a wild goat

a kind of animal – mammal – four-legged and hoofed, grass-eating – related to sheep; short or long, rough or smooth coat in different colours; narrow head with relatively large pointed ears and short to medium-sized hallow horns, a short (4-6 inches long) turned up tail; tough forehead; grows to 3-4 feet tall, and weighs 45-50 Kg.; males are larger than the females; some goats have one or two wattles, finger-like skin folds, hanging loose on the neck below the jaw and beard; males usually with a tuft of hair under the chin, like a beard, and males alone have very strong odour (rank) to attract females to mate; feeds on grass, even the toughest grass, and leaves of plants and trees; lives for 10-20 years in the wild; several species found in Europe, Asia Minor, Middle East and central Asia

a goat’s beard

male ~~ buck (ram)

female ~~ doe

baby ~~ kid

group ~~ tribe, trip, herd

voice (call) ~~ bleat

Some common species (kinds) of wild goat are: Bezoar ibex, Sindh ibex, Chiltan ibex, Kri-kri, Turkman wild goat, markhor
Compare: mountain goat

a doe with its kid

Special Features:
The ‘Markhor’ (wild goat-antelope) is the national animal of Pakistan.

The wild goats have been hunted for their meat, wool (hair), horns and hides (dried skin – leather)!  Now hunting is banned in several parts.

Some species (kinds) live in rocky or hilly areas, feeding only on the sparse grass available on those hills!  They are sure-footed on the steep rock faces, and can jump over large gaps between boulders!

Male goats fight with one another during the mating season with their foreheads: two males stand facing each other, heads bent down, and taking a few steps backwards, suddenly rush forward hitting their foreheads hard with a loud sound, which is called ‘head butting’!



domestic goats

domesticated wild goats; smaller than the wild goats; grows to 2-3 feet tall at the shoulder, weighs 35-40 Kg. (some breeds grow to 50 Kg.); looks more delicate than the wild species (kinds); hollow horns like that of the wild goats, a short (4-6 inches long) up turned tail; males are larger than the females, have a pungent (= strong odour – rank) smell to attract the females; some breeds have one or two wattles, finger-like skin folds, called ‘bells’ or ‘skin tags’, hanging loose on the neck below the lower jaw or the beard; feeds on (eats) almost anything related to plants; lives for 15 years; 300 breeds, found mostly in Europe and Asia, but now kept on farms in many parts of the world

natural goat bells

male ~~ billy, billy goat (ram, buck, buckling) & ‘wether’ (whose sex organs are removed – castrated)

female ~~ nannynannie, nannie goat (also doe)

baby ~~ kid (billy) (a female baby goat is called a ‘doeling’)

group ~~ herd (flock, tribe, trip)

voice (call) ~~ bleat

home ~~ pen, goat pen (man-made)

Some common breeds of domestic goats are: Angora goat, cashmere, French-Alpine (goat), saanur, Toggenburg, Boer, African pygmy goats, American (Nigerian) pygmy goat (several other breeds restricted to particular regions)
The meat of the goat eaten by people is called ‘mutton’, and in some places it is also called ‘chevon’; and the meat of the kid (baby goat) is also called ‘kid’.

goats head-butting

Special Features:
Goats are one of the most common farm animals, and an important food source.

Goats are kept on farms for their meat, milk for drinking and making cheese, wool (hair) and hides (dried skin to be made into leather).

Small herds are kept by individual families at homes because goats are very easy to keep and manage;  they need very little care or attention, and can live on very tough and sparse grass!

Male domestic goats also engage in head butting, a kind of fight with fore-heads, to show dominance or to win females during mating season; and some breeds are bred for this fighting sport, in which people bet lots of money on either of the goats, in some parts of Asia!

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About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.

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