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Goat Lifespan: How Long Do Goats Live?

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If you've ever been on a farm, you've surely seen goats living their best lives. But how long do goats live, and what is the life cycle of these chatty and lovable farm pets? If you've ever wanted to learn more about goat lifespan, you're in the right place.

In this article, we'll take a look back at what life is like for the common goat from birth to old age. We'll also compare the life cycles of different species of goats, as well as some of the oldest goats ever recorded! Let's start by answering the question "How long do goats live?"

how long do goats live
If you've ever been on a farm, you've surely seen goats living their best lives.

©iStock.com/VeraOsco

How long do goats live?

Goats have an average lifespan of 8-14 years, depending on the breed. Diet, living conditions and other factors can also affect the lifespan of common goats. However, many breeds and species of goats live longer and longer when they are adopted into wonderful, loving families.

For example, the oldest goat ever lived was 22 years and 5 months old! Her name is McGinty and she lives in Hampshire, England. McGinty was certified by Guinness World Records, good genes! Her granddaughter Daisy is 19 years old.

One of the major problems goats face in captivity and in the wild is their access to food and adequate nutrition. Minerals are a very important part of a goat's diet. They need selenium, copper, iron and other elements to live a long life.

Female goats live on average longer than male goats, but are more prone to complications during childbirth. This is why it is very important to take care of your goats if you plan to breed them.

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How long do goats live?
Goats have an average lifespan of 7-14 years, depending on the breed.

© iStock.com/aurorat

Average Lifespan of a Goat

Regardless of the breed, goats go through a very similar life cycle. If you have a pet goat and take good care of it, you should expect your goat to live at least seven years, if not longer! Here's what a goat looks like in any stage of life.

newborn goat

It takes about 150-200 days for a female goat to give birth to a kid. Usually, they have two or three children, but occasionally they have one at a time. Unlike many other animals that are completely helpless from the moment of birth, goats are different.

Newborn goats can walk and run as soon as they are born. This may be due to instincts and natural defense mechanisms built into their genes. A baby goat and mom are helpless in the wild if they can't walk right away!

The kid goats will remain with their mother, even though they have access to all their senses and limbs. They will depend on her for protection and nutrition and meals from her milk.

kid goat or kid

How long do goats live?
Newborn goats can walk and run as soon as they are born.

© iStock.com/flySnow

Baby goats no longer need breast milk when they are about 2 to 4 months old. They will transition to eating grass and other plant matter, as well as any other goat feed found on the farm.

Kid goats are playful and curious, and they can be in the minority, much like puppies or kittens. They were not considered adults for a while because goats become sexually mature after one and a half to two years of age.

adult goat

Once a goat is sexually mature, it is considered an adult goat. This usually happens after 6-9 months of age, when adult goats are still just as curious as young goats. Adult goats usually produce no more than one offspring per year.

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While your doe can be kept for most of her life, it is best to stop when she reaches 8 to 10 years of age. She will have a better quality of life because it will be harder and harder for her to have children as she gets older.

How long do goats live?
Adult goats usually produce no more than one offspring per year.

©Andrea Kraus-Wirth/Shutterstock.com

Goat Lifespan of Different Breeds

Wondering how the life spans of different breeds of goats vary? While the average farm goat can live a fairly long time, this is not the case for all breeds. Now let's take a look at the different breeds of goats!

domestic goat

The average lifespan of a farm goat is approximately 10 to 15 years, depending on breeding style, quality of care, and overall exposure. Many domestic goats face problems with overheating and other weather elements because they are often kept outside.

You can extend the lifespan of your pet goats by providing them with a well-rounded diet, ensuring they have shelter during extreme temperature swings, and grooming their hooves, teeth, and coat well.

goat or alpine goat

The average lifespan of alpine goats is 10 years, with a maximum of 12 to 15 years. These goats are known for climbing rocks in the mountains and generally prefer the cold. They are excellent goats for dairy production.

pygmy goat

How long do goats live?
American Pygmy Goat kids love to play and rest.

©jctabb/Shutterstock.com

Another popular breed of domestic goat is the pygmy goat, these small goats tend to live an average of 10 years. However, with proper care, they can live an average of up to 12 years. If you've ever seen a farm with lots of kids, chances are they're pygmy goats!

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angora goat

Angora goats are known for their wool, which is often used in textile manufacturing. Depending on their level of care, most goats of this breed live an average of 10 years. They are usually well cared for as this improves the quality of their wool.

Pigola goat

Often considered the best of both worlds, the pygora goat is a combination of a pygmy goat and an angora goat. Despite the hybridization, this goat has a long lifespan. It usually lasts an average of 10 to 20 years, depending on the quality of care.

This goat is compact and covered with soft and valuable wool. It's also a great addition to any farm or home. Just make sure to take care of it and tend to its grooming needs often!

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featured image

best farm animals
Goats are versatile animals that provide milk, meat and weed control.

© iStock.com/aurorat


about the author

august croft


I am a non-binary freelance writer working full time in Oregon. A graduate of Southern Oregon University with a BA in Theater and a major in Creative Writing, I have an interest in a variety of topics, especially the history of the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping on the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my family's kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast-iron skillet.

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