Capra aegagrus hircus


Various Breeds of Goats

Digestive Process of Goats

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Digestive Process

Mature goats are herbivorous ruminant goats. Their digestive tracts are similar to those of cattle, sheep, deer, elk, bison and giraffes. Their digestive tract consists of the mouth, esophagus, four stomach compartments, small intestines, cecum and the large intestine. The process begins in the mouth where the plants are chewed using the rigid dental pad in front of the hard palate, the lower incisor teeth, the lips and the tongue. It then goes to the tubelike passage called the esophagus, which guides the cud to the stomach at the opening of the rumen and reticulum, the esophagus also helps transports gases. The rumen is the largest of the four compartment stomach of ruminant animals. The rumen and hold three to six gallons of cud, depending on the type of feed. It is lined with papillae, small fingerlike projections that increase the absorption. This compartment contains many microorganisms, such as bacteria and protozoa, that secretes enzymes to break down fiber and cud. Microbiological activities in the rumen result in the conversion of starch and fiber to fatty acids acetic, propionic, butyric acids, amino acids, B-complex vitamins and vitamin K. The reticulum also referred to as the honeycomb or hardware stomach, is located below the opening of the esophagus into the stomach. If a goat swallows foreign objects such as wire, nails and screws these objects become lodged in the reticulum. The reticulum is separated by the ruminoreticular fold. The omasum is the third compartment that consists of many layers or tissue that grind up feed ingesta and squeeze some of the water from the feed. The omasum can hold about 1/4 of a gallon. The abomasum is considered the true stomach of ruminant animals; it functions similarly to the human stomach. The mucosa of the fundus contains parietal cells, which secrete hydrochloric acid and chief cells, which secrete the enzyme pepsin. Pepsin breaks down the proteins from the cud before they enter the small intestine. The pylorus, which is the terminal portion of the abomasum, secretes mucous. The abomasum of goats is about one gallon. As partially digested feed enters the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine, the enzymes produced and secreted and pancreas and the Brunner's glands of the duodenum further break down the cud's nutrients into simpler compounds. These compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream or lymph by and active process carried on largely in the jejunum and ileum. The small intestinal walls is lined with man y villi, which increase the absorption area of the small intestine. The cecum is a tubular structure, also known as the blind gut, connects the small and large intestines. The feed that enters are digested by inhabiting microorganisms. Undigested feed and unabsorbed nutrients leaving the small intestine land into the large intestine. The large intestine absorbs water and further digests feed materials by microorganisms. The feed then exits the body through the rectum.


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Goats are herbivores, which means they only eat plants like trees, shrubs, hay and grains. A common choice of goat feed is alfalfa, a flowering plant grown by farmers. Alfalfa contains a lot of protein, which is vital in a goat's nutrition. However goats will eat anything that appears to be appetizing to them, since they have a strong digestive system they can eat toxic plants.

Reproduction of Goats

Goats are multiparous mammals that reproduce sexually. Does come into heat every 21 days for 2-48 hours. A doe in heat flags her tail, stays near the buck if one is present, becomes more vocal and may also show a decrease in appetite and milk production for the duration of the heat. Bucks also have a change in behavior prior to breeding; they enter a period know as the 'Rut'. Goats are sexually mature from four to six months, does are ready to mate between September and March; fertility lasts up to three days. The gestation period of the doe is 150 days. Kids are not usually weaned any earlier than 10-12 weeks. The young goats needs to eat an increasing amount of solid from 2 to 3 weeks old, in order to encourage rumen development. A healthy doe will produce six pounds of milk per day, until her kid is ready for weaning at about 10-12 weeks old. Does usually live on average eleven to twelve years. Bucks live shorter than females goats, since they through the "rut".

Behavior of Goats

Kids explore their world with their mouths, since they lack hands. Mothers let their babies jump and climb on them; no other adult goat will allow a baby to climb on them. To a goat, climbing is a form of playing. Young goats head butt each other, as part of practice to , become an adult. Mature goats are sensitive and loving, however on occasion they will get violent with their herdmates. When a new goat is added to the herd, they may get beat up by previous herdmates to establish their place in the herd. Goats will also ram "lesser" goats to ensure they understand in the herd, as well. Sneezing is a way of alerting the other goats that danger is coming or near the herd.
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Uses of the Goat

Goats are used for their milk, meat, hair and skins around the world. Cow and goat milk provide similar nutritional benefits ans essential nutrients. Low-fat cow's milk and goat's milk are both rich in dietary protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin D. Both contain about eight grams of protein, two and a half grams of total fat, ten to twelve grams of carbohydrates, about ten milligrams of cholesterol and about 100 milligrams of sodium. Low-fat goat milk contains slightly fewer calories than low-fat cow's milk, however is one is lactose intolerant and suffers unpleasant side effects after drinking cow milk, goat milk is the better choice. Goat milk can be made into cheese, yogurt, soap and baby formula. Goat meat is a healthy alternative to beef and chicken, since it has fewer calories, fat and cholesterol. A three ounce portion of goat meat has 122 calories, which is considerably less than beef's 179 and chicken's 162. In terms of fat, goat meat has 2.6 grams of fat per three ounce serving, which is about one-third of beef's and half of chicken's. Goat also obtains 63.8 milligrams of cholesterol per three ounce serving, while beef obtains much more. Tanned leather from goatskin extremely durable and is used to make rugs and carpet binding. It is often manufactured into gloves, boots and other products that require a soft hide.

Processing Goat Fiber

Before goat fiber is turned into yarn, it needs to be put through several processes. To process the fiber, it must be washed, card or combed and spun. Unless the goat fiber is going to be sold to a commercial operation, it needs to be washed to remove grease, dirt and other impurities. First separate the fleece into smaller bundles and place into mesh bags. Run 145 degrees Fahrenheit water into your sink and wearing rubber gloves, check the water's pH. If it is below eight, thoroughly mix in small amounts of baking soda until the pH is eight or nine. (Then mix in a small amount of detergent.) Place your bags of fleece in the water and soak for fifteen minutes, if the fleece is gummy leave in the water to soak for another forty-five minutes. Refill the sink with 145 degrees Fahrenheit water, using only half the detergent and no baking soda. Soak for fifteen more minutes, then remove the fleece form the water and allow to soak in the sink with more hot water for fifteen to thirty minutes. Remove the bags from the water, refill the sink and rinse for fifteen to thirty minutes, using cooler water each time. Rinse a final time and make sure the water's pH is a six then dry the fleece on a towel. Carding and combing are ways to separate the strands of washed fiber to prepare it for spinning into yarn. Both methods blend the fibers and remove hay and other contaminants that may still be left in the fiber. Carding produces a fluffier end product than combing, since combing better aligns the fiber and makes it more compact. To card the fiber it can be done by hand or with a carding machine. To comb the fiber, one can use paddle combs. Paddle combs are good for working medium to long fibers or for working with cashmere. Combing separates the long and short fibers and prepares the fiber for spinning. To spin the fiber with a drop spindle, one can attach a piece of yearn to one's spindle and then attach the end of the fiber to that. Spin it in the same direction to hold the fiber together; as you spin the wheel it will gradually add fiber to the end of the rolag or roving.
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Countries Popular with Goats

Goats originated form the mountainous areas of west Asia and eastern Europe, grazing on hillsides and plains. Modern day goats are known as domesticated goats and are thought to be closely related to a sheep. Goats are especially live in Europe and North America, distinct breeds of goats are kept for dairy and meat production.