Though tough, flexible, and resourceful, goats are wonderful animals and their usefulness is more than what you can ever imagine. They have the ability to adapt and survive in different environments. Most goats are popular known as domestic goats. They are animals with hoofs and belongs to the genus Capra. Most of the goats belong to the sub – species of the wild goat. When compared to other animals such as camel, cow, and horses, they are considered to be a small livestock. But, they are also considered to be a big livestock animals when compared to animals such as rabbits, poultry, cavies, etc.
The size of goats varies from one breed to another. They can be as large as 135 kg (e.g. Boer) and small as 40 kg in size. In each breed, variation in size is not farfetched. The male goat is referred to as buck. If the goat has been castrated, it is popularly called Wether. Young male goat that is about a year old is usually known as buckling. Depending on their nutrition, breed, and health status, the size or weight of adult goats can range from 100 – 350 pounds. The best time to breed goats is when they are a year old, even though they can come to the puberty stage when they are 16 weeks old.
The female goat is popularly referred to as nanny or a doe. When she is about a year, she is known as a doeling. The puberty age of a female goat can be between 16 – 52 weeks. It depends on some factors such as the type of breed, nutrition and health status, and period of birth. In addition, the genetic composition of the animal can also determine the period or stage of puberty in the female goat. One of the signs of puberty is when the goat exhibits her heat and ovulation, the first of its kind. Malnutrition can reduce the possibility of the goat getting pregnant. It also lower the production of milk by the goat after giving birth.
Nearly all goats have horns which can be of different sizes and shapes, depending on the breed, except for some goats that are polled. This set of goats does not have horns. Polled goats are goats that are hornless genetically. It is also possible to remove the horns of goats; this are usually done after birth. There have been cases of goats with more than 6 horns. Though this is very rare and it’s presumed to be genetically inherited. Removing goats’ horns are common in situations where the goats are to be used for commercial dairy purposes. The purpose is to lessen the likely injuries that they can cause to humans and other goats.
Goats are very intelligent and curios as well. They can be trained in the house and also be trained in pulling carts. If you have a less secured fence, they can leap through the fence, if not high enough, and escape. Hence, they are commonly known for their escaping ability. If a tree is at a slight angle to the ground, do not be surprised to see a goat climbing that tree, because they have the ability.
Goats can be prevented from developing a bad habit if they are properly trained and well-disciplined right from their early age. The habit of butting humans and other animals can also be “cut off” if cautioned from their early stage. It is part of their play if a goat kid should butt you. However, it becomes dangerous if the habit extends to the adult age.
Goat can bleat like a sheep; they have several characteristics and habits that makes them different and interesting to watch. It is pleasurable keeping goats and they can give you a wonderful time with their humorous way.