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20 Popular Types of Goat Breeds (With Pictures)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Goats are fun to watch, but they can be bullies if humans get too close to them, unless they are raised as close family pets rather than farm animals. It is easy to think that a goat is a goat, but there are many different types of goats that deserve recognition as their own unique breed. Some are great milk producers, while others are popular for their meat. Still others are better known as pets. Here is a rundown of 20 popular goat breeds.goat divider

1. The LaMancha Goat

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Credit: Just chaos, Commons Wikimedia

Considered dairy goats, these animals are hardy and can stand up to most weather conditions. The LaMancha goat has tiny ears and a big round belly. These muscular animals produce milk with high protein and fat content, which makes for rich flavor and smooth texture. This goat breed is curious, loving, and interactive with the other animals and humans who spend time around them.

2. The Alpine Goat

Credit: Phil1001, Pixabay

Alpine Goats come from the Swiss Alps and were introduced to the rest of the world many decades ago. These goats are large in size, with males growing to 32 inches tall as adults. They have short hair that is solid in color. They are known for being graceful when they move, yet they can be strong-willed when people they do not recognize get too close.

3. The Toggenburg Goat

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Credit: suju, Pixabay

It is thought that this goat breed is one of the oldest in the world. The Toggenburg goat has long, erect ears and a long beard that gives them a wise look. They have brown or gray coats with white markings and short, stout legs that move quicker than they look capable of. This breed produces low-fat milk, which is not ideal for making butter, cream, or cheese.

4. The Nubian Goat

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Credit: 6113519, Pixabay

Nubian goats are cute, affectionate, entertaining, and full of personality. They make excellent pets, but they are also efficient milk producers. Because they have such a long breeding season, they can produce milk almost all year long. These goats have long ears that hang down the sides of their heads, making them look a little sad. However, after spending time with a Nubian goat, you will find that they are naturally cheerful.

5. The Myotonic Goat

These interesting goats are born with a recessive gene that makes their muscles lock up when they become afraid or get startled. When this happens, they fall over — but only temporarily. The Myotonic goat was first bred in the United States and is popular throughout most farming and rural locations throughout the country. They are heavily muscled, and the bucks have thick, long fur and bushy beards.

6. The Verata Goat

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Credit: Menesteo, Commons Wikimedia

The most impressive things about the Verata goat are their horns. They grow so long that they start to twist, making them look like large tree branches. These goats are mainly found in Vera Spain, where they originated from. They are typically raised for milk and cheese production, but some are raised for meat. These goats have short black or gray hair that shines vibrantly under the sunlight.

7. The Boer Goat

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Credit: Uschi_Du, Pixabay

These goats were developed in South Africa for their meat. Today, they are thought to be one of the most popular goats raised for meat throughout the world. The Boer goat is hardy and can withstand hot and humid temperatures better than many other goat breeds. They have fully white bodies and dark brown heads, making them look a bit like cows.

8. The Spanish Goat

Hailing from Spain, these goats made their way to the United States through Mexico and can now be found flourishing around the country. They are especially popular in Texas because they can handle the summer weather so efficiently. They come in a wide range of colors, including white, brown, black, and gray, and their hair may feature any number of patterns.

9. The Sable Goat

These are medium to large-sized goats that are heavy producers of milk that is between 3-4% fat. The Sable goat can weigh up to 145 pounds when mature, and they have frisky personalities, which can make them a danger to small children and animals. They have long necks, thin legs, and nubby little tails that give them a playful look.

10. The Saanen Goat

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Credit: ChristianNawroth, Commons Wikimedia

The Saanen goat is a native of Switzerland, where they enjoyed valley life before being spread to different environments throughout Europe. These goats have white or cream-colored hair, and some have small patches of color scattered throughout their body. Their erect ears point forward, which gives them an alert look. They prefer living in cooler temperatures.

11. The Oberhasli Goat

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Credit: Just chaos, Commons Wikimedia

These are mountainous goats that love to climb and jump. They have shiny brown hair and black heads, pointy ears, and doughy eyes that are hard to resist. They have black markings that go from their eyes to the tips of their muzzle. The Oberhasli goat is lovable and interactive, making them good pets and milk producers.

12. The Guernsey Goat

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Credit: u_43ao78xs, Pixabay

This breed was developed in the United States and is one of the smallest dairy goats in existence. These goats are docile, gentle, and easy to care for. They are efficient milk producers and are popular pets among 4H clubs. Their fur may be any shade of gold, from cream to bronze. Their medium-length hair makes them look chubby, but they have fit bodies underneath it all.

13. The Nigerian Dwarf Goat

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Credit: HertlingDesign, Pixabay

The Nigerian dwarf goat is a compact animal with bright, intense eyes and a fun personality. Their African background makes them suitable for warmer climates, but they can do well in cool areas if they have shelter to warm themselves in. There is no set of colors that this goat must be, but the most common ones are black, white, and golden brown.

14. The Kalahari Red Goat

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Credit: Schlunzino, Commons Wikimedia

This breed comes from the Kalahari desert, so they thrive in dry, hot climates, although they can adapt to cooler and more humid weather. These goats are resistant to parasites and disease, which makes them popular among milk and meat farmers. They have long horns that curve and twist, thick heads, droopy ears, and short yet full beards.

15. The Black Bengal Goat

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Credit: Mamun2a, Commons Wikimedia

The Black Bengal goat is found in Bangladesh and surrounding areas. They are typically black in color, but they can be gray or brown too. The Black Bengal goat is not an efficient milk producer, so they are usually raised for meat. Their skin is also popularly used to produce clothing, shoes, and other leather products.

16. The Rangeland

These hardy goats are low-maintenance and require little to no grooming. The Rangeland goat is popular throughout Australia and makes up a big percentage of all the goat meat that is produced in the country. They are either black, brown, or white, and they may have colored markings anywhere on their bodies.

17. The Kiko Goat

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Credit: AslanEntropy, Commons Wikimedia

These furry goats have strikingly luxurious hair that is usually brilliant white in color. They may have brown or black markings somewhere on their bodies. Their erect ears make them look curious, and their muscular bodies make them strong enough to stand up to predators when necessary. The Kiko goat is active, athletic, and curious, so they need plenty of room to roam.

18. The Angora Goat

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Credit: ranrouha, Pixabay

This is the most unique looking goat of them all. The Angora goat’s mohair is extremely valuable, thanks to its soft and durable texture and super curly nature. These goats produce up to 25% of their body weight in mohair each and every year. If it were not for their long horns, they may be mistaken for huge dogs from afar.

19. The Pygmy Goat

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Credit: aitoff, Pixabay

Pygmy goats are small, compact goats most popular as pets rather than meat or milk-producing animals. While they do produce milk and can sustain a small family, they are more cherished for their joyful, outgoing personalities and their ability to bond well with humans. They love to spend time with other goats and chickens.

20. The Savanna Goat

These are hefty goats are typically all white, but a small spot of color may develop here and there. The males have thin beards and medium-sized horns. Both males and females have long, floppy ears that sometimes surpass the length of their muzzles. Their short tails usually stand above their backs unless they are feeling intimidated or threatened.

Related Read: What Do Goats Eat in the Wild and as Pets?

goat dividerFinal Comments

With so many different types of goats in existence, households, farmers, and commercial dairy and meat producers are sure to find the perfect breeds for their needs and preferences. If you are planning to get a goat as a pet, take the time to meet a few different people-friendly breeds to find out which ones your family best gets along with. Do any of the goat breeds on our list interest you? If so, which ones? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Related Read: Fainting Goats (Myotonic): Facts, Lifespan, Behavior & Care Guide (with Pictures) 

Featured image credit: Ellen26, Pixabay

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.