The History of Goats

The history of goats dates back thousands of years with archaeological records found in parts of Asia and Africa. Goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) were domesticated over 9,000 years ago. Goats are multi-purpose animals which supply fibre, milk, meat and hide and have been an essential part of civilizations throughout human history. Today goats are the most commercially produced animal with more milk and meat being consumed from goats than any other animal.


Over 80% of the world’s goat population lives in Asia and Africa as feral and domestic animals. Goats originate in warm, dry Mediterranean and western Asian countries. Goats are ruminants, animals that utilize a rumen for the digestion of food. A rumen is a type of stomach where microbes digest eaten plant material, instead of a digestive acids. Goats have a voracious appetite (one that is not satisfied), and will eat a wide range of vegetation.

There are over 100 main breeds of goat worldwide, bred for milk, fibre or meat. Although easily domesticated, many goats can quickly revert to a feral state if released from captivity.

Some common breeds include;

The hairy Angora Goat. This well-known goat is used and for fiber production.

The Boer Goat. This goat is commonly used for milk production and is popular in countries such as Australia.

The Saanen Goat

The Pigmy Goat

the Nubian Goat

the Nigerian Dwarf Goat

The Tennessee Fainting Goat

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