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Goats have been bred and raised by humans for centuries for various reasons. They have been raised for their milk, meat, hair, and skin in many parts of the world. They also make for highly-entertaining companions. The domestic goat, scientifically known as capra aegagrus hircus, is a member of the bovidae family. Female goats are often referred to as does or nannies, while the males are called bucks or billies. They are divided into different categories depending on their use. There are over a hundred breeds that fall into overlapping categories. They are distributed in to those used for meat, dairy, fiber, skin, and as companion animals.

Common Breeds

Dairy Goats
  • Anatolian Black Goat
  • Canary Island Goat
  • Beetal
  • Nubian
  • Belgian Fawn
  • Anglo-Nubian
  • Alpine
  • Jonica
  • Irish
  • Kamori
  • Poitou
  • Pyrenean
  • Carpathian
  • Damani
  • Don
  • Dutch Landrace
  • Corsican
  • Jamnapari
  • Benadir
  • Booted Goat
  • Brown Shorthair
  • Sable Saanen
  • Sarda
  • Peacock Goat
  • Toggenburg
  • Valais Blackneck
  • Murcia-Granada
  • Norwegian
  • Orobica
  • Oberhasli
  • Red Mediterranean
  • Hasi
  • Golden Guernsey
  • Garganica
  • Finnish Landrace
  • Hailun
  • Grisons Striped
  • Hongtong
  • Hungarian Improved
  • Erzgebirge Goat
  • Loashan
  • Maltese
There are six primary breeds of dairy goats in America. They are as follows.

Nubian
Originally developed in England, this is a domestic breed. It is a dual-purpose animal, used both for its milk as well as meat. These goats can live in very hot climates, and have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats.

Alpine
The origin of the Alpine breed is believed to be of Swiss and French influence, in the French Alps. It is considered as a good milker and can easily produce 3 or more liters of milk per day.

Saanen
This breed is named after the Saanen Valley in Switzerland. This is the largest of all dairy goat breeds and holds a world record for milk production of 3028 kg in 305 days, which comes to approximately 10 liters per day over a period of 10 months.

Toggenburg
It is considered as the oldest and the purest of all Swiss breeds. It is actually the smallest of the five prominent breeds in Canada. It can produce 3 liters of milk per day on an average.

LaMancha
The LaMancha breed was developed in California, North America, and is an exclusively American breed. These goats have really small ears and are also known as elf eared goats. They are medium-sized, but very strong and sturdy animals.

Oberhasli
Oberhasli is a medium-sized Swiss dairy goat, also known as Swiss alpine. It is a chamois colored breed and is quite alert and vigorous. Although some does may be white, chamois is the preferred color.

Goats Bred for Meat
  • Barbari
  • Bhuj Goat
  • Boer
  • Chappar
  • Duan
  • Repartida
  • Rove
  • Somali Goat
  • Chigu
  • Spanish Goat
  • Kaghani
  • Haimen
  • Fainting Goat
  • Kiko
  • Xuhai
  • Verata
  • Zalawadi
  • Kalahari Red
  • Irish Goat
  • Huaipi
  • Chamois Colored
  • Changthangi
  • Chengdu Brown
  • Chengde Polled
  • Nachi Goat
Fiber Goat Breeds
  • Anatolian Black Goat
  • Angora
  • Cashmere
  • Chigu
  • Hyrcus
  • Kaghani
  • Jining Gray
  • Pygora
  • Uzbek Black
  • Zalawadi
  • Australian Cashmere
  • Hexi Cashmere
  • Don
  • Changthangi
  • Zhiwulin Black
  • Nigora
  • Zhongwei
  • Altai Mountain Goat
  • Xinjiang
Breeds Used for Goatskin
  • Jining Gray
  • Qinshan
  • Sahelian
  • Garganica
  • Black Bengal
  • Don
  • Zhongwei
Breeds of Companion Goats
Australian miniature goats, Nigerian dwarf goats, Kinder goats, and pygmy goats generally serve as great companion animals. They have loving temperaments, and also supply nutritious milk to their owners.

These different breeds of goats are found in different parts of the world. Out of all these breeds, the Nubian and Alpine are the most popular dairy goats, and the Boer, Kinder, and Tennessee are popular for their meat.