Who knew that goats were such interesting animals? Check out these interesting facts about goats.
Did you know…
- Goats were the first animals to be tamed by humans.
- Humans began herding goats approximately 9000 years ago.
- Goats are members of the cattle family. They are closely related to sheep, deer and bison. Distant relatives include giraffes, ibex, and antelopes.
- There are over 210 breeds of goats.
- The world population of goats is estimated to be 450 million.
- Approximately 6 to 8 % of the world’s goat population can be found in North America. The majority of the world goat population however can be found in the Mideast and Asia.
- Goats have no upper front teeth but instead a hard “gum pad”. A goat’s age can be determined by the configuration of and wear on their teeth.
- A goat with parasites and worms that is left untreated will most likely suffer many negative health effects that may decrease production and even result in death.
- Female goats can weigh between 22 to 220 pounds and male goats can weigh between 27 to 275 pounds.
- Both male and female goats can have horns and beards.
- A goat’s pupils are rectangular in shape.
- Generally a goat lives 10 to 12 years however there have been cases of goats living up to the age of 15.
- Goats are very intelligent and social creatures. They prefer to surround themselves with other goats of their same breed. Goats are able to recognize their mothers even if they have been separated for years.
- Some breeds of goats are able to jump over 5 feet.
- A male goat is known as a buck or billy and a female is known as a doe or nanny. Young goats are called kids and a castrated male is called a wether. Male goats under the age of 1 are referred to as bucklings and white female goats less than a year old are called doelings.
- A group of goats may be called a herd, trip or tribe. Herds are generally led by a female called the “herd queen”.
- Male goats can breed as young as 4 months old and females once they have reached the age of 7 months.
- Pregnancy for a goat lasts approximately 150 days or 5 months.
- A goat may have 1-6 kids per litter. Twins are most common.
- The United States in the largest importer of goats, while Australia is the largest exporter.
- It is estimated that more people eat goat meat and drink goat milk than that from any other animal. In fact, approximately 72% of the world’s milk consumption is goat milk.
- Goat meat is referred to as Chevon or Cabrito. It is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, pork and even chicken.
- Goats are often kept with racehorses as a companions to help keep the horse calm.
- A goat has 4 stomachs.
- Goats are often recognized as the founders of coffee. Ancient goat herders noticed that goats became much more energetic after consuming beans that later turned out to be those from a coffee plant, leading to the discovery of coffee.
- Cashmere comes from the Cashmere goat. A Cashmere goat can produce about one pound of fleece per year.
Image by Andreas März