Goat Trivia

  • A goats average size is approximately 28 - 48 inches in height.
  • Goats reach sexual maturity at 4 - 18 months.
  • A female goats gestation period lasts approximately 150 days; usually resulting in 1 - 3 offspring.
  • The life span of a goat is about 15 years.
  • The age of a goat can be determined by its teeth.
  • Goats are sometimes kept with racehorses as a companion animal. This is thought to have a calming effect on the horse. The term "Get your goat" (meaning to agitate someone) is rumored to have originated from the practice of stealing the companion goat so the racehorse would do poorly.
  • Most goats live in herds of about 5 - 20 members.
  • Goats are ruminants - they chew cud like cows and sheep.
  • Goats have an efficient four-chambered stomach that allows them to survive on sparse vegetation. Their digestive process also allows them to eat large quantities of food quickly.
  • Goats are browsing animals - their diet Includes fresh or dried grasses, foliage of trees, shrubs, bushes, and various other plants.
  • Goat habitats are varied and include mountain slopes, grasslands, and desert. Goats can thrive just about anywhere except the Antarctica which is too cold.
  • Goat population is roughly 600 million maintained worldwide (not including feral populations).
  • According to many historians, goats are believed to be descended from the wild goat, bezoar and were the first animal to be domesticated.
  • Before coins were used for money, goats were traded for silver, because they were so valuable.
  • The goat is among the cleanest of animals, and is a much more selective feeder than cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and even dogs.
  • Goats are picky eaters - Most people associate goats with tin cans. That's because goats are both curious and browsers, meaning they will taste just about anything that looks like food to see if it might be edible. However, they actually are very picky eaters. They like weeds, the tips of woody shrubs and trees, and some broad-leafed plants. They will take a lot of time to search out the best snacks. Goats will often stand on their hind legs to reach the best part of foliage that may be out of reach of sheep.
  • So many kinds - Goats come in about 300 varieties.
  • Male goats are called bucks and females are called does. The terms "Billy" and "Nanny" are slang and not preferred. Infants are called kids or cabrito.
  • Goats are curious, intelligent and very good at escaping pens. Some goats can even climb trees!
  • A goat can jump as high as 5 feet or more.
  • Mountain goats are related to goats, but are considered goat-antelopes.
  • There are six recognized dairy goat breeds in the United States: Alpine, La Mancha, Oberhasli, Nubian, Saanen, Toggenburg.

  • Each breed of dairy goat gives a different tasting milk. Oberhasli goats give milk that tastes closest to cow's milk.

  • The major difference between goat's milk and cow's milk is goat milk has smaller fat globules than cow's milk. This makes it naturally homogenized and more easily digestable than cow's milk. Goats milk is digested in less than twenty minutes. Cows milk can take almost a day to be digested. Goat Milk is alkaline and cow milk is acid. Goat milk is lower in cholesterol and higher in calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A. It can often be tolerated by those who cannot drink cow's milk. It is whiter than cow's milk
  • Nigerian Dwarf is the smallest of the dairy goats. It is about the size of a labrador retriever. Despite it's tiny size, it produces up to half a gallon of milk a day.
  • What's the difference between a Pygmy goat and a Nigerian Dwarf goat? Although they have similar origins, they are separate and distinct breeds. Pygmies are bred to be "cobby" and heavy boned. (The best pygmies look like beer kegs with legs.) Dwarves are bred to have the length of body and structure, in proportion, of a dairy goat.
  • Dwarf goats come in many colors, mainly black, chocolate and gold. Random white markings are common, as are spots and other color combinations such as red, white, gold and black. Color is one of the BIG factors that makes breeding Dwarves so popular. You never can be sure what color the babies will be until they are born; even then you can't be sure because many times their color will change.
  • Both Pygmy and Dwarf breeds are hardy, alert and can adapt to virtually all climates. They are productive, loveable and playful. Their even temperament and colorful personalities make them suitable companions for all, including children, the disabled and the elderly.
  • Coffee was first discovered when goat herders noticed the goats acting very energetic after nibbling on the coffee beans.
  • Around the world, more people drink goat milk than cow milk.
  • A group of goats has multiple acceptable names including herd, trip, and tribe. Goat herds are usually led by a female called the "herd queen."

  • Love that angora mohair sweater? Love cashmere? Goat hair. Some goats are raised for their hair.

    Mohair is a silky fiber made from the fleece of the Angora goat, with the average annual yield per animal being four pounds. South Africa is the largest mohair producer in the world and the U.S. is second (most U.S. mohair comes from Texas).

    Cashmere is a luxury fiber collected from Cashmere goats in the spring when they naturally shed their winter coat. The average annual yield per animal is normally less than one pound. China currently produces the most raw cashmere.

  • Hearty seafarers. In days of old, goats were often kept on sailing ships as "compact" source of fresh milk and meat.
  • Aid groups often give goats to poor farmers worldwide because they are so good at providing both food and clothing.
  • Which goat breed has long ears? Nubian. In judging Nubians for breed characteristics their ears can be so long that they can go in the front of their noses.The Nubian is also the largest dairy breed.
  • The ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Cephranes was buried with more than 2,000 goats.
  • A neutered male goat is called wether. Wethers make good pets because they lack the overpowering odor of the male buck
  • Someone who bears the blame for others is often called a scapegoat. The term goes back to Biblical times, referring to a goat who symbolically carried the sins of the group away into the wilderness.
  • Goat's have rectangular pupils Goats have horizontal slits which are nearly rectangular when dilated. This gives goats vision covering 320 - 340 degrees; this means they can see virtually all around them without having to move (humans have vision covering 160 - 210 degrees). Consequently, animals with rectangular eyes can see better at night due to having larger pupils that can be closed more tightly during the day to restrict light. Interestingly, octopuses also have rectangular pupils.
  • Year of the goat - One of 12 years of the Chinese zodiac, related to the Chinese calendar. People born in the year of the goat are shy, introverted, creative and perfectionist.
  • Goats have only bottom front and side teeth, the top jaw does have a large back molar for crushing things.

  • Goats catch colds and can succumb to pneumonia.

  • Which breed of dairy goat does not have outer ears and looks earless? La Mancha. Many people ask if the ears have been cut off, but LaManchas are born this way. There are 2 types of LaMancha ears: the gopher and the elf ear.
  • Yule Goat - One of the first Christmas symbols in Scandinavia was the Yule Goat. Christians made a goat out of straw and carried it door to door as they sang carols and got food and drinks in return. "Going Yule Goat" means the same as going wassailing in England.
  • Yom Kippur - Goats were a key part of the Hebrew festival of the Day of Atonement. Two goats were chosen. Lots were drawn. One was sacrificed, while the other was allowed to go free in the wilderness, symbolically carrying the sins of the Jews with it.
  • Goats are great as stock animals. Goats are easier on the trail than other pack/stock animals. Properly conditioned, a goat can carry up to 25%-30% of its body weight.

  • Fainting goats first appeared in Tennessee in the late 1800s. The genetic mutation that causes the goat to "faint" is now an attribute that's intentionally bred. Fainting goats make friendly, unique pets. 'Fainting' occurs on a daily basis, due to excitement or fear. It's not uncommon for them to start tumbling when they see you approaching with dinner.
  • Goat-milk ice cream - One of the many uses for goat milk, along with butter, cheese and, of course, milk.
  • "Bill the Goat" is the mascot of the United States Naval Academy. In 1893, the USS New York dropped anchor near Annapolis, Maryland and the ship's mascot, a goat, was brought on shore for the fourth Army-Navy football game. He was considered good luck and the tradition continued. The goat was later named Bill after the pet goat owned by the first president of the U.S. Naval Academy Athletic Association.
  • Goats use straw to scratch their backs.
  • Goats love to go wild and do so if they get the chance. Herds of wild goats exist in Australia, New Zealand, Galapagos and even Great Britain.
  • Iranians first domesticated goats more than 10,000 years ago. People worldwide continue to raise goats for food, clothing and, companionship. Goats can make affectionate, intelligent pets. They can be trained to walk on a leash and come when called. They can even be potty trained to some degree.
  • Thor's chariot - Goats pulled the chariot of the Norse god of thunder.
  • Goats are great swimmers.

  • Wild goats don't sleep.

  • Goats are bovines, members of the family bovidae which also includes deer, cows, sheep and antelope.
  • The domestic goat has cloven hooves, a long beard on its chin, a short and upward-turned tail and horns that grow upward from the head instead of twisting to the sides like those of sheep. Their hair is straight with a woolly undercoat during winter.
The Family Pet Veterinary Hospital and Affiliates are Members of:

American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners

American Mini Pig Association

American Veterinary Medical Association

Greater Seattle Business Association

Puget Sound Veterinary Medical Association

Washington State Veterinary Medical Association