Farms: Goats

We get milk, wool and meat from goats.

A baby goat is called a kid.

Its father is called a billy goat or buck.

Its mother is called a nanny goat or doe.

Goats can live on hills and in hot places.

There are about 600 different kinds of goats. There are some kinds that are wild and live in mountains and other wild places. Goats can live in places that are very hot and dry or hilly, where it is hard for other farm animals to live.

A wild mountain goat and her kid, photograph © [2009] Jupiterimages Corporation

Goats eat plants. Farmers feed goats grass and hay because lots of that can be grown on the farm. Animals that eat plants have different teeth and stomachs from animals that eat meat.

Life Cycle
Does, or nanny goats, give birth to 1 or 2 young about 150 days after mating with a buck, or billy goat. The young are called kids, and they drink milk from their mother's udders for up to 6 months before they can eat like an adult goat.

Goats are farmed for wool, milk and meat. We get meat from goats in the same way we get meat from cows and sheep: a goat is very quickly killed without pain, and then a butcher cuts up the meat for us to buy and cook.

Goats have fur covering their bodies. Some kinds have long fur, some short and some curly. Goats have different coloured fur. The kind and colour of the fur is different for different kinds of goat.

Fur keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer, it makes it hard for insects to bite the animal's body, and helps stop sticks and things like that from hurting their body. When the animal gets dirty, the dirt comes out of the fur easily.

The long curly wool of angora (say ang-gor-ruh) goats is made into fluffy mohair wool. The soft fur of the cashmere (say cash-me-uh) goats is made into fine soft wool yarn.

Goat's wool is cut twice a year. It is washed and spun into threads called yarn which can be knitted or woven into cloth.

Some farms raise goats for dairy products. Many people who are allergic to cow's milk are able to drink goat's milk.

Goat's milk is also made into cheese.

A doe or nanny goat has udders that fill with milk each day. An udder is like a bag with teats hanging from under her tummy. The farmer or person who owns the goat attaches a machine to the udders. The machine squeezes the teats gently and the milk comes out into a container. Sometimes a goat can be milked by hand: the farmer puts a bucket under the udders and squeezes the teats, and the milk comes out and fills the bucket.

Go here to read about different breeds of goat:

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If you use any of this in your own work, write it in your notes like this:
Thomas, R. & Sydenham, S. Goats [Online] (2006)

Photographs on this page © [2007] Jupiterimages Corporation

Updated March 2010 ©kidcyber