Goat are much related to sheep. They are social animals, however, they don’t flock together as sheep does. They communicate with one another by bleating. Amazingly, goat kids recognizes the voice of their mother soon after delivery. The essence of communication between mother and goat kids is to ensure closeness between them.
Goat kids are weaned after about 6 months after birth. The kids can follow their mother immediately they are given birth to.
They are excellently coordinated and are intelligent, and inquisitive. Their curiousness is responsible for their desire to explore any unfamiliar thing that comes their way. They can climb a tree and, though not all, can jump over 5 feet fencing.
Their different types of goat that are been raised by humans. The purpose of raising a goat varies from friendship, milk, meat, wool and other purposes. The major types of goats, not limited to, are cashmere, dairy, pygmy, Boer, mountain goats and Nigerian dwarf.
Miniature goats are small in size and love to spend most of their time outdoors. They are bred from breeds like cashmere, angora, Australian field goats, Nubian, etc. They are usually gentle, adorable, and friendly in nature. They are also intelligent and inquisitive. Razing miniature goats required lesser space and this constitute their advantage over other types of goats. Pygmy goat is a very common and well known miniature goat breed that originated from West Africa. They are short in stature and have a hairy coats. Even though they are small in size, the quantity of milk produced by these goats are usually in large volume. In spite of this, they are not the best choice for dairy farming purpose. They continually breed throughout the year.
Though goats can survive and flourish anywhere they are, but not in the absence of good nutrition. Goats need a good diet in order for them to survive and perform brilliantly. In the absence of good nutrition, they are susceptible to various kinds of disease and illness. Their diet should be of qualitative green pasture, relevant grains supplemented with green hay. In order to keep them stable in health, they need a high level of protein with much minerals and vitamins. They also require large quantity of water for drinking. Surprisingly, goats can drink up to 5 gallons of water in a day.
The requirements varies from animals and time of the year. The important thing to raising a goat successfully is keeping the goats well – nourished. Goats with malnutrition are wasted efforts. Do not be surprise that goat can eat up to 3 percent of their body weight. Therefore, the most available and cost maximizing feed for goats is green pasture. Rather than storing protein in their body, it is being used up or eliminated through digestion. Other sources of protein are soybeans, grains, fish meal, and cotton seed.
Having the knowledge of reproduction in goats is very important in boosting productivity. The productivity of goats depends on the rate of their pregnancy, the frequency with which young ones are produced and the number of young ones produced. Understanding the reproductive processes in goats can help goat farmers to breed their female goats (does) to give birth to kids that will meet the need of a definite market niche.
Heat is the period in which the female goat allows the male goat to breed her. This phase may last between 12 hours to one and half days. The period between in one heat cycle to another heat cycle is known as Estrous cycle. The estrous cycle in goats usually occur every 18 – 21 days on average. The possible signs exhibited by does (female goats) that are in their heat period are did charge of mucous from the vulva, unusual bleating, swollen vulva, tail wagging, and so on. Does can have multiple births like twins, triplet, etc. and their gestation period which is the duration of their pregnancy varies between 146 – 150 days on average.
Though tough, flexible, and resourceful, goats are wonderful animals and their usefulness is more than what you can ever imagine. They have the ability to adapt and survive in different environments. Most goats are popular known as domestic goats. They are animals with hoofs and belongs to the genus Capra. Most of the goats belong to the sub – species of the wild goat. When compared to other animals such as camel, cow, and horses, they are considered to be a small livestock. But, they are also considered to be a big livestock animals when compared to animals such as rabbits, poultry, cavies, etc.
The size of goats varies from one breed to another. They can be as large as 135 kg (e.g. Boer) and small as 40 kg in size. In each breed, variation in size is not farfetched. The male goat is referred to as buck. If the goat has been castrated, it is popularly called Wether. Young male goat that is about a year old is usually known as buckling. Depending on their nutrition, breed, and health status, the size or weight of adult goats can range from 100 – 350 pounds. The best time to breed goats is when they are a year old, even though they can come to the puberty stage when they are 16 weeks old.
The female goat is popularly referred to as nanny or a doe. When she is about a year, she is known as a doeling. The puberty age of a female goat can be between 16 – 52 weeks. It depends on some factors such as the type of breed, nutrition and health status, and period of birth. In addition, the genetic composition of the animal can also determine the period or stage of puberty in the female goat. One of the signs of puberty is when the goat exhibits her heat and ovulation, the first of its kind. Malnutrition can reduce the possibility of the goat getting pregnant. It also lower the production of milk by the goat after giving birth.
Nearly all goats have horns which can be of different sizes and shapes, depending on the breed, except for some goats that are polled. This set of goats does not have horns. Polled goats are goats that are hornless genetically. It is also possible to remove the horns of goats; this are usually done after birth. There have been cases of goats with more than 6 horns. Though this is very rare and it’s presumed to be genetically inherited. Removing goats’ horns are common in situations where the goats are to be used for commercial dairy purposes. The purpose is to lessen the likely injuries that they can cause to humans and other goats.
Goats are very intelligent and curios as well. They can be trained in the house and also be trained in pulling carts. If you have a less secured fence, they can leap through the fence, if not high enough, and escape. Hence, they are commonly known for their escaping ability. If a tree is at a slight angle to the ground, do not be surprised to see a goat climbing that tree, because they have the ability.
Goats can be prevented from developing a bad habit if they are properly trained and well-disciplined right from their early age. The habit of butting humans and other animals can also be “cut off” if cautioned from their early stage. It is part of their play if a goat kid should butt you. However, it becomes dangerous if the habit extends to the adult age.
Goat can bleat like a sheep; they have several characteristics and habits that makes them different and interesting to watch. It is pleasurable keeping goats and they can give you a wonderful time with their humorous way.