Goat, Domestic

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Goat, Domestic


(Capra hircus), an artiodactyl ruminant mammal of the family Bovidae. The ancestors of domestic goats are considered to be three wild species of goat—the wild goat (Capra hircus aegagrus), the markhor (C. falconeri), and the extinct C. prisca. The goat was among the earliest domesticated animals. Excavations in Anau (near Ashkhabad) have shown that goats were raised in Middle Asia several millennia before the Common Era. In Europe the remains of goats have been found in ancient pile-dwelling settlements of the Neolithic period.

Because goats quickly adapt to various ecological conditions, they can be raised in all countries of the world. The basic products

Table 1. Composition of gas produced during catalytic conversion of methane at a pressure of up to 200 kN/m2 (2 kgf/cm2)
Type of conversionMaximum temperature of catalyst layer (C)Composition of original mixtureFinal composition of gas (percent)
H2O (kg)O2(nm3)CO2COH2CH4N2
CH4 (nm3)CH4 (nm3)

obtained from goats are milk, meat, goatskin, wool, and down. The life-span is nine or ten years (maximum, 17 years); the average period of agricultural use is seven or eight years. Although goats become sexually mature between the fifth and eighth month, they are not allowed to mate until the 14th to the 18th month. Gestation is approximately five months. Most cultivated breeds are characterized by multiple births; 100 females, or does, produce 150–250 kids. Some females drop as many as five kids in each litter. Females that have been fed and cared for properly usually give birth to two kids each year.

The males, or bucks, weigh 60—65 kg (maximum weight, approximately 100 kg); females weigh between 40 kg and 60 kg. Goats are classified according to their products; they are raised for milk, wool, and mixed fine and coarse fibers. Dairy goats produce 450–550 kg of milk each year; on the best farms they produce up to 1,000 kg. The record yield is approximately 3,000 kg of milk for ten months of lactation (the Saane breed). The milk contains 3.8–4.5 percent fat. Does are milked one to three times a day. The coat of goats raised for fibers consists of homogeneous fibers that form slightly fibrous plaits, 15–18 cm in length. Shearing yields 4–6 kg of wool from the male and 3–5 kg from the female. The average yield of combed down is 0.2–0.5 kg (maximum, 2 kg). The carcass of a fattened adult contains 20–28 kg of meat and 4–6 kg of tallow; the carcass of a seven-to ten-month-old kid contains 12 kg of meat and 1.5 kg of tallow.


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