Goat

Name

Goat

Scientific Name

Capra aegagrus hircus

Characteristics

There are over 200 recognised species of goat. Most species of male goat naturally have two horns on the top of their head. The males use their horns to fight off rival males or predators.

Goats have excellent coordination. They are able to survive in extreme habitats such a steep mountainous areas. This is due to their outstanding balance. Goats can also climb trees and some species can jump over 5 feet!

Goats communicate by bleating. Mothers often bleat to their young (kids) to ensure their welfare. As soon as a kid is born it recognises its mother’s bleats and the mother instinctively knows the sound of her kid’s bleats too.

Goats are closely related to sheep which is why they look so similar. Like sheep, goats are bred for milk, meat and wool.

We have the Boer and Angora goats here at the zoo. The Boer goat is a breed of goat that was developed in South Africa for meat production. Their name is derived from the Afrikaans (Dutch) word boer, meaning farmer. Angora is a breed of domesticated goat that is named after Ankara, Turkey, historically known as Angora. Angora goats are farmed commercially for their mohair fleece. 

Diet

Goats are herbivores. They mostly eat grass and shrubs.

Size Fact

Full sized goats can grow up to 60cm.

Food Fact

It is thought that goats are responsible for the invention of coffee!

Fun Fact

The Myotonic goat (also known as the ‘Tennessee Stiff- Leg’) is a species of goat which is famous for fainting!

IUCN Red list

Some species of goat (including the Western Tur) are endangered due, in large part, to over-harvesting. However, most species of goat are not under threat of extinction.

Where do I live?

Goats originate from mountainous areas of Asia and Eastern Europe.

Back to the top