; problems during kidding can lower a doe's expected life span to 10 or 11, and stresses of going into rut can lower a buck's expected life span to 8 or 10.

Goats in agriculture

A goat is useful to humans either living or dead, first as a renewable provider of milk, manure, and fiber, and then as meat and hide. Some charities
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 provide goats to impoverished
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 people in poor countries, because goats are easier and cheaper to manage than cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

, and have multiple uses. In addition, goats are used for driving and packing
Pack goat
A pack goat is a goat used as a beast of burden, for packing cargo. Generally, large wether goats are used for packing, though does may also be packed. While does are generally smaller and therefore able to carry somewhat less cargo, they may also carry fresh milk.Goats are domesticated herd...

 purposes.

For instance, the intestine is used to make "catgut
Catgut
Catgut is a type of cord that is prepared from the natural fibre found in the walls of animal intestines. Usually sheep or goat intestines are used, but it is occasionally made from the intestines of cattle, hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys.-Etymology:...

", which is still in use as a material for internal human surgical sutures and strings for musical instruments
String instrument
A string instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones...

. The horn of the goat, which signifies wellbeing (Cornucopia
Cornucopia
The cornucopia or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form...

), is also used to make spoon
Spoon
A spoon is a utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl, oval or round, at the end of a handle. A type of cutlery , especially as part of a place setting, it is used primarily for serving. Spoons are also used in food preparation to measure, mix, stir and toss ingredients...

s.

Worldwide goat population statistics

According to the FAO, the top producers of goat milk in 2008 were India (4 million metric tons), Bangladesh (2.16 million metric tons) and the Sudan (1.47 metric tons.)
Country/Region Total Animals (millions) Goat Milk (MT) Goat Meat (million MT)
World ----- 15.2 4.8
Africa 294.5 3.2 1.1
Nigeria 53.8 N/A 0.26
Sudan 43.1 1.47 0.19
Asia 511.3 8.89 3.4
Afghanistan 6.38 0.11 0.04
Pakistan 60.00 N/A N/A
India 125.7 4.0 0.48
Bangladesh 56.4 2.16 0.21
China 149.37 0.26 1.83
Saudi Arabia 2.2 0.076 0.024
Americas 37.3 0.54 0.15
Mexico 8.8 0.16 0.04
USA 3.1 N/A 0.022
Europe 17.86 2.59 0.012
UK 0.09 N/A N/A
France 1.2 0.58 0.007
Oceania 3.42 0.0004 0.018

Husbandry

Husbandry, or animal care and use, varies from region to region and from culture to culture. The particular housing used for goats depends not only on the intended use of the goat but also on the region of the world where they are raised. Historically, domestic goats were generally kept in herds that wandered on hills or other grazing areas, often tended by goatherd
Goatherd
A goatherd or goatherder is a person who herds goats as a vocational activity. Similar to a fisherman who catches fish for a living, the drover here herds goats. Goatherds are popular in countries where goat populations are significant; for instance, in Africa and South Asia...

s who were frequently children or adolescents, similar to the more widely known shepherd
Shepherd
A shepherd is a person who tends, feeds or guards flocks of sheep.- Origins :Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations, beginning some 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and especially their wool...

. These methods of herding
Herding
Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group , maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those. While the layperson uses the term "herding", most individuals involved in the process term it mustering, "working stock" or...

 are still used today.

In some parts of the world, especially Europe and North America, distinct breeds of goat are kept for dairy (milk) and for meat production. As with cattle, only the females give milk. Excess male kids of dairy breeds are typically slaughtered for meat. Both does and bucks of meat breeds may be slaughtered for meat, as well as older animals of any breed. The meat of older bucks (more than 1 year old) is generally considered not desirable for meat for human consumption. Castration at a young age prevents the development of typical buck odor.

Dairy goats are generally pastured in summer and may be stabled during the winter. As dairy does are milked daily, they are generally kept close to the milking shed. Their grazing is typically supplemented with hay and with concentrates. Stabled goats may be kept in stalls similar to horses, or in larger group pens. In the US system, does are generally re-bred annually. In some European commercial dairy systems, the does are bred only twice, and are milked continuously for several years after the second kidding.

Meat goats are more frequently pastured year-round, and may be kept many miles from barns. Angora and other fiber breeds are also kept on pasture or range. Range-kept and pastured goats may be supplemented with hay or concentrates, but this happens most frequently during the winter or dry seasons.

In India, Nepal, and much of Asia, goats are kept largely for milk production, both in commercial and household settings. The goats in this area may be kept closely housed or may be allowed to range for fodder. The Salem Black goat is herded to pasture in fields and along roads during the day but is kept penned at night for safe-keeping.

In Africa and the Mideast, goats are typically run in flocks with sheep. This maximizes the production per acre, as goats and sheep prefer different food plants. Multiple types of goat-raising are found in Ethiopia, where four main types of goat raising have been identified: goats kept pastured in annual crop systems, goats kept in perennial crop systems, goats kept with cattle, and goats kept in arid areas under pastoral (nomadic) herding systems. In all four systems, however, goats were typically kept in extensive systems, with few purchased inputs. Household goats are traditionally kept in Nigeria. While many goats are allowed to wander the homestead or village, others are kept penned and fed in what is called a 'cut-and-carry' system. This type of husbandry is also used in parts of Latin America. Cut-and-carry, which refers to the practice of cutting down grasses, corn or cane for feed rather than allowing the animal access to the field, is particularly suited for types of feed, such as corn or cane, that are easily destroyed by trampling.

Pet goats may be found in many parts of the world when a family keeps one or more animals for emotional reasons rather than as production animals. It is becoming more common for goats to be kept exclusively as pets in North America and Europe.

Meat

The taste of goat kid meat is similar to that of spring lamb meat; in fact, in the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, and in some parts of Asia, particularly Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, the word “mutton” is used to describe both goat and lamb meat. However, some compare the taste of goat meat to veal
Veal
Veal is the meat of young cattle , as opposed to meat from older cattle. Though veal can be produced from a calf of either sex and any breed, most veal comes from male calves of dairy cattle breeds...

 or venison
Venison
Venison is the meat of a game animal, especially a deer but also other animals such as antelope, wild boar, etc.-Etymology:The word derives from the Latin vēnor...

, depending on the age and condition of the goat. Its flavor is said to be primarily linked to the presence of 4-methyloctanoic and 4-methylnonanoic acid. It can be prepared in a variety of ways including stewed, baked, grilled
Grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

, barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

d, minced, canned
Canning
Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances a freeze-dried canned product, such as canned, dried lentils, can last as...

, fried
Frying
Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat, a technique that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC. Chemically, oils and fats are the same, differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when needed. In commerce, many fats are called oils by custom, e.g...

, curried
Curry
Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines...

, or made into sausage
Sausage
A sausage is a food usually made from ground meat , mixed with salt, herbs, and other spices, although vegetarian sausages are available. The word sausage is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus, meaning salted.Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made...

. Due to its low fat content, the meat can toughen at high temperatures without additional moisture. One of the most popular goats grown for meat is the South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

n Boer
Boer goat
The Boer goat was developed inSouth Africa in the early 1900s for meat production. Their name is derived from the Dutch word "Boer" meaning farmer. The Boer goat was probably bred from the indigenous goats of the Namaqua Bushmen and the Fooku tribes, with some crossing of Indian and European...

, introduced into the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in the early 1990s. The New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 Kiko
Kiko goat
The Kiko Goat originated from New Zealand by crossing feral goats with dairy goats in the 1980s. Kiko is actually the Maori word for flesh or meat...

 is also considered a meat breed, as is the myotonic or "fainting goat"
Fainting goat
A fainting goat is a breed of domestic goat whose muscles freeze for roughly 10 seconds when the goat is startled. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled,...

, a breed originating in Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

.

Milk, butter and cheese

Goats produce approximately 2% of the world's total annual milk supply.
Some goats are bred specifically for milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

. If the strong-smelling buck is not separated from the does, his scent will affect the milk.

Doe milk naturally has small, well-emulsified fat globules, which means the cream remains suspended in the milk, instead of rising to the top, as in raw cow milk; therefore, it does not need to be homogenized
Homogenization (chemistry)
Homogenization or homogenisation is any of several processes used to make a chemical mixture the same throughout.-Definition:Homogenization is intensive blending of mutually related substances or groups of mutually related substances to form a constant of different insoluble phases to obtain a...

. Indeed, if the milk is going to be used to make cheese it is recommended that it not be homogenized as this changes the structure of the milk impacting the culture's ability to coagulate the milk and the final quality and yield of cheese.

Dairy goats in their prime, which is generally around the third or fourth lactation cycle, average 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 kg) of milk production daily (roughly 3 to 4 US quarts (2.7 to 3.6 liters)) during a ten-month lactation
Lactation
Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young. The process occurs in all female mammals, however it predates mammals. In humans the process of feeding milk is called breastfeeding or nursing...

, producing more just after freshening and gradually dropping in production toward the end of their lactation. The milk generally averages 3.5 percent butterfat
Butterfat
Butterfat or milkfat is the fatty portion of milk. Milk and cream are often sold according to the amount of butterfat they contain.- Composition :The fatty acids of butterfat are typically composed as follows :...

. A doe may be expected to reach her heaviest production during her third or fourth lactation.

Doe milk is commonly processed into cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

, butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

, ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

, yoghurt
Yoghurt
Yoghurt, yogurt or yogourt is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yoghurt are known as "yoghurt cultures"...

, cajeta
Cajeta
Cajeta is a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised milk.According to chef Rick Bayless, the name for cajeta came from the Spanish phrase al punto de cajeta, which means a liquid thickened to the point at which a spoon drawn through the liquid reveals the bottom...

 and other products. Goat cheese is known as chèvre in France, after the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 word for "goat". Some varieties include Rocamadour
Rocamadour (cheese)
Rocamadour is a French cheese from the regions of Périgord and Quercy. It takes its name from the commune of Rocamadour in the département of Lot. It has benefited from an Appellation d'origine contrôlée since 1996...

 and Montrachet. Goat butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 is white because goats produce milk with the yellow beta-carotene
Beta-carotene
β-Carotene is a strongly-coloured red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits. It is an organic compound and chemically is classified as a hydrocarbon and specifically as a terpenoid , reflecting its derivation from isoprene units...

 converted to a colorless form of vitamin A
Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a vitamin that is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of a specific metabolite, the light-absorbing molecule retinal, that is necessary for both low-light and color vision...

.

Nutrition

The American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is the major professional association of pediatricians in the United States. The AAP was founded in 1930 by 35 pediatricians to address pediatric healthcare standards. It currently has 60,000 members in primary care and sub-specialist areas...

 discourages feeding infants milk derived from goats. An April 2010 case report summarizes their recommendation and presents "a comprehensive review of the consequences associated with this dangerous practice," also stating, "Many infants are exclusively fed unmodified goat's milk as a result of cultural beliefs as well as exposure to false online information. Anecdotal reports have described a host of morbidities associated with that practice, including severe electrolyte abnormalities, metabolic acidosis, megaloblastic anemia, allergic reactions including life-threatening anaphylactic shock, hemolytic uremic syndrome, and infections." Untreated caprine brucellosis
Brucellosis
Brucellosis, also called Bang's disease, Crimean fever, Gibraltar fever, Malta fever, Maltese fever, Mediterranean fever, rock fever, or undulant fever, is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by ingestion of unsterilized milk or meat from infected animals or close contact with their secretions...

 results in a 2% case fatality rate. According to the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 (USDA), doe milk is not recommended for human infants because it contains "inadequate quantities of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, folate, vitamins C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

 and D
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it when sun exposure is adequate ....

, thiamin, niacin
Niacin
"Niacin" redirects here. For the neo-fusion band, see Niacin .Niacin is an organic compound with the formula and, depending on the definition used, one of the forty to eighty essential human nutrients.Niacin is one of five vitamins associated with a pandemic deficiency disease: niacin deficiency...

, vitamin B6
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex group. Several forms of the vitamin are known, but pyridoxal phosphate is the active form and is a cofactor in many reactions of amino acid metabolism, including transamination, deamination, and decarboxylation...

, and pantothenic acid
Pantothenic acid
Pantothenic acid, also called pantothenate or vitamin B5 , is a water-soluble vitamin. For many animals, pantothenic acid is an essential nutrient. Animals require pantothenic acid to synthesize coenzyme-A , as well as to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.Pantothenic acid...

 to meet an infant’s nutritional needs" and may cause harm to an infant's kidneys and could cause metabolic damage.

The Department of Health in the United Kingdom has repeatedly released statements stating on various occasions that "Goats' milk is not suitable for babies, and infant formulas and follow-on formulas based on goats' milk protein have not been approved for use in Europe," and "infant milks based on goats' milk protein are not suitable as a source of nutrition for infants.".

On the other hand, some farming groups promote the practice. For example Small Farm Today in 2005 claimed beneficial use in invalid and convalescent diets, proposing that glycerol ethers, possibly important in nutrition for nursing infants, are much higher in doe milk than in cow milk. A 1970 book on animal breeding claimed that doe milk differs from cow or human milk by having higher digestibility, distinct alkalinity
Alkalinity
Alkalinity or AT measures the ability of a solution to neutralize acids to the equivalence point of carbonate or bicarbonate. The alkalinity is equal to the stoichiometric sum of the bases in solution...

, higher buffering capacity, and certain therapeutic values in human medicine and nutrition. George Mateljan
George Mateljan
George Mateljan is a biologist, businessman and nutritionist who is most known for his best-selling book The World's Healthiest Foods.Mateljan is a founder of Health Valley Foods, a pioneering organic foods company...

 suggested that doe milk can replace ewe milk or cow milk in diets of those who are allergic to certain mammals' milk. However, like cow milk, doe milk has lactose
Lactose
Lactose is a disaccharide sugar that is found most notably in milk and is formed from galactose and glucose. Lactose makes up around 2~8% of milk , although the amount varies among species and individuals. It is extracted from sweet or sour whey. The name comes from or , the Latin word for milk,...

 (sugar), and may cause gastrointestinal problems
Digestive disease
All diseases that pertain to the gastrointestinal tract are labelled as digestive diseases. This includes diseases of the esophagus, stomach, first, second, and third part of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, the ileo-cecal complex, large intestine , sigmoid colon, and rectum.-Esophagus:*Esophagitis -...

 for individuals with lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance, also called lactase deficiency or hypolactasia, is the inability to digest and metabolize lactose, a sugar found in milk...

. In fact, the level of lactose is similar to that of bovine milk.
Basic composition of various milks (mean values per 100g)
Constituent Doe (Goat) Cow Human
Fat (g) 3.8 3.6 4.0
Protein (g) 3.5 3.3 1.2
Lactose (g) 4.1 4.6 6.9
Ash (g) 0.8 0.7 0.2
Total solids (g) 12.2 12.3 12.3
Calories 70 69 68

Milk composition analysis, per 100 grams
Constituents unit Cow Doe
(Goat)
Ewe
(Sheep)
Water
buffalo
Water Buffalo
The water buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo is a large bovine animal, frequently used as livestock in southern Asia, and also widely in South America, southern Europe, northern Africa, and elsewhere....

Water g 87.8 88.9 83.0 81.1
Protein g 3.2 3.1 5.4 4.5
Fat g 3.9 3.5 6.0 8.0
Carbohydrate g 4.8 4.4 5.1 4.9
Energy kcal 66 60 95 110
Energy kJ 275 253 396 463
Sugars (lactose) g 4.8 4.4 5.1 4.9
Cholesterol mg 14 10 11 8
Calcium IU 120 100 170 195
Saturated fatty acids g 2.4 2.3 3.8 4.2
Monounsaturated fatty acids g 1.1 0.8 1.5 1.7
Polyunsaturated fatty acids g 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.2


These compositions vary by breed, animal, and point in the lactation period.

Fiber

The Angora breed of goats produces long, curling, lustrous locks of mohair
Mohair
Mohair usually refers to a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat. The word "mohair" was adopted into English before 1570 from the Arabic: mukhayyar, a type of haircloth, literally 'choice', from khayyara, 'he chose'. Mohair fiber is approximately 25-45 microns in...

. The entire body of the goat is covered with mohair and there are no guard hairs. The locks constantly grow and can be four inches or more in length. Angora crossbreeds, such as the pygora
Pygora Goat
The Pygora goat is a cross between the Pygmy goat and the Angora goat that produces three distinct kinds of fleece and has the smaller size of the Pygmy.-History:...

 and the nigora, have been created to produce mohair and/or cashgora on a smaller, easier-to-manage animal.
The wool is shorn
Sheep shearing
Sheep shearing, shearing or clipping is the process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. The person who removes the sheep's wool is called a shearer. Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year...

 (cut from the body) twice a year, with an average yield of about 10 pounds.

Most goats have softer insulating hairs nearer the skin, and longer guard hairs on the surface. The desirable fiber for the textile industry
Textile industry
The textile industry is primarily concerned with the production of yarn, and cloth and the subsequent design or manufacture of clothing and their distribution. The raw material may be natural, or synthetic using products of the chemical industry....

 is the former, and it goes by several names (down, cashmere and pashmina). The coarse guard hairs are of little value as they are too coarse, difficult to spin and difficult to dye. The cashmere goat
Cashmere goat
A cashmere goat is any breed of goat that produces cashmere wool, the goat's fine soft downy winter undercoat, in commercial quality and quantity. This undercoat grows as the day length shortens and is associated with an outer coat of coarse hair, which is present all the year and is called guard...

 produces a commercial quantity of cashmere wool
Cashmere wool
Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other types of goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere is fine in texture, and strong, light, and soft. Garments made from it provide excellent...

, which is one of the most expensive natural fibers commercially produced; cashmere is very fine and soft. The cashmere goat fiber is harvested once a year, yielding around 9 ounces (200 grammes) of down.

In South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, cashmere is called "pashmina
Pashmina
Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh , made from Persian pashm . The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan and northern...

" (from Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 pashmina, "fine wool").
In the 18th and early 19th century, Kashmir (then called Cashmere by the English), had a thriving industry producing shawls from goat down imported from Tibet and Tartary through Ladakh. The shawls were introduced into Western Europe when the General in Chief of the French campaign in Egypt (1799–1802) sent one to Paris. Since these shawls were produced in the upper Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 and Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

 region, the wool came to be known as "cashmere".

Land clearing

Goats have been used by humans to clear unwanted vegetation for centuries. They have been described as "eating machines" and "biological control agents". There has been a resurgence of this in North America since 1990 when herds were used to clear dry brush from California hillsides thought to be endangered from potential wildfires. Since then numerous public and private agencies have hired private herds to perform similar tasks. This practice has become popular in the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 are where they are used to remove invasive species not easily removed by humans, including (thorned) blackberry vines and Poison Oak
Poison oak
Poison oak may refer to* Toxicodendron diversilobum, grows on West Coast of North America* Toxicodendron pubescens, grows in the Eastern United Statesdamnnnnn tissss is terribleee...

.

Goat breeds

Goat breeds fall into overlapping, general categories. They are generally distributed in to those used for dairy, fiber, meat, skins, and as companion animals. Some breeds are also particularly noted as pack goat
Pack goat
A pack goat is a goat used as a beast of burden, for packing cargo. Generally, large wether goats are used for packing, though does may also be packed. While does are generally smaller and therefore able to carry somewhat less cargo, they may also carry fresh milk.Goats are domesticated herd...

s.

Showing

Goat breeder
Breeder
A breeder is a person who practices the vocation of mating carefully selected specimens of the same breed to reproduce specific, consistently replicable qualities and characteristics....

s' clubs frequently hold shows
Show (animal)
A show is a judged event or display in the hobby of animal fancy or in the occupation of animal husbandry.Shows usually feature the best specimens of purebred animals in a locality or country...

, where goats are judged on traits relating to conformation
Conformation
Conformation generally means structural arrangement and may refer to:*Carbohydrate conformation, the three-dimensional shape of a carbohydrate...

, udder
Udder
An udder is an organ formed of the mammary glands of female quadruped mammals, especially ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep and deer. The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands...

 quality, evidence of high production, longevity, build and muscling (meat goats and pet goats) and fiber production and the fiber itself (fiber goats). People who show their goats usually keep registered stock and the offspring of award-winning animals command a higher price. Registered goats, in general, are usually higher-priced if for no other reason than that records have been kept proving their ancestry and the production and other data of their sires, dams, and other ancestors. A registered doe is usually less of a gamble than buying a doe at random (as at an auction or sale barn) because of these records and the reputation of the breeder.
Children's clubs such as 4-H
4-H
4-H in the United States is a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture , with the mission of "engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development." The name represents...

 also allow goats to be shown. Children's shows often include a showmanship class, where the cleanliness and presentation of both the animal and the exhibitor as well as the handler's ability and skill in handling the goat are scored. In a showmanship class, conformation is irrelevant since this is not what is being judged.

Various "Dairy Goat Scorecards" (milking does) are systems used for judging shows in the US. The American Dairy Goat Association
American Dairy Goat Association
The American Dairy Goat Association or ADGA is a United States not-for-profit corporation dedicated to dairy goats. Its purpose is to promote the dairy goat industry, by providing and circulating sound information about goats and goats' milk; maintaining and publishing herd books and production...

 (ADGA) scorecard for an adult doe includes a point system of a hundred total with major categories that include general appearance, the dairy character of a doe (physical traits that aid and increase milk production), body capacity, and specifically for the mammary system. Young stock and bucks are judged by different scorecards which place more emphasis on the other three categories; general appearance, body capacity, and dairy character.

The American Goat Society (AGS) has a similar, but not identical scorecard that is used in their shows. The miniature dairy goats may be judged by either of the two scorecards. The "Angora Goat scorecard" used by the Colored Angora Goat Breeder's Association CAGBA (which covers the white and the colored goats) includes evaluation of an animal's fleece color, density, uniformity, fineness, and general body confirmation. Disqualifications include: a deformed mouth, broken down pastern
Pastern
The pastern is a part of the leg of a horse between the fetlock and the top of the hoof. It incorporates the long pastern bone and the short pastern bone , which are held together by two sets of paired ligaments to form the pastern joint...

s, deformed feet, crooked legs, abnormalities of testicles, missing testicles, more than 3 inch split in scrotum, and close-set or distorted horns.

Religion, mythology, and folklore

According to Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, the god of thunder, Thor
Thor
In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility...

, has a chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

 that is pulled by the goats Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr
Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr
Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr are the goats who pull the god Thor's chariot in Norse mythology...

. At night when he sets up camp, Thor eats the meat of the goats, but take care that all bones remain whole. Then he wraps the remains up, and in the morning, the goats always come back to life to pull the chariot. When a farmer's son who is invited to share the meal breaks one of the goats' leg bones to suck the marrow, the animal's leg remains broken in the morning, and the boy is forced to serve Thor as a servant to compensate for the damage.

Possibly related, the Yule Goat
Yule Goat
The Yule Goat is one of the oldest Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbols and traditions. Originally denoting the goat that was slaughtered during the Germanic pagan festival of Yule, "Yule Goat" now typically refers to a goat-figure made of straw...

 is one of the oldest Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n and Northern Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an Yule
Yule
Yule or Yuletide is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic people as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January...

 and Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 symbols and traditions. Yule Goat originally denoted the goat that was slaughtered around Yule, but it may also indicate a goat figure made out of straw. It is also used about the custom of going door-to-door singing carols and getting food and drinks in return, often fruit, cakes and sweets. "Going Yule Goat" is similar to the British custom wassailing
Wassailing
The tradition of Wassailing falls into two distinct categories: The House-Visiting wassail and the Orchard-Visiting wassail. House-Visiting wassail, very much similar to caroling, is the practice of people going door-to-door singing Christmas carols...

, both with heathen roots. The Gävle Goat
Gävle goat
The Gävle Goat , located at Slottstorget in central Gävle, is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw. It is erected each year over a period of two days by a local association called the Southern Merchants in time for the start of advent...

 is a giant version of the Yule Goat, erected every year in the Swedish city of Gävle
Gävle
Gävle is a city in Sweden, the seat of Gävle Municipality and the capital of Gävleborg County. It had 71,033 inhabitants in 12/31 2010. It is the oldest city in the historical Norrland , having received its charter in 1446 from Christopher of Bavaria.-History:It is believed that the name Gävle...

.

The Greek god, Pan
Pan (mythology)
Pan , in Greek religion and mythology, is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Greek language, from the word paein , meaning "to pasture." He has the hindquarters, legs,...

, is said to have the upper body of a man and the horns and lower body of a goat. Pan was a very lustful god, nearly all of the myths involving him had to do with him chasing nymphs. He is also credited with creating the pan flute
Pan flute
The pan flute or pan pipe is an ancient musical instrument based on the principle of the closed tube, consisting usually of five or more pipes of gradually increasing length...

.

The goat is one of the twelve-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
The Shēngxiào , better known in English as the Chinese Zodiac, is a scheme that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes, according to a 12-year mathematical cycle...

 related to the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. It is not exclusive to China, but followed by many other Asian cultures as well...

. Each animal is associated with certain personality traits; those born in a year of the goat are predicted to be shy, introverted, creative, and perfectionist. See Goat (zodiac).
Several mythological hybrid creatures are believed to consist of parts of the goat, including the Chimera
Chimera (mythology)
The Chimera or Chimaera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her...

. The Capricorn
Capricornus
Capricornus is one of the constellations of the zodiac; it is often called Capricorn, especially when referring to the corresponding astrological sign. Its name is Latin for "horned male goat" or "goat horn", and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature that is half...

 sign in the Western zodiac
Zodiac
In astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude which are centred upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year...

 is usually depicted as a goat with a fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

's tail. Faun
Faun
The faun is a rustic forest god or place-spirit of Roman mythology often associated with Greek satyrs and the Greek god Pan.-Origins:...

s and satyr
Satyr
In Greek mythology, satyrs are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus — "satyresses" were a late invention of poets — that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing....

s are mythological creatures that are part goat and part human. The mineral bromine
Bromine
Bromine ") is a chemical element with the symbol Br, an atomic number of 35, and an atomic mass of 79.904. It is in the halogen element group. The element was isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Jerome Balard, in 1825–1826...

 is named from the Greek word "brόmos," which means "stench of he-goats."

Goats are mentioned many times in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. A goat is considered a "clean" animal by Jewish dietary laws and was slaughtered for an honored guest. It was also acceptable for some kinds of sacrifices. Goat-hair curtains were used in the tent that contained the tabernacle (Exodus 25:4). Its horns can be used instead of sheep's horn to make a shofar
Shofar
A shofar is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.Shofar come in a variety of sizes.- Bible and rabbinic literature :...

. On Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

, the festival of the Day of Atonement, two goats were chosen and lots were drawn for them. One was sacrificed and the other allowed to escape into the wilderness, symbolically carrying with it the sins of the community. From this comes the word "scapegoat
Scapegoat
Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals , individuals against groups , groups against individuals , and groups against groups Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any...

". A leader or king was sometimes compared to a male goat leading the flock. In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 told a parable
Parable
A parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons, or a normative principle. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human...

 of The Sheep and the Goats
The Sheep and the Goats
The Sheep and the Goats or "The Judgment of the Nations" was a discourse of Jesus recorded in the New Testament. It is sometimes characterized as a parable, although unlike most parables it does not purport to relate a story of events happening to other characters.One explanation is that it tells...

. (Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 25)

Popular Christian
Christianity in Europe
Christianity is the largest religion in Europe. Christianity has been practiced in Europe since the 1st century, and a number of the Pauline Epistles were odireted at Christians living in Macedonia, as well as Rome.- Early history :...

 folk tradition in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 associated Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 with imagery of goats (see Pan (mythology)
Pan (mythology)
Pan , in Greek religion and mythology, is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Greek language, from the word paein , meaning "to pasture." He has the hindquarters, legs,...

). A common superstition
Superstition
Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any process in the physical world linking the two events....

 in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 was that goats whispered lewd sentences in the ears of the saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s. The origin of this belief was probably the behavior of the buck in rut, the very epitome of lust. The common medieval depiction of the Devil
Devil
The Devil is believed in many religions and cultures to be a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the enemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly...

 was that of a goat-like face with horns and small beard (a goatee
Goatee
Goatee refers to a style of facial hair incorporating hair on a man’s chin. The exact nature of the style has varied according to time and culture.Traditionally, goatee refers solely to a beard formed by a tuft of hair on the chin...

). The Black Mass
Black Mass
A Black Mass is a ceremony supposedly celebrated during the Witches' Sabbath, which was a sacrilegious parody of the Catholic Mass. Its main objective was the profanation of the host, although there is no agreement among authors on how hosts were obtained or profaned; the most common idea is that...

, a probably-mythological "Satanic mass," was said to involve a black goat, the form in which Satan supposedly manifested himself for worship.

The goat has had a lingering connection with Satanism
Satanism
Satanism is a group of religions that is composed of a diverse number of ideological and philosophical beliefs and social phenomena. Their shared feature include symbolic association with, admiration for the character of, and even veneration of Satan or similar rebellious, promethean, and...

 and pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s, even into modern times. The inverted pentagram
Pentagram
A pentagram is the shape of a five-pointed star drawn with five straight strokes...

, a symbol used in Satanism, is said to be shaped like a goat's head. The "Baphomet
Baphomet
Baphomet is an imagined pagan deity , revived in the 19th century as a figure of occultism and Satanism. It appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century...

 of Mendes
Mendes
Mendes , the Greek name of the Ancient Egyptian city of Djedet, also known in Ancient Egypt as Per-Banebdjedet and Anpet, is known today as Tell El-Ruba ....

" refers to a satanic goat-like figure from 19th century occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

ism.

Feral goats

Goats readily revert to the wild (become feral) if given the opportunity. The only domestic animal known to return to feral life as swiftly is the cat. Feral goats have established themselves in many areas: they occur in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, the Galapagos and in many other places. When feral goats reach large populations in habitats which are not adapted to them, they may have serious effects, such as removing native scrub, tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s and other vegetation. Feral goats are common in Australia. However, in other circumstances they may become a natural component of the habitat.

See also

  • List of goat breeds
  • Pygmy goat
    Pygmy goat
    A pygmy goat is a small breed of domestic goat. Although they produce a very large amount of milk for their size, and can be eaten, pygmy goats are not typically used for milk or meat, unlike larger dairy and meat goat breeds. Pygmy goats tend to be more robust and breed more continually throughout...

  • Mountain goat
    Mountain goat
    The Mountain Goat , also known as the Rocky Mountain Goat, is a large-hoofed mammal found only in North America. Despite its vernacular name, it is not a member of Capra, the genus of true goats...

  • List of infectious sheep and goat diseases

Dairy goat breeds
Fiber-producing goat breeds
Goatskin-producing goat breeds
Meat goat breeds
Goat breeds
Feral goats
  • Goat throwing
    Goat throwing
    The Goat throwing is a festival in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, province of Zamora, Spain where a group of young men throws a live goat from the top of a church. A crowd below catches the flying goat with a canvas sheet. Animal rights groups have demanded the end of this festival several times....

  • Livestock
    Livestock
    Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

  • Sheep

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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