How To Identify Goat Breeds

Some goat breeds are more common than others.If you don’t know what type of goat you own, look for characteristics of common breeds.Common breeds have distinguishing features from floppy-eared Nubians to long-fleeced Angoras.In addition to helping you identify a breed, ears, coat, and udder size can help you figure out if a goat was bred for meat, dairy, or fiber.You can get help from a local university’s agriculture program or a breeder.

Step 1: Look for Nubians with floppy ears.

If your goat has floppy ears that hang below its muzzle, you can be certain it is a Nubian.The breed of goat known as Anglo-Nubians is a common one around the world.They have round muzzles and come in a variety of colors and patterns.Nubians are both dairy and meat goats.The dairy goat is a popular breed due to its rich fat content.They do better in warmer climates than other dairy goats.

Step 2: Distinguish between Swiss breeds.

Swiss breeds have straight faces, ears that point straight up, and almost always have a tall build.A plump, well-formed udder is what a Swiss breed doe should have.The top-produced dairy goat is a common Swiss breed.They are a tall breed, with at least 32.50 inches at the shoulder, and bucks standing at 37 inches.There are black markings on the belly, legs, and face of the red coat.They are built like Alpines, but are always white or cream.They are well-suited to machine milk because they are a top milk- producing breed.They are robustly built and are usually shorter than other dairy breeds.They are more alert and active than other dairy breeds.Their coats range from deep to light brown with various patches of white or cream.

Step 3: There are LaMancha’s ears.

Don’t worry if your goat has small ears.The LaMancha is a dairy breed with ears from 1 to 2 inches ( 2.5 to 5.1 cm) in length, sometimes referred to as “elf ears.” Like many other dairy breeds, they have a sturdy built, short coat that’s fine and glossy, and straight face.The goat organization calls them gopher ears because of their small size.

Step 4: Look for large-muscled meat goat breeds.

Large legs, dense builds and short coats are characteristics of meat goats.Meat breeds have small udders.The thick, sturdy goats with horns and medium-length, hanging ears are a common meat breed.They weigh anywhere from 200 to 350 lbs.Their coats can be red, black, or white.Boers with white coats usually have black or red heads.They are also well-built and alert.They don’t hang like a Nubian because of their broad muzzles, spiraled horns, and medium-length ears.They can have short or thick coats and come in a variety of colors.The goats are known for their fight or flight response.Black and white goats are not uncommon. When startled, they freeze up and fall to the ground.They are easy to keep, feed, and are good milkers, as they are bred as meat goats.

Step 5: Fiber goats have luxurious coats.

The long, crimped coats of mohair fiber goats make them easy to identify.Other fiber goats have dense, downy undercoats that are used to produce Cashmere.They are smaller than the meat and dairy goats and are easy to spot.Their long fleece is always white, and they are large.Angora cross-breeds are also raised for fiber production.Smaller, more manageable goats are created by mixing breeds.Several dozen breeds have downy undercoats.They come in a variety of colors, but are all cooler climate goats.

Step 6: Check the length of the goat’s coat.

Miniature goats can be bred for dairy, meat, fiber, or kept as pets.The easiest way to tell between breeds is to check the coat length.They have the build of a dairy breed at a smaller scale.They have thick coats and are muscular.

Step 7: Before buying a goat, ask for registration records.

A goat’s breed and purpose can be identified with the help of registration records.Most jurisdictions require goats to be tagged and registered before they are sold.A complete registration record should show the goat’s gender, breed, flock number, date of birth, and information about its parents.

Step 8: There is information on tattoos, tags, and microchips.

Breed associations and individual nations have different letter or number codes.If you don’t know what your goat’s registration marks mean, look them up online.Check your nation’s departments of agriculture, environment, or rural affairs.A goat has tattoos in its ear.You can read the tattoo with a flashlight in your ear.Many local 4H and agricultural clubs can help you register your goat.

Step 9: If you’re stumped, get assistance from a university’s agriculture program.

If you can’t identify your goat’s breed on your own, look for a local university with an agriculture program.Ask the department if they can help you identify your breed.

Step 10: Ask your local breeders for help.

If you narrowed your goat down to a few possible breeds, look for local breeders who specialize in those breeds.To get a better idea of how a breed looks and behaves, you could ask them for help or to see their goats in person.If your doe has erect ears and a large udder, you might have a Swiss breed dairy goat.Links to specific breed organizations and breeder directories can be found on the website of your national dairy goat association.