Goat – Classification, Characters, Anatomy, Facts, Habitat, & FAQ’s

Goats are one of the most popular, domesticated animals that can be found across the globe. Goats are known by the scientific name Capra hircus or Capra aegagrus hircus and belong to the Bovidae family of the animal kingdom.

Goats are mainly popular in Asian countries. Almost 45% of their population are found in Asian countries like China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Goats are ruminant animals and are warm-blooded vertebrates that are bred and raised as cattles for milk, meat, hides and fur.

Goatskin is known as hides and widely used for making leather which is then used to make products like shoes, belts, and clothes.

Goats have hooves and are categorized as ungulate animals. They have horns and some even have a distinguishable beard.

In this article, we will deep dive in the goat facts, characters, types and faqs

Domestic Goat with Beard

Goat Scientific Details & Facts

Common Name Goat
Scientific Name Capra hircus or Capra aegagrus
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Habitat Diverse Habitat [from rocky mountain, meadows to taiga] but domesticated animal
Diet Herbivore
Location Wordwide
Weight 20kg to 140kg   (44lbs – 300lbs)
Height 40cm – 60cm (15in – 24in)
Unique Features
Short hairs, horns and often make show beards.
Colour Diversified colour patterns but prominantly has brown shades

Interesting Goat Facts

  1. Goats are one of the oldest domesticated animals and believed to be domesticated roughly 10,000 yrs ago.
  2. Goat kids (baby goats) start standing and taking their first steps within a few minutes of birth.
  3. Goats are not grazers, instead they are foragers and in a natural habitat they roam around the mountains and reach up to eat the forage.
  4. Goats have four stomachs i.e rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. Food first enters in rumen and regurgitated for cud chewing then it moves further through the next three chambers.
  5. A mature goat can have 4 to 5 gallons of plant material in their rumen.
  6. Though goats have a strong digestive system, they are picky eaters and prefer clean, tasty plant food.
  7. Like dogs, goats can be teached to remember their name and can be taught to come when called.
  8. Goats have excellent night vision and can see upto 320 to 340 degrees without moving as they have rectangular pupils.
  9. Goat herding is one of the most popular and ancient traditions practiced by humans to get milk and meat. As humans began farming they started keeping the goats as livestock to meet their daily requirement of milk and meat.

What is the scientific name of goat?

Capra aegagrus is the scientific name of domesticated goat. It is a subspecies of wild goat and falls under the genus Capra while aegagrus is a species.

Scientific name is a binomial nomenclature given to any animal. First name indicates the genus while the second name indicates the species of that animal.

As discussed earlier, goats belong to the genus capra which is a Latin word for goats. Bovidae is the family of goats that also includes the antelope, buffalo and other domestic cattle animals.

Goat Anatomy

Goat anatomy studies the various body parts of goats body.

Goats are mammals and has all the characteristics that resembles to the other mammals. In this section we will overview an anatomy of goats to understand its different body parts.

Goat body is covered with the thick and long hairy coat. They have horns, beards, and two-toed hooves. Female goats have udders.

Here are some unique terms used to denote the various body parts of goats:

  • Cannon bone – The shine bone of goat is called as cannon bone
  • Goats have the flexible part on the leg just above the hoof at the posterior region, which is called as pastern.
  • The hip bone of goat is called as Pinbone.
  • The part of spine just behind the withers is known as chine.
  • Spinal area behind the neck where shoulder blade meets is called as whithers.

Goats height is measured from the top point of whithers till the bottom of leg. Though the height of goats vary as per their breed type but on an average it can range from 40 to 60cm for female and upto 75cm in male.

Goats Digestive System

Goats are rumminant, which mean they will have unique digestive system made up of 4 stomach compartments. When they are eating the plant material, they will partially chew it, engulf it and later on regurgitate to chew it further.

Goats stomach have following compartments –

  1. Rumen
  2. Reticulum
  3. Omasum
  4. Abomasum

Rumen is a largest part of stomach and generally has capacity to store around 2 gallon of plant material. It holds the partially chewed plant material. With abundance of living bacteria, this partially chewed palnt materiall will be fermented in the rumen.

These helpful bacterias will break down the roughage then goat will regurgitate it and chew it as cud and swallow it back. This process is known as rumination.

Goat repeat this process several time until all roughaghe is broken down.

In the rumination process, methane gas is created as by product which causese stron-smelling blurps in a healthy goat.

Reticulum is second part of goat stomach and it work in syncronisation with the rumen. When rumen contracts it push the partially digested food into the reticulum from where it will be directed into the mouth for chewing.

Well digested food then pushed into the rumen and further compartments of stomach like omasum and abomasum where broken down food mix with digestive enzymes and digested well.

Hooves of Goats

The lower part of goat’s foot is covered by a sheeth which is called as a hoof and is split into the two main hooves. Goat hooves are considered as cloven hoof since each hoove work independently.

Hooves provides natural protection to the lower part of goat’s foot. Goat can stand and walk on their hooves, but when hoof is injured it can impact ability to walk and stand.

A healthy goat that has access to good minerals and other nutritions has healthy hooves.

Generally, in the natural habitat, goats walk and climb the mountains and cliff where their hooves get naturally trimmed due to friction with stones but domesticated goats needs their hooves to be trimmed regularly.

Untrimmed hooves can lead to rot and imapct the ability to stand and walk.

Goat Beard

Male or female goats can have beards but not all of them have them.

Male goat beard are more impressive than the female and during breeding period it is useful for capturing the unique scent of male.

Goat Life Expectancy

A healthy goat can live from 8 to 12 years, average being 10 years.

In early 3 years of age, goats are gorwing and at the age of 4 they are usually full grown and may put on wight in subsequent years.

Types of Goats

There are several types of goats, we have listed the below the best types of goats below –

  • Alpine
  • Nubian
  • LaMancha
  • Toggenburg
  • Oberhasli
  • Saneen and sable
  • Nigerian dwarf
  • Pygmy
  • Minis
  • Kinder
  • Kiko
  • Boer
  • Spanish goat
  • Angora
  • Cashmere