The domesticated goat is a mammal species of approximately 1m of height. Goats proceed from Africa, where they live in wild herds in mountainous areas. They have been domesticated around 10.000 years ago. Goats have always been highly appreciated because of their milk and meat. Nowadays, due to their playful and kind-hearted character, they have gained popularity as pets and many of them live in farms and gardens. They have even been trained for street exhibitions and circuses.
Goats have short hair. Their ground colour is white, often with brown blurs. Specimens of this kind can be found in the Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park. In the wild, these goats are nomads. They live in mountainous areas. They are gregarious animals and absolutely herbivore. They feed on almost all kinds of organic substances, from pasture to leaves, from tender sprouts to tree bark.
Goats have strong hooves which enable them to move with great agility. Both male and female goats have horns, while the male’s are larger. Only the male goats have beards. When coming into rut, they emanate a strong smell. Female goats can breed from 6 months onwards. Gestation length is approximately 150 days. Usually, one or two goatlings are born which will be able to follow the herd shortly after birth.
Goats bring numerous benefits, such as the production of milk and meat. Their skin is used for leather products and their coat for carpets and other textiles. Goat milk has become very popular in recent times, as it’s nutritional characteristics are superior to cow milk. Furthermore, goat milk is easier to digest by the majority of people.
Goat, Capra hircus
How are they? Domesticated goats have a robust body, strong pads and big hooves. In winter, their coat is silver-white, while their breast, throat and face turn into grey. Their belly, exterior part of the pads, beard and front part of the face are between dark brown and black.
Where do they live? They live in many different habitats: from lowlands to hilly areas and mountains, from dry regions with scarce vegetation to woodlands or alpine grasslands.
How is the species geographically distributed? Goats originally come from Afghanistan, Oman, Pakistan, Italy, Crete and the Balkan Peninsula.
What do they feed on? Depending on the available food sources, they can feed on any organic material from leaves and branches to pasture.