Goat Facts


First tamed by humans 9-10,000BC

Member of the cattle family

210 breeds with 450 million worldwide (4-6% in USA)

China has the most goats at 170 million

Goats’ eyes are rectangular in shape instead of oval

They have good night vision

Goats are bred for milk production, meat, skin, cashmere, mohair, and for pets

Life span is 8-12 years with exceptions of up to 15+ years

Worldwide, more people eat, or drink mild from goats than any other species

Goats don’t like to get wet and will seek shelter when raining

Goats are very susceptible to parasites

Goats deposit fat internally and less externally compared to sheep and cattle, therefore they have more fat around their organs

Goat milk is hypoallergenic and higher in Calcium and Vitamin A than cow’s milk

Goat milk is naturally homogenized and can be digested in less than 20 minutes. Cow’s milk may take all day

Goat meat has less fat and cholesterol compared to beef, pork, mutton or poultry

Coffee was 1st discovered when herders noted animals acting very energized after nibbling on coffee beans

Dairy goats produce 2-3 quarts of milk/day, 5000# of milk/year with some improved milkers producing more than 1 gallon per day

Goats can consume 3-5% body weight of dry matter on good pasture; less on poor pasture

Market infrastructure disorganized in movement from farm to consumer

Some goats have milked up to 5 years after only 1 gestation

Goats don’t have tear ducts

Goats’ primary illnesses are coccidiosis, parasitic worms, pneumonia

Goats don’t like to eat feed that has been soiled, contaminated or has been on the ground

Some goats naturally polled are also infertile (male or female)

Goats like to eat woody plants and are utilized as pre grazers in the west to improve pastures for cattle e.g. leafy spurge

Azaleas are poisonous to goats

Vomiting is almost always a sign of poisonous plant consumption

Lactating does in close contact to “musty” bucks may produce milk that is “goaty” tasting and may be offensive.


Feed Coccidiostat for 2 weeks in feed to late gestating does: decreases environmental load and decreases passage of Coccidia from adults to young

Always use Coccidiostat in starter or creep feed

Have a clean and dry environment

Coccidia is worse in cold and wet times of the year


Inhibition-heavy loads worms change ph of gut and cause ½ worms to cover mouth parts with membrane and leave body for new host: parasite survival techniques

We have learned that the food source in the worms’ body only lasts 42 days

Don’t pasture for 45 days after 1st green grass

½ of the worms starve on pasture: this is a great time to worm goats in the 45 day inhibition phase

Parasites lose resistance to wormer in 18 months

Use wormers strategically and rotate

Spring-August 30 30 days prior to kidding

Deworm does in the 30 days prior to kidding to prevent transfers from nanny to kid


Age of puberty: female 7-10 months; male 4-8 months

Breeding age male 8-10 months

Healthy buck can breed 20-40 does

Gestation length 146-153 days

Females 80# body weight time to breed or 75% of adult weight

Estrus length 12-36 hours

Sign are tail wagging, mucous discharge, swollen vulva, bleating, mounting or being mounted

Female adult weight 22-300# breed dependent

Male adult weight 27-350# breed dependent

Goats can deliver up to 3 litters of kids in 2 years

Goats can deliver 1-5 kids/gestation




No consistent predispositions, etiology unknown


~Genetic link-autosomal recessive

~Lack of release of hormones that soften cervical collagen

~Infectious in nature (unlikely)

~Estrogens in feed, moldy feedstuffs

~May or may not recur in the same female

~Manual dilation doesn’t work-still left with a thin band of cervical tissue

~No studies clearly document efficacy of any drug or treatment to complete dilation



~Not advised to pull. Will get hemorrhage and death of neonate +/- dam



Abnormal udder development- rare in sheep, common in goats

Precocious udder development

Young, unbred goat

Glands produce normal mild


Prostaglandin, then FSH if it fails

Do not milk out

Cease grain

If goat is not for show, do nothing

Pseudopregnancy (Cloudburst pregnancy)

Goats only, never reported in sheep

Unknown etiology

Accumulation of fluid in the uterus

May or may not have udder development

Treatment is Prostaglandin, because a CL is persistent. To prevent this, some breeders breed on the first cycle

The goat is anestrus during this time, but remains fertile


Spontaneous Lactation

Seems to be relatively common and of no consequence

Unknown etiology

Estrogens in feed, estrogens from abnormal ovary



None required

Can try hormonal therapy

Mastectomy, ovarioectomy, ovariohysterectomy


Remove bucks from sight, sound, and smell 2-3 months

Start to flush 2-3 weeks prior to breeding

Deworm 2 weeks prior to breeding

Pen “teaser bucks” or buck in nannies to breed

15 days prior to breed turn out on desired breed date (male odor, behavior stimulate synchronization estrus)

We also us 9mg/# of LA200 2 weeks prior to breeding to decrease Chlamydia, Camphlobacter & Lepto

In our hands vacc???


These testimonials and case studies are presented for informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product. The information is not intended to be a substitute for consulting your local veterinarian. Rather, they offer the reader information written by pet owners and/or veterinarians concerning animal health and products that have shown results.