Goat Facts

Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan

Published: 14 Jan 2022

horned white goats, domesticated animals

Goats have traditionally been kept as sources of meat and milk, as well as have been linked to humans for more than 10,000 years now. They have also been always deemed highly valuable animals for their good products, including their fur and skin. There are many advantages of raising goats, such as they grow fast, adapt in many climates, require less feed, and need less space. Today, many people are realizing that goats can be wonderful companion animals, too. Come and enjoy these 50 goat facts and appreciate this wonderful creature!

  1. Goats are closely related to sheep.
  2. The goat’s scientific name is ‘capra aegagrus hircus.’
  3. Goats are naturally curious.
  4. Goats are a domesticated species of goat-antelopes.
  5. They are very commonly kept as livestock.
  1. The domestication of the goat started from the wild goats (capra aegagrus) of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe.
  2. Domesticated goats are the goats we usually see as livestock while the wild goats are amongst the ancestors of the domestic goat.
  3. Wild goat species live in shrublands, forests, and rocky areas.
  4. Wild goats inhabit the land of Turkey, and the Caucasus in the west, to Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in the east.
  5. They are part of the animal family Bovidae, and the subfamily Caprinae.
  6. There are over 250 distinct breeds of goat.
  7. Across the globe, humans use goats for milk, meat, fur, and skins.
  8. Tanned leather from goatskin is durable. It’s commonly used to make gloves, boots, rugs, carpet binding, etc.
  9. We usually use goat fur to make sweaters, scarves, coats, and other clothing.
  10. Their milk is often turned into goat cheese.
  1. Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species of animals.
  2. Based on archaeological evidence, the earliest domestication of goats started in Iran around 10,000 years ago.
  3. ‘Does’ or ‘nannies’ are other terms for the female goat.
  4. On the other hand, ‘bucks’ or ‘billies’ are other names for males.
  5. ‘Kid’ is the other term for a young goat.
Table of Contents

There are more goats than pigs.

There are approximately 1 billion goats around the world. Their population globally has more than doubled during the last 40 years. Almost 90% of their population are living in developing countries, with the majority being in Asia, and then followed by Africa. Interestingly, its population surpassed the numbers of pigs, which are about 700 million, while cows are also around 1 billion in population, as well.

Most goats naturally have two horns.

Most goats naturally have two horns in different shapes and sizes, depending on the breed. There have been cases of polycerate goats (having more than two or as many as eight horns), and this is a genetic rarity often inherited. In general, the horns of female goats are smaller than the male’s horns.

goat facts, mama goat and kid
Image source: Pixabay

Goats can also have “shepherds.”

A goatherd or goatherder is a person who herds goats as a vocational activity or almost the same as a shepherd who herds sheep. Goatherds typically work in places where goat populations are high such as Asia and Africa.

The meat industry uses the kids for meat.

The lifespan of goats ranges from 15 to 18 years. Kids or young goats are often slaughtered at 3 to 5 months of age, weighing at least 25 to 50 lbs. Most goats are slaughtered within the first 12 months of life, sometimes up to 16 months. Kids do not store much body fat until they are about a year older and above.

Female goats can get pregnant for up to 12 years of age.

Breeders may start to mate their female goat for as early as 10 to 15 months old. Depending on the breed and environment, the gestation or pregnancy period of the goat may range from 145 to 155 days, with an average of 150 days. It’s not uncommon for does or female goats to have 2 or 3 kids per litter, and even deliver babies up to 12 years of age.

Mama goat and her kids, goat facts
Image source: Maxpixel

The goat’s milk has a lower lactose content than a cow’s milk.

Goat cheese or chevre (French term for goat cheese) are popular with both young people and the elderly, who are more likely to show low tolerance to cow’s milk. The goat’s milk has a lower lactose content than a cow’s milk, for about 10 to 12% per cup. Moreover, chevre is lower in fat, and higher in vitamin A and potassium, making it a great alternative for many people on a diet.

Goat milk is not suitable for infants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages giving infants milk from goats. Although goat milk can be good for adults, it is not recommended for infants because it contains fewer quantities of folate, iron, vitamins C and D, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid, to meet an infant’s nutritional needs. Moreover, it could cause harm to an infant’s kidneys and cause metabolic damage.

Goat meat is a healthier substitute for other red meats.

Goat meat is a healthier substitute for other red meats, such as lamb, beef, and pork. It is very nutritious, naturally lean, and has a range of health benefits. Goat meat has more iron, less fat, less saturated fat, and about the same amount of protein 27 gm of protein every 100 gm in line with beef, pork, lamb, or chicken.

It is also a popular delicacy around the world.

You can cook goat meat in a variety of ways, such as baking, stewing, grilling, barbecuing, canning, and frying. It can also be processed into sausages, jerky, and salamis. Its meat is a popular delicacy around the world. Some of the most popular are Kari kambing (Malaysia), Seco de cabrito (Peru), Boodog (Mongolia), Chivo guisado (Dominican Republic), Kalderetang kambing (Philippines), Maranho (Portugal), and Cabrito (Mexico).

Goats are social creatures.

Goats are social creatures and they love to be around other goats. If you like to have a goat as a pet, you must consider meeting their needs, like a large backyard and more than one goat as a companion. Goats also get along very well with other animals, including farm dogs, cats, cows, sheep, donkeys, and horses. But keep in mind that, unfortunately, hunting dogs may see goats as prey.

domesticated animals head to head
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Are you having problems with your skin? Try goat milk soap!

Today, with so many soap options available, you can get confused about which one is best for your skin, and goat milk soap is another product that you may want to consider. Goat milk soap is a gentle cleanser, in contrast to most commercially made soaps that have harsh surfactants that can strip your skin of natural moisture and oils, which makes you feel dry. Moreover, goat milk soap possesses high amounts of fats, particularly caprylic acid, allowing for gentle removal of dirt without removing the skin’s natural fatty acids. Lastly, it could also prevent acne (due to its lactic acid content), and serve as a natural exfoliant, as well.

Tobago is the goat racing capital of the world.

Goat Racing is a sport that started in Buccoo, Tobago in 1925. Currently, it is known as the Buccoo Goat Race Festival, a famous and lively event that draws thousands of people, mainly from Trinidad. During race day, there is a parade of goats and jockeys in the area with moderators guiding the crowd to which goats are the favorite to win during matches. Goat Race Festival is boosting the tourism industry for Tobago which occurs from mid-July to August 1.

The Anglo-Nubian goat is a British breed of domestic goat.

The Anglo-Nubian goat is one of the most popular breeds today. This breed originated during the 19th century from cross-breeding within native British goats, and a mixed population of large lop-eared goats imported from the Middle East, North Africa, and India.

Goats are browsing animals.

Goats have a reputation as animals that are willing to eat almost anything. While goats will not literally consume inedible material, they are browsing animals or herbivores that feed on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growing, often woody plants, such as shrubs. Unlike sheep and cattle, that are grazers, goats will chew on and taste just about anything that resembles a plant matter. They do this to determine whether or not it is good to eat, including cardboard, clothing, and paper.

Some goats know how to balance very well and climb trees.

Another trait of some goats is their ability to climb trees, including the fairly high ones, and stand on little branches that seem to hardly hold their weight. In countries where food is relatively scarce such as Morocco, it’s not uncommon to see this kind of goat.

goat climbing a tree
Image source: Pixabay

American Pygmy is small and compact.

The American Pygmy is an American breed of achondroplastic goat, which has a genetic disorder whose main feature is dwarfism. Most owners of this breed raise them for their meat or as companion animals. Interestingly, the pygmy goat is also frequently associated with scientific research as they have been found to be a good producer of antibodies for immunological research.

The Damascus goat is an excellent producer of both meat and milk.

The Damascus goat is a breed of goat that originated in Middle Eastern counties like Syria, for example. Its other names are Halep, Damascene, Aleppo, Baladi, Shami, and Chami. Damascus goat is an excellent producer of both meat and milk, as well as providing its owner a fine leather. It also has the ability to deliver triplets or even quadruple kids.

Alpine goats are heavy milkers.

The Alpine is a medium to large-sized breed of goat that originated in the French Alps. It is popular for its milking ability. The milk then turns into cheese, butter, soap, ice cream, or everything related to dairy products that normally come from cow’s milk.

There are more than 55 native domestic goat breeds in China.

Within Asian countries, the biggest goat population exists in China, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. China’s goats represent more than 15% of the total world goat population. There are more than 55 native domestic goat breeds in China, located in different areas, including the north pastoral region, the Qinghai-Tibet plateau region, the mixed pastoral-agricultural region, and the north and south agricultural region.

The Salem Black is a tall goat.

The Salem Black is a valuable goat breed in the north-western part of Tamil Nadu, India. The native tract of this breed is the Salem, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Karur, Erode, and Namakkal districts of Tamil Nadu. Salem Black goats are towering animals, entirely black in color, and raised largely for meat.

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is another breed of dwarf goat.

Like the American Pygmy Goat, the Nigerian Dwarf goat is another breed of dwarf goat. This breed may be horned or naturally hornless. Its coat is fine and relatively short and could be of any color, or multicolored. Its common colors are black, chocolate, and gold, frequently with white markings. Although it’s originally bred for show and as a companion animal, the Nigerian Dwarf goat is now also bred for dairy purposes.

Mountain goats live in high altitudes.

Mountain goats are some of the largest mammals in high-altitude habitats over 13,000 ft (4,000 m) in elevation. Sometimes, they would descend to sea level in coastal areas although they are essentially alpine and subalpine species. Bears, wolves, eagles, wolverines, and mountain lions are the most common predators of mountain goats.

white mountain goat
Image source: Flickr

It takes more than two years before mountain goats become sexually mature.

Mountain goats start their sexual maturity at around 30 months old. Females in a herd undergo synchronized estrus during late October through early December, at which time males and females participate in a mating routine. Female mountain goats usually ignore the younger males who try to participate in mating rituals and would favor the older males.

The goat milk market is growing.

Goats represent approximately 2% of the world’s total annual milk supply. In 2018, the global goat milk market size was valued at $8.5 billion. These numbers are expected to grow by 2026 (around $11.4 billion), growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 3.8% from 2019 to 2026.

Goats can help prevent wildfires.

Humans have used goats to remove unwanted vegetation for many centuries. Some refer to them as “eating machines” and “biological control agents.” As early as the 90s, humans used goat herds to clear dry brush and prevent wildfires.

There’s a goat in the Chinese zodiac.

The goat is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. According to the Chinese zodiac, people who are born in the years 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015, are believed to be mild-mannered, gentle, shy, stable, sympathetic, friendly, with a strong spirit of kindheartedness and justice. Moreover, they have very delicate ideas, great creativity, and perseverance, and can develop professional skills well.

Goats are clean, according to the Holy Bible.

The Bible mentions goats numerous times. A goat is considered a ‘clean’ animal (clean meat is defined as the meat of every animal that has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud) by Jewish dietary laws. They would usually slaughter a young goat for an honored guest.

Pneumonia can be common in goats.

Even though goats are frequently noted as “tough animals” and in many situations need little medical care, they are still subject to several diseases. Some of the common conditions affecting goats are respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, internal parasites, foot rot, feed toxicity, and pregnancy toxicosis.

Viral diseases can also infect goats.

They can also be infected with different viral and bacterial diseases, such as caprine arthritis encephalitis, foot-and-mouth disease, pinkeye, caseous lymphadenitis, mastitis, and pseudorabies. Moreover, they can carry and transmit various zoonotic diseases to people, such as brucellosis, tuberculosis, rabies, and Q fever.

Feel free to use the goat emoji for the Greatest Of All Time.

You’ve probably heard the acronym GOAT. In this modern age, netizens would simply put a ‘goat emoji’ instead of typing the word, in order to address their favorite stars.

GOAT is an acronym that stands for Greatest Of All Time. People usually use this to call athletes who are the best in their sport. For instance, Micheal Phelps is the GOAT in swimming. Meanwhile, some “GOAT issues” are still an ongoing debate. No one knows yet as to who’s the best in boxing, football, or even basketball.