Goats

The domestic goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the family Bovidae and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species, and have been used for their milk, meat, hair, and skins over much of the world.
In the 20th century, they have gained popularity as pets. Female goats are referred to as "does" or "nannies", intact males as "bucks" or "billies", and their offspring are "kids". Castrated males are "wethers". Goat meat from younger animals is called "kid" or cabrito (Spanish), and from older animals is simply known as "goat" or sometimes called chevon (French), or in some areas "mutton" (which more often refers to adult sheep meat).

- General Information/Resources -

  • Publications (Link)
    View 100+ publications about agriculture...
  • Biology of the Goat (Link)
    This website is devoted to the interesting and often unique biology of the goat and the organisms that call the goat their home.
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Sore Mouth Infection/Orf Virus (Link)
  • Goat Equipment & Housing Plans (Link)
    This site makes available conceptual plans that can be helpful in developing building layouts and selecting equipment for various agricultural applications.
  • Goat World (Link) 
    Goat World has been set up to buy, sell, share, learn, teach, and care for everything goats. There are articles and resources from start to finish to maintain and care for goats.
  • Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats (PDF)
    Parasites commonly found in sheep and goats can be divided into two general categories: external (skin) and internal (organ) parasites.
  • Maryland Small Ruminant Information (Link)
    This website is privately-owned and was created as an information portal for sheep and goat producers and anyone else interested in small ruminants. The web site includes original documents and images as well as a comprehensive list of links pertaining to small ruminants and related topics.
  • Raising Goats (Link)
    The goat is one of the smallest domesticated ruminants which has served mankind earlier and longer than cattle and sheep. It is managed for the production of milk, meat and wool, particularly in arid, semitropical or mountainous countries.
  • Status of Current Eradication Programs (PDF)
  • Sustainable Goat Production Publication (Link)
    Goat production can be a valuable part of a sustainable farm. Goats may fit well into the biological and economic niches in a farm operation that otherwise go untapped. Goats can also be used for control of weeds and brush to help utilize a pasture's diversity. This publication provides fundamental information relevant to all goats, especially about feeding, reproduction, and health.
  • The Boer & Meat Goat Information Center (Link)
    The mission of BoerGoats.com is: To be a respected, credible and objective source of information about, and analysis of, issues impacting the Boer and meat goat industry by working with all stake holders to achieve best practice in the promotion of the industry.
  • USDA Animal Health - Sheep & Goats (Link)
    Scrapie Flock Certification Program

Meat Goat Production

  • Goat Carcass Characteristics (PDF)
    This manual has been developed as a guide to the meat goat industry in evaluating live meat goats, measuring important carcass traits and standardizing cutting procedures for goat carcasses.
  • Meat Goat Production Guide (Link)
    While their curiosity and mischievousness may present some unique management problems, goats are highly adaptable animals that may be integrated into livestock operations of any scale.
  • Meat Goat Production (Link)
    This report covers topics such as industry size, value, and expansion, as well as historic development, and the education and research program.
  • Sustainable Meat Goat Production (Publication Link)
    This publication offers information specific to meat goat production, and should be read after the companion publication, Goats: Sustainable Production Overview. This document discusses topics including selection, breeds, marketing, feeding, profitability and other topics. It includes sample budgets, case studies, and many further resources.

Fiber Goat Production

  • Cashmere Characteristics (Link)
    The cashmere goat is a member of the species Capra hircus, as are all goats. Because environment plays such a major role in determining the quality of the cashmere produced, it is very difficult to identify truly superior genetics.
  • Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association (Link)
    CAGBA is dedicated to the development and promotion of Colored Angora Goats, closer fellowship and continuing education among members.
  • Raising Angora Goats and other Fiber Goat Information (Link)
    Angora goats may be the most efficient fiber producers on earth. Although Angora goats are somewhat delicate, they grow their fleeces year-round.

Breeds & Reproduction

  • Artificial Insemination of Dairy Goats (Link)
    Artificial insemination involves collection of semen from a buck and transfer of the semen to the reproductive tract of the doe. Does can be inseminated with either fresh or commercially available frozen semen. This publication discusses the use of frozen semen to artificially inseminate does.
  • Goat Breeds (Link)
    The goat, along with sheep, were among the earliest domesticated animals. Unlike sheep, goats easily revert to feral or wild condition given a chance. In fact, the only domestic species which will return to a wild state as rapidly as a goat is the domestic cat.

Articles:

  • Goat Care Practices (PDF)
    The goals of this publication are to explain why, when, and how specific practices are used in goat production systems to support animal well-being, and not to set forth or suggest specific guidelines for production practices.