Basic goat facts and terms

Female goats are called does or doelings if under the age of one.  Males are called bucks or bucklings.  Young goats are called kids.

Bucks have scent glands and do smell.  The odor is worst during breeding season.  Bucks also have habits that make them less than ideal pets.  They urinate all over their front legs and beards or faces.

Wethers are castrated males.  they do not smell and make wonderful pets.  wethers can be used for pets, weed control, packing or to pull a cart.

Goats are livestock and must be treated as such.  One or two goats usually do not require a large lot but make sure you check zoning regulations.

The goat (Capra hircus) is related to the deer.  It is a browser rather than a grazer, which means it would rather reach up than down for food.  The goat also craves variety.

Goats are animals of phylum mammalia: their young are born alive and suckle on a secretion from mammary glands.

They are of the order artiodactyla, which means they are even-toed, hoofed mammals.

They belong to the family bovidae, which among other things they are ruminants (with "four stomachs" like cows) and they have hollow horns, which they don't shed.

Goats belong to genus capra, which includes only goats.

An average goat will consume 490 pounds of hay during a typical 90-day winter.

A goat makes an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 jaw movements per day.

The intestinal tract of an adult goat is about 100 feet long and can hold three gallons of partially digested food.

Goats have 320-to340- degree panoramic field of vision and 20-to 60- degree binocular vision.

Goats have a keen sense of smell.  Does recognize their newborn young by their smell, and buck scent is an aphrodisiac for does.

In the United States, most goat meat is marketed as chevon, a term coined by combining the French word chevre (goat) and mouton (sheep) and used to describe the meat of older kids and adult goats

The pale, tender flesh milk-fed kids is called cabrito (Spanish for "little goat").

Baby goat kid facts

Single-born bucklings are generally born a day or two sooner than single-born doelings.

Multiples are usually delivered two to three days earlier than singles.

When twins of opposite sexes are born, the male is almost delivered first.

Many does prefer male kids.  If one kid from a litter is rejected, it's usually a doeling.

A newborn kids abomasum (the fourth and "true stomach") comprises 50 to 70 percent of it's stomach area; at eight weeks, only 30 percent; and by adulthood the abomasum comprises only 9 percent of the goat's stomach.

Goat Physiology

Temperature: 101.5-103.5

Heart rate: 70-90 beats per minute

Respiration rate: 12-20 breathes per minute

Ruminal movements: 1-1.5 per minute

Life span: 10-12 years


Age at puberty: 5-10 months

Breeding weight: 60-75% of adult weight

Heat duration: 12-36 hours

Ovulation: 12-36 hours

Length of gestation: 144-157 days


Age of puberty: 5-8 months

Breeding ratio:  one buck up to 30 does