English for Agriculture - Beginners and Intermediate


Goat terminology

A male goat is called a buck or billy-goat. 

A female is called a doe or nanny. 

Young goats are called kids. 

A group of goat is called a herd.

Goats are raised for meat, for milk, and for fibers used in textiles. Goats used for meat are slaughtered very young, at just a fraction of their natural lifetime. A kid is typically slaughtered when he is just three to five months old. As dairy cows, goats used for dairy are kept continually impregnated through artificial insemination so that they keep producing milk. Before being taken away mothers will often call to their young (kids) to ensure they stay close-by. Mother and kid goats recognize each other's calls soon after the mothers give birth. Kids can follow their mothers almost immediately after being born. They are very close to their mothers and are removed after around 6 months. Farmers take them away, so that their mother’s milk can be used for human consumption. Male kids considered useless in the dairy industry are immediately killed. Goat´s meat and milk is still consumed today. Goat’s milk is becoming ever popular as a healthy alternative to cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and many call this milk ‘universal milk’ as it can be used to bottle-feed most animals.

Like cows, goats are ruminant animals, which means they chew cud. Ruminants have a four-chambered stomach which plays a vital role in digesting, bring food up from your stomach back into your mouth . Goats are herbivores (plant-eaters) who spend most of the day grazing. Goats eat grass, herbs, tree leaves and other plant material. Goats swallow their food without chewing it much. Later, they bring the food up (then called a cud) and chew it thoroughly before swallowing it for the last time. Like sheep, goats enjoy being in a herd. Goats tend to survive better when they are in a herd rather than if they were alone. Every herd has a ‘Herd Queen’, who leads the herd while searching. They communicate with each other by bleating. Goats have excellent coordination. They have great balance and are able to survive in precarious areas, such as steep mountains. They can even climb trees and some species can jump over 5 feet high. Goat skin is also still used today to make gloves and other items of clothing. For example,

Angora Goats, produce mohair which is a fine, soft fiber. Pygora Goats produce a cashmere type of fiber. Both mohair and cashmere are used to make jumpers and cardigans and other types of woolen clothing items.

Last modified: Wednesday, 10 February 2016, 11:28 PM
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