What noise do goats make and why?

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Bucks, billies, nannies, kids, does—all of these names refer to the same thing: goats.

Goats come in a variety of sizes and colors, from tiny pygmy goats to giant Boer goats. Goats are known for their ability to eat almost anything and their sometimes very loud voices. But what exactly do goats make?

Here, we'll learn what goats are, then look at their unique calls. We'll explore why some goats scream, and whether goats and sheep make the same sounds. After reading this, you'll have a good idea of the answers to the following questions: What sound do goats make?

Goats: Species Profile

Goats were first domesticated somewhere in Central Asia about 10,000 years ago. Their wild ancestor, Gasan, is closely related to today's ibex. Goats are bred all over the world for their meat, milk, hides, and even fur (Angora goats). There are more than 300 breeds of goats, each with a unique purpose.

size and appearance

Goats range in size from under 70 pounds (pygmy goats) to over 300 pounds (Boer goats). All goats share some key characteristics.

First, they have lean, compact bodies that are lighter than sheep. They also have hollow, backward-facing horns that can be used as a wicked self-defense weapon. Additionally, goats typically have short, straight hair.

Due to selective breeding, each goat has its own unique appearance and purpose. They range in color from all white to all black, and can be any shade of brown or tan. Some species even display multiple colors. Bills have "whiskers," while ewes have udders, similar to cows.

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diet and behavior

If you've wondered what sound goats make, you've probably also wondered what goats eat and how they get through their day.

Well, since goats are herbivores, they actually spend most of their time nibbling on various plants to see if they are tasty. However, contrary to popular belief, goats don't eat anything, but they sample anything.

Goats eat mainly hay, but also some auxiliary fruits, vegetables and grains. Domestic goats also need salt licks for proper nutrition. When not eating, goats like to socialize with each other. They are social animals and do best when they are around at least one other goat.

goat horn
Goats bleat, and their voices sound a bit like the "bleat" of sheep.

© Anna – Artmade/Shutterstock.com


Goat reproduction is simple; females ovulate about once a month. Pregnancy lasts an average of 150 days and twins are quite common. A female goat with children is called a sitter.

Interestingly, from birth to four days old, the nannies were unable to distinguish the cries of their own babies from those of other newborns. Scientists believe this is because all goat babies are almost identical at birth — at least as far as dairy goats are concerned.

What sound do goats make?

So, what sound do goats make? Well, the "bleat" sound that goats make is similar to that made by sheep. Goats, however, are closer to the so-called "bleat," which is also sometimes made by cows and deer. Goat voices may all sound the same to the untrained ear, but they will actually vary depending on what the goat is trying to convey.

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For example, goats snort to warn others of potential danger. They also make specific sounds when they are happy and excited. Additionally, children make distinctive sounds when they cry to their mother. Vice versa, nanny goats communicate with their children using their distinctive bleat sounds. And, of course, the grumbling sound a male makes when he finds a female he's willing to mate with.

Why do some goats scream?

You've probably heard of fainting goats, but what about screaming goats? Why do some goats scream?

The answer often has to do with something we can all empathize with — loneliness. Often, goats will squeal to show they are unhappy. This unhappiness is almost always the result of one thing: not enough goats. If you hear a goat squealing, chances are it's in dire need of some goat friends.

Do goats and sheep make the same sounds?

Sheep usually bleat, while goats bleat more. Like mules and donkeys, they can be very loud and may vocalize aggressively as a sign of protest, or to express their displeasure.

While sheep also use vocalizations to convey a variety of emotions, goats are unique in their vocalizations. In case you're wondering: What sounds do goats make? Your best bet, then, might be to head to a petting zoo or farm and find out.


  • Goat Profile
  • Goat Gestation Period: How Long Is Pregnant For Goats?
  • 10 Unbelievable Facts About Goats

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about the author

Brandi Allred

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She has degrees in English and Anthropology and writes horror, science fiction and fantasy stories in her spare time.

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  1. Science Direct, available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0304376277900025
  2. NPGA Pygmy, available here: https://www.npga-pygmy.com/
  3. Encyclopedia Britannica, available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/goat
  4. National Zoo, available here: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/goat