Goats are some of the oldest domesticated animals on Earth. The playful creatures offer a range of different benefits, including meat, milk, cheese, and wool fiber. They even have the ability to act as natural lawnmowers. However, as you would expect, not every goat is the same. There are many goat breeds on Earth, and all of them have subtle (or not-so-subtle) differences that are important to track when trying to pick the right one for you. In raising goats, you need to learn the breed’s nature first before keeping one. At least you get to understand how it acts.
Locating Your Favorite Goat Breeds
With so many goat breeds, it can be hard to keep them all straight.
To help you understand what goat breeds are found out there, the following list will describe each type according to the alphabet. This will give you as many options as possible.
This goat breed first came about in England. Since then, it became popular in different parts of the world.
It is bred for its versatility. It can be used for its meat, milk, and hide. In addition, it also has a higher-than-average fat content in its butter. As it has a long holding season, it is able to produce milk during all parts of the year.
B: Boer Goat
The Boer goat is a breed specially kept for meat. Many people across the world enjoy its taste and serve it in numerous ways.
This breed comes from Africa and is the result of years of crossbreeding. Though this is a one-trick animal if it is a good pick for anyone who likes the taste and wants to have it at different parts of the year. It can withstand hotter climates as well.
C: Cashmere Goat
As its name suggests, the Cashmere goat produces one of the finest fibers on Earth. That is perhaps the biggest reason this goat is such a popular choice around the world today.
It has the ability to live in a range of different regions and is able to withstand many wet climates.
D: Dutch Landrace Goat
This is one of the many goat breeds that call the Netherlands home. It is very similar to types found across other parts of Europe.
This is one of the rarer goat breeds on Earth, with only a few thousand left. However, it does produce good milk, meat, and fiber.
E: Erzgebirge Goat
Found only in very small quantities around the world, the Erzgebirge is native to the Saxony region of Germany. This is a pure milking goat that doesn’t quite have the meat or hair output of similar species. Even so, it is still popular in its region.
F: Fainting Goat
This animal, also known as the Myotonic goat, is one of the stranger goat breeds on Earth. It is similar to the domestic goat in every way, which is why it is bred by so many.
However, it does have the tendency to freeze up and faint at any sign of danger. This is not dangerous, just a bit inconvenient.
G: Grisons Stripes
As with the Erzgebirge, the Grison striped goat is an animal that purely exists for milk production. It is native to Switzerland and is extremely well adapted to rough, mountainous terrain. The milk is already flavored, but breeders are attempting to make it even better.
H: Hexi Cashmere
This goat breed is a cousin of the traditional Cashmere. As a result, it is also bred specifically to create cashmere. It comes from the deserts in the Gansu province of China and is commonly white. It can be in other colors as well.
I: Irish Goat
This is the goat breed of Ireland, but it is not native to the region. Even so, it has taken to the island and is able to withstand the rugged conditions.
The Irish Goat comes in a range of blacks and browns and is kept for skin, meat, and milk.
J: Jamnapari Goat
The Jamnapari is one of the popular Indian goat breeds. This animal is large and typically white with tan spots.
However, the coloration rarely matters as this breed is herded for its meat and milk. That versatility makes it a great choice for people who live in the warmer climates it prefers.
K: Kinder Goat
One of the most popular American breeds, the Kinder goat offers a bit of everything. This type has only been around since 1985 (the result of specialized breeding), but it has exploded in that time.
Though these are smaller than regular breeds, their high muscle content makes them a great source of meat and butterfat milk.
L: Lamancha Goat
The Lamancha goat is another American variety, but it has extremely short ears. They are prized for their extremely high milk production, which comes with a high amount of butterfat.
These are also special because they are the only dairy goat breed developed in the United States.
M: Mini Oberhasli
Also known as an Oberian, the Mini Oberhasli goat is a multi-colored breed that thrives in the wet regions of the northwestern U.S.
It comes in dark colors and is considered to be one of the best urban dairy goats on Earth. That is because they are generally quiet, are smaller than similar species, and give quite a bit of milk.
N: Nigora Goat
The Nigora is one of the smallest popular goat breeds. Because of their size, they have less mass. That’s why they are not commonly bred for food products like meat or milk.
However, this small species is raised for its milk and is especially sought after for its versatile fiber. There are three types of Nigora fiber, and they are split into A, B, and C.
The Oberhasli is the cousin of the Mini Oberhasli. However, it differs in the way it is utilized. This is one of the more straightforward goat breeds in that it only produces milk.
Despite that, its high production and solid size make it an extremely popular dairy choice in various places across the world.
The Pygora is one of the more interesting goat breeds in both look and location. The animal comes from Oregon City, Oregon (one of the few places it calls home) and is marked by its rough, curly coat.
This, along with the Angora and Cashmere goat, is a pure fiber goat. Though it can be milked, that is not its primary use. Rather, it is sought after by many traders for how its wool works in many types of clothing.
R: Rove Goat
Once endangered, the Rove Goat is now spread out into many regions in its home country of France. This goat has long, twisting horns and is favored as a result of its rich, hearty meat.
Even so, as France does not have a large goat meat market, the breed is commonly used for milk instead. It does have the versatility to be used either way.
S: Sable Saanen
Yet another United States dairy goat, the Sable Saanen is one of the more specialized or targeted goat breeds in today’s world.
While they can be used for meat, they do not have any special fiber qualities (especially as they cannot be pure white). This is a goat that is only cultivated by those who enjoy its unique taste.
The uniquely-named Toggenburg goat is a breed from Switzerland that, as with so many popular goat breeds, is utilized for its milk. This goat is the oldest known dairy goat breed, a mark that suggests how well it produces a tasty drink.
V: Valais Blackneck
This is another domestic goat that comes from Switzerland. The Valais Blackneck is a multi-purpose breed, which means it can be used for both meat and milk.
As the name suggests, this goat has distinctive black coloring on the nose, shoulder, and tail. Though not as common as other species, it has many uses and can even keep the grass down.
W: West African Dwarf
The West African Dwarf is a special goat that is similar to other small breeds like the Nigerian Dwarf. However, they breed quickly and are able to naturally resist a wide range of diseases. For those reasons, they are great for milk and meat.
Zalawadi is a versatile Indian breed that comes with meat, milk, and fiber. The long-legged breed has speckled ears and is native to certain regions in India. Though not quite as popular as other breeds in the country, the Zalawadi are multi-purpose animals with various uses.
There are hundreds of goat breeds on Earth, each with its own characteristics, climate, and features. Certain types are used for fiber, but many are picked specifically for their ability to generate meat or milk. It is easy to become overwhelmed when trying to analyze goat breeds, and it can be hard to sift through the different types. However, now that you have an idea of the different kinds that exist on Earth, you should be able to figure out which ones seem appealing.