Goat is an animal, belonging to family Bovidae the scientific name of it being Capra aegagrus hircus which is a domesticated subspecies of the wild Capra aegagrus. 45% of Goats population are mainly found in Asia the highest number being in China, followed by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They are a breed of ruminants which falls in the category of the mammals and suborder Ruminantia that also includes other cattle, sheep, antelope, deer, giraffe.
To understand goat animal, it is crucial to understand everything in detail. Let’s begin by understanding goat starting from its scientific name, goat Characteristics, goat habitat, classification of goat, goat anatomy, and health that includes the goat body parts, and goat life cycle.
What is Goat?
Goat is a domesticated ruminant mammal that is a warm-blooded vertebrate distinguishable by the presence of hair or fur of which the females secrete milk for the nourishment of their young ones. Goats like many other ruminants are also raised like cattle. Cattle raised animals are farm animals which usually are bred to serve the purpose of human needs for milk, meat, fur and hides. Hides are nothing but goatskins that will later be made into leather products for clothes, belt and shoes. And goat milk is also converted into cheese called goat cheese which is enjoyed as a delicacy by many in many parts of the world.
Goat herding is one of the most ancient traditions people practised to survive and make a living as well. When the first developments of the farming appeared, the farmers began herding wild goats of which their ancestor was wild bezoar ibex of the Zagros Mountains based on the archaeological evidence confirming the most recent genetic study. The farmers then herd the goats for milk, meat and dung as fuel and bone were used for clothing, and tools building.
What is the Scientific Name of Goat?
The scientific name of any species is a formal way of naming in the binomial nomenclature. Wherein they have names, the 1st name being the genus that identifies the family to which it belongs and the 2nd part is species that identifies the specificity within that family. They also have a subspecies for some category.
The scientific name of a goat is Capra aegagrus hircus which is a domesticated identification subspecies of the wild Capra aegagrus. The genus is Capra and aegagrus is the species, and hircus name is to identify the domestic goats or those that are raised like cattle.
According to the binomial nomenclature, the scientific name of the goat is Capra aegagrus hircus. Hircus is the domesticated identification subspecies of the wild Capra family. The genus name is Capra, and the species name is aegagrus. Hircus subspecies identifies the domesticated goat.
Anatomy of Goat
The anatomy of Goat refers to the Goat Body Parts and their health.
The Goat Life cycle is quite an interesting one, the kid that is the juvenile goat starts walking within minutes after their birth, after a period of 3-4 months they no longer rely on their birth giver for the food and feed themselves with masses of grass and after 30 months they are biologically ready to carry children, the gestation period is up to 150 days. The wild goat lifespan is similar to that of a dog that is 9-12 years while a domesticated one's life expectancy is 15-18 years.
In this section, we will learn about the body parts and the general health of a goat.
The gestation period of a female goat is 15/ days. The young ones of a goat are called “kids”. The kids are able to walk and run just minutes after their birth. They rely on their mothers for only a few months, following which they are able to graze and feed on grass and leaves.
Goats have a life expectancy of 9-12 years much like that of dogs. Domesticated goats live longer up to 15-18 years. Goats can have a range in terms of weight. Lighter goats can weigh around 20-27 kg and heavier ones can weigh over 140 kg.
Goats have two horns that are arched back. There have been cases where goats with up to eight horns have been born due to some genetic disorder. Such goats are called polycerate goats.
Goats have four chambers in their stomachs. When they eat grass, they don't digest it right away, they store it in a chamber called “rumen”. Later at night, they can bring back the stored grass to their mouths for chewing it properly. This is called chewing the cud, a phenomenon that is observed in cows as well. This is mainly due to the reason that grass has a high content of cellulose which is not easy to digest. Therefore, it is not digested at first but stored and then chewed later. The chewed matter goes to the other chambers of the stomach called reticulum, omasum, and abomasum with the help of essential microbes present in their stomachs.
Names Based on Anatomy
Goats also have varied names depending on their anatomy, that is the male ones are called bucks or billies and the castrated male goats are called wethers and the females are called does or nannies, whereas the young ones regardless of the gender are called kids.
Females have udder that is an organ formed from the sum of 2 teats or mammary glands in these ruminants whereas others have combinations of 4-8 teats.
Build and Weight
Unlike other ruminants, goats are lighter in build weighing differently with respect to the specific breed, strains and bloodline. The goats on the higher side of the scale can be over 140 kg, and on the lower end of the scale, they can weigh up to 20-27 kg.
Goats naturally have horns 2 horns that are arched back. In genetically rare cases goats tend to inherit more than 2 horns and such ones are called polycerate goats and the number of horns possessed can be as high as 8. There has not been any case of a successfully bred polled goat that is a goat with no horn.
Digestive Tract & Stomach
The upper incisors of goats are mostly reduced and sometimes even absent. And like most ruminants have stomachs with 4 chambers and they tend to eat quickly, by storing grass in the first chamber, the rumen, where it softens. They later regurgitate, and that matter is called cud. The chewed cud contains cellulose which is difficult to digest in the 1st chamber so it goes directly to the other chambers of the stomach namely reticulum, omasum, and abomasum, for further digestion with the aid of other essential microorganisms that reside in the stomach.
Eyes and Hair
they have horizontal pupils and are usually pale that distinguish them from other ruminants who have darker ones. The goat possesses straight hair, and both the sexes have beards.
Classification of Goat, Habitat, and its Characteristics
Goats have horizontal pupils and beards, their hair is mostly darker in shade. There are different kinds of goat breeds which can be classified as:
Originally bred in the 1900s in South Africa, these goats have a lighter shade of fur, are raised and live in high elevation areas. They are bred for their meat.
These breeds of goat have smaller bodies and live in semi-arid regions like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and North America. They are bred for their fur which is used for making wool.
These goats are small in size and have small horns, and are found in colder regions like Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and some regions in Kashmir, from which it derived its name. These goats are also bred for a special kind of wool called Cashmere wool and are also good for milk production and their meat.
These goats are found in the Switzerland and Alpine regions and are characterized by Chamoisee colour of skin with black forehead, belly and lower limb. They are bred for milk and wool.
Found in America and bred for milk, these goats have distinct Gopher ears.
White-skinned, hornless found throughout Europe, these goats are also bred for milk and wool.
Found in hot regions, these are domesticated in Britain and are used for dairy and meat.
These goats are found in valleys and are a great resource of milk.
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The following are some fun Goat facts to remember that will help you learn more about this species.
Goats are one of the first wilds who were tamed by humans for herding and has been an ancient tradition since.
The most consumed meat per capita in the world is goat meat.
The goats chew in a rotary motion because their upper jaw is wider than the lower jaw.
Goats thrive in herds and are not loners, they tend to be depressed when left alone.
The juveniles or baby goats which are called kids start walking within minutes after birth.
They use their lips to grab their food to bring to their mouth.
Goats have very sensitive lips, and contrary to popular belief they are very picky eaters.
There are mainly 2 types of Goats, mountain goats and domesticated goats, and according to the Smithsonian Institution, there are 200 breeds of domestic goats.
Mountain goats are the wild ones who are also great climbers and being mountain animals they can easily climb high to the dams or the trees.
Goats are smart and curious animals who tend to investigate anything that catches their attention. They are constantly exploring, especially the wild or mountain goats.
Goat is a common domesticated animal that falls under the category of mammals. Goats are very commonly found in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. They belong to the family of Bovidae and suborder Ruminantia which include other domestic cattle like sheep, and other animals like antelope, giraffe, etc. Goat is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has fur on its body and the females secrete milk. Goats are raised like cattle for different purposes. Meat, hide skin, milk and fur are collected from goats that are used in different ways. Meat is directly used for consumption in Asia, hide skin is used in the tannery, milk from goats not only provides nourishment to their young ones but also for processing it into cheese. Goat herding is an ancient practice that helped people survive and make a living out of it as well.