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Animal of the Month: the goat

This July, to celebrate our Animal of the Month, we explore interesting facts, different breeds and common ailments of goats. You can also check out our latest book 'Goat Medicine and Surgery'.

Keep up to date with the latest veterinary books, news and #AnimaloftheMonth by following us on Twitter @CRCPressVet

Five interesting facts about goats

1. Records suggest that our modern goats have all evolved from the wild Bezoar goat (or Bezoar Ibex) of the Zagros Mountains in Iran / Iraq, a species still found in the region today

2. Goats are the best example of a multi-purpose domesticated kept animal worldwide, potentially providing milk, meat, skins, fibre, pulling carts etc.

3. Unlike cattle and sheep, goats are browsing and not grazing animals, and where possible their diet should reflect this.  Many hobby goat keepers feed “browsings” such as hedgerow clippings and tree branches (ensuring of course that the material fed is not toxic).

4. Goat meat is very low in fat, cholesterol, calorific energy and saturated fat, as an example it is 50% lower in fat than beef, and around 40% lower in saturated fat than chicken, and is developing reputation as being a healthy meat alternative, finding its way onto the menu of many top restaurants.

5. Goats are friendly, gregarious animals and are rarely fractious – this makes them ideal pets being particularly popular at children’s attractions, petting areas and open farms.

Top breeds of goat in the UK

?1. Saanen 

2. Toggenburg 

3. Angora 

4. Cashmere 

5. Boer 

6. Pygmy 

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